This story is about Edward, whose actual name is not being used, who is looking for some advice on how to make friends and influence others. I gave him a copy of The Power of Charm by Brian Tracy, which is not only informative but also funny at parts throughout the book. It is one of my favorite books. Even if he has read it, very little of it has likely stuck with him.
Edward is still a little awkward in social situations, but he is making an effort and is getting better. He is in his twenties and has come to the realization that he does not yet know all there is to know. Bless his heart. He does not yet possess the level of maturity that others his age had many years ago. He is ecstatic about the present red-hot real estate market, which he dominates, and he is skilled at what he does, which makes him a rising real estate magnate. Extremely excellent. Unfortunately, he has not yet acquired the social graces and manners that are essential to his development as a refined gentleman. (Do they even exist at this point?)
If you assume that I am “complaining,” you would be wrong. Instead, I’m going to “explain,” all while making an effort to be helpful.
Without further ado, I’ll explain why, in my view, Edward is occasionally ignorant and why that matters, particularly when dealing with elderly people, whose houses he intends to sell. I’ll start with the older folks. I’ll illustrate with two different cases.
Edward has a girlfriend named Mary Beth, and she is a gorgeous and caring “older lady” by a few years. This is fortunate because Mary Beth has a maturity that is useful to Edward regardless of whether or not he is aware of it.
To offer a concrete illustration of what I mean by “explaining and not complaining,” Mary Beth got me two lovely teacups and a variety of exotic tea bags for my birthday. This is an example of what I mean by “explaining and not complaining.” To tell you the truth, I thought the cups were too gorgeous to use, but Edward grabbed one of the tea bags and poured himself a cup of tea without asking me first whether he could. I was surprised. To make this very clear, Edward did not understand that it was inappropriate to “test out” something that was not his. The phrase “may I” is not yet a part of his social repertoire; nonetheless, he is capable of saying “please” and “thank you.” Inconsiderate behavior may be tolerated by his contemporaries, but elders are more likely to take issue with careless expressions of behavior.
The next illustration is the next one. Edward casually propped his feet up on the table in front of him as he was sitting with a group of people and watching TV. He had his shoes on. (Horrors!) As a result of this, I became so irritated that I humiliated both him and myself by instructing him to remove his feet off the table.
In response to this, he said that the young guy seated next to him also put his feet on the table, which is another unacceptable behavior; however, the difference between the two was that the first young man was barefoot. While I should have reprimanded the man who was not wearing shoes, I did not do so since it is inappropriate to place one’s feet on furniture in any circumstance. If they wish to dance on the tables at their own house, they may do so; however, this is not allowed in Miss Barbara’s residence. Many who were sitting about were taken aback when they heard me reprimand Edward, but I was frustrated by his behavior. You are free to behave anyway you choose in your own house, but older folks don’t like it when you make assumptions about them without giving it much consideration while you are in their home.
Is that the case? Have I turned into a grumpy old man (That will never happen.) who doesn’t care about hurting sensitive kids who have never been told they are wrong and don’t appear to acquire maturity until after they reach their middle age? After all, with very few exceptions, the snowflakes have never had it pointed out to them that anything they say or do is wrong or unkind. It may cause a breakdown, in which case a dog would be required to be hugged.
Ah, if only Edward had been able to keep my mom! She would have eaten him all the way to the top and all the way down the other side. Do you understand what I mean?
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