We’ve talked greetings, so now let’s move on. Another important part of greetings is introductions (telling or being told someone’s name). Why should we learn another person’s name? Well, let’s remember how we felt the last time we ran into someone whom we had previously met, and they came up and said, “Hi, Mrs. Irvine. It’s so good to see you again. Remember, I’m Duncan’s friend, and he introduced us at the fund raiser last week.” Wow. If you’re like me, you’re thinking, “I can’t believe he remembers my name…that’s so cool…now if only I could remember his name I wouldn’t feel so bad!” We’ve all been there, and I would be lying if I said I have perfected the art of remembering other’s names. What I can tell you is that remembering names is a skill we can all practice and probably improve on. Here’s a great way to help your children along with yourself improve with “name remembering”. When you are being introduced to someone; be quiet, listen, repeat their name three times to yourself, then say it back to the person, “Hi John, it’s very nice to meet you.” If no one is there to introduce you, be brave, introduce yourself—“Hi, I’m Sawyer.” Remember, it is your job to introduce people who do not know each other. A question I get from a lot of parents today is, “Is it O.K. for my child to call my adult friends by their first name?” The answer is; it is polite to use Mr. and Mrs. to all adults unless otherwise told. Of course, if your best friend is with your family so much that they wish for your children to call them by their first name, that’s perfectly O.K. But, it should be brought up by your friend and discussed with the parents to make sure everyone is comfortable with it. What if a person makes a mistake when saying your name? The polite thing is not to correct, you don’t want to embarrass them. In private, you can say something like, “I don’t mean to embarrass you, but you called me Spike, and I prefer to be called Karen.” Discuss with your children the importance of proper introductions. This is another great “role playing” assignment. Children enjoy coming up with “crazy” names and then seeing who can make it through the whole introduction process with a straight face. Try it.
Have a great week!
CEO/The Etiquette Factory