Welcome back, Gentle Reader. Henceforward, Thursdays on the blog will be dedicated to answering your vexing social questions, etiquette, and general advice. I’m calling it DeLyte’s Deportment and expect it be wildly popular – and it *will* be, if everyone’s as obsessed with courtesy as I am. Um. That’s totally likely, right? I mean, people like Downton Abbey, don’t they?
Right, then! Let’s crack on, chaps.
Our first question is particularly difficult for those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses, but I find that many others struggle with this question as well: How can I accept compliments and be proud of accomplishments without feeling narcissistic?
I struggle with this too, darlings. It can be very easy to shut down a heartfelt compliment when you’re used to your own brain telling you the exact opposite thing, more frequently. This isn’t going to sound like much help, and it takes practice – and when you get used to the feeling, it actually feels good. The trick to accepting a compliment? Just be gracious about it. You might think that your soup was burnt or that your résumé is a mess or that you just threw any old thing on to wear, but when complimented on it – a simple “Thank you” is all that’s required. Eventually, it starts to feel real and not like they’re just saying it to be polite – but it takes a lot of mental training to get to that point.
Feeling proud of your accomplishments, thankfully, is a lot easier. Look at the cool thing you know how to do! Look at the cool thing you made with your own two hands! Smile; you’ve earned that pride – it isn’t narcissistic at all.
Our next question: What to do when you’re on a date and you order the soup of the day and it turns out to be French onion soup which as we all know is a cheesy splashy slurpy mess to eat and also results in onion breath?
You’re not going to be able to avoid the onion breath; onion’s right in the name of the soup. The only thing you can do is neutralize the threat: insist that your date try your soup. Make them take several bites. It’ll come off as being flirty, with any luck – and while you’ll still wind up with onion breath, now your date will too. Hooray? As far as the splashy slurpy situation, there isn’t much to be done about it, either. Eat slowly, use a fork/spoon combo to battle the cheese-trails, and dab with your napkin as much as you dare. Good luck!
And that’s the advice of the day, kids! Have a question for me? Feel free to ask in the form below.