When I was a child, my punishment for not minding my manners was to spend what seemed like an eternity perched in my mom and dad’s office, copying boring text out of the Emily Post Etiquette book. You would think all of this “manners training” would have positively impacted me as an adult – but mainly, it just serves as a guilty reminder of all the things I am not doing right!
Key among my “protocol failures” is my inability to issue a timely thank you note. I am sad to say that my shame regarding thank you notes has caused me to dodge people in the store, fail to friend them on Facebook, and in general avoid developing relationships with people who love me! And it’s ridiculous. Far too often, the thank you note was actually WRITTEN and just sat on my desk . . . unsent because I couldn’t find the words to adequately convey the depth of my appreciation. The truth is – the more meaningful the gift, the slower my response in many cases!
If you share a similar affliction, can I encourage you to launch November off by SENDING THE NOTE? Don’t worry if it is weeks, months, year, or decades late, just dig it out and SEND it. Shame is always counterproductive and intended to block us from intimacy – stealing blessings that are waiting in the wings. Don’t let it take another day from you! Scribble a quick note on the back of the envelope, find a stamp, and put that letter in the mail today. At the very least, you’ll remind someone that they matter . . . and what bad can come from that?