Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean all manners should be abandoned. Our friends at Activity Rocket get the inside scoop on compliments and tea-time from one local expert.
Giving and receiving compliments is an art. Like anything worthwhile, it must be practiced and perfected. Rebecca Czarniecki, otherwise known as Mrs. B of Tea with Mrs. B in the City of Falls Church, VA, compares giving and receiving compliments to a water balloon toss on a sunny day.
Some kids prefer not to play and instead throw the water balloon at their partner immediately but the fun is short-lived; there’s no great prize at the end except one person being wet too soon. No doubt every child whose balloon bursts too soon laments not having one to stay in the game. Other kids give their attention to their teammate then gently toss the water balloon to the receiver, hoping they catch it.
The same circumstances develop in the art of paying a compliment. A compliment requires one to direct their full attention to the recipient (this includes pointing their feet and facing the person). The recipient acknowledges the compliment by saying something in return as they would also strive to catch the water balloon and then be able to toss it back. This is as simple as saying, “thank you,” and nothing more. The response should never downplay the compliment (i.e. “I got this years ago,” or “I only paid $20 for it”).
Savor the sentiments someone shares with you. There is no reason to not give all of your words meaning and purpose by thinking about what you are going to say before it comes out of your mouth. Train your mind to think before you speak so whenever it is time for you to give or receive a compliment, ask a question or offer a comment it truly means something. Through it all, remember to smile.
Are your kid’s manners abysmal? Does dinner feel like a zoo feeding? Want your teenager to improve eye contact, greetings, conversation, being a good host? Toddlers love to dress up and want to experience a proper tea? There are many DC metro area camps and classes to learn the rules of etiquette and improve manners. Find Tea with Mrs. B and other etiquette classes and camps in DC area, Falls Church, VA; Rockville, MD; and more here.