Are you Proud of You?

Pride logo So…with all the news swirling around about inequality and inequities shown to our fellow man (or woman), I want you to ask yourself…Are you proud of you? Think about that question before you jump in, because being proud of yourself is an important thing today, but many think it has to deal with some major accomplishment. It doesn’t. It can be something as simple as being proud of yourself for treating all people with kindness, understanding and respect. The lesson in that idea, is life changing, and a life skill that can be handed down to your next generation. Some times it’s hard to change your views, especially if those views have been very important to you or you’ve had them for a very long time. But you have made the decision to open your heart and understand people that are different than you, and that is commendable. Good job!

Well…Gay Pride month has kicked off in cities around the country. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. This wonderful celebration is chock full of parades, costumes, great food and great fun! It celebrates the liberation of people, some who have lived in the shadows for decades, whose major goal has been the right to love.

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Now what in the world is wrong with that?

 In the United States, same-sex marriage is recognized by the federal government and has been legalized in 36 U.S. states. More than 70% of the population live in states that recognize same sex unions. Well we’ve come a long way from Brokeback Mountain, and it is heartwarming to see older, loving couples, who have had to hide their relationships for decades in fear of public retribution. Times are a changing!

While many of us are embracing the evolution, there are still folks that don’t mind their manners on the matter…Iggy Azalea cancelled her Pittsburgh Pride concert, just last night, based on the uproar against her recent percieved homophobic and racists tweets.

But with major sports figures like Michael Sam and Bruce Jenner or power people like Ellen DeGeneres or Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO revealing their true selves, it helps to offer strength to the rest of LBGT community.

So we wanted to offer some ways to show your manners in the midst of diversity.

  1. Don’t make assumptions… Forget about stereotypes; they almost always do not apply. Not all gay men know how to cook, wear tight clothes, and love to shop or sing along with old show tunes. Not every lesbian has short hair and drive a Subaru. People present in all kinds of way so asking open ended questions can help ease awkward moments.
  2. People are forgetful by nature, so once again, don’t assume malice or disinterest if something is forgotten. Help out by reminding people who you are.
  3. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all… my mother brought me up with this mantra. So many people in the 4G world have forgotten this simple kindness.
  4. Learn that gay men and lesbians are no different from any other group of people. They have dreams and goals, and want to be happy and lead productive lives. The more time you spend around gay and lesbian people, the more you realize that they’re just people, the same as you.
  5. Do not out your gay friends to others, respecting their privacy at all times. Outing them may put them in harms way, or make them vulnerable to discrimination from others whether it be in the workplace or for housing or other basic services
  6. Maintain and open mind and open heart! Attend a Pride parade. My dear friend and I happened on the Pride parade in New York City a few years ago…it was festive, irreverent, educational, loving, peaceful and really fun!

 Miami_PrideTake pride in doing the mannerly things that will make this week a memorable one!

Come together for the better!

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I… Etiquette Experts

 

Making Mom Matter with Manners

 

Its May 2015, and what makes my Mother’s Day matter more this year is that I will not be listening to my Mother as she passed away peacefully on 03.29.15. As a daughter of immigrant parents from Greece, my mom personally did not really celebrate Mother’s Day…she would tell me that everyday is Mother’s Day and Christmas also fell into that category. In as much as I miss all of my mother, what I miss the most is her voice. I miss listening to her broken English and a high-pitched sound that rolled out with a really thick Greek acent. She yelled a lot…and she did not have any qualms on telling people how she felt about their behavior. With that said, she would always find it perplexing that I would be a teaching people manners. My mother would ask, “Themetria, why do you have to teach people to be nice?” My mother could not understand that. However, what she did understand is the value of knowledge. So she listened to my passion and supported my tuition to become a licensed expert in protocol at the Protocol School of Washington PSOW.

Everybody has their own way of “listening” when it comes to their mother’s advice. Listen to your mother, what she said then and what mothers’ are saying now might be delivered differently, but the same message is there..Here are some tips from mothers that made manners matter.

“My mother taught me to cross my legs at the ankles and angle a little towards one side”…Dena in Hollywood

“My mother emphasized the importance of writing thanks you notes”…Cindi from Chicago.

“Do unto others what you would have done unto you”..Sadie from Pittsburgh

“Be nice”…Jimmy from Upper Saint Clair

“Really listen when someone is talking and focus your attention on that person”…Gretchen from Pittsburgh

“My Mother, Sue would say don’t brag about your children, let other people say good things about them.” Violet from Aliquippa

“Don’t talk with food in your mouth.”…Leo from Chicago

“One of the greatest things one can have in life is…choices. Make them wisely”…Helen from Pittsburgh

“Take time to write a thank you note. It makes people feel good and you show your appreciation and gratitude”…Rachel from Pittsburgh

“Don’t mumble”…Tanya from Greensburg

Mother, May I is very supportive of all these “mommy” manners!  Manners mean so much more today than yesterday. Our mothers might have been more available to pick us up when we fell, physically and mentally, but  today’s moms are all too busy caregiving, working, and managing households. Read “10 Ways Moms Can Balance Work and Family” on Parents.com

With such a demanding day, how can todays mom keep up with modern manners and impart on children all they need to know to make a good impression? Here is a suggestion…visit and share our advice via Facebook, Twitter, or online. Use your listening skills to help others be nice as your mother taught you and remember to pass those lessons onto your children…while sharing your own words of wisdom as well.

Mother, May I is here to help.

 

Demetria and Lisa

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

 

How much practice do you need to improve your manners?

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So last week we gave you that disappointing statistic about the fact that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year resolutions… 

That is because they don’t practice!

Charles Duhigg who writes for the New York Times talks about the “Habit Loop” in his book The Power of Habit. So what studies have shown is that the 3 steps in the habit loop can be altered by changing one part of it. Take behaviors, like manners for instance, if you recognize the better reward you received when you perform them, you will want to be more mannerly more often. And if you do it often enough, practice being mannerly that is, it will become your new normal and voila…As Mother, May I says “Change your manners…Change your world!”

With the Super Bowl approaching let us be be your Manners Coach and offer these tips to help you be more improve your manners:

  1. 1. Pick a manner that is near to your heart. For instance, I am notoriously tardy. I say to my friends, “I was born 10 minutes late”. Being late is not respecting other’s time, so I have chosen tardiness as my manner of choice. Make it your personal mission statement.
  2. 2. Consistency is critical if you want to make new behavioral habit stick. Make your mindful manner part of your daily routine. A month is a good block of time to commit to a change since it easily fits in your calendar.
  3. 3. We are visual people, so layer in some conscious reminders into your life. Smartphones, computers, and even old-school sticky notes can be employed to take some of the pressure off of you constantly remembering.

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 And from the author of the famous 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).”Stephen R. Covey

Pick one mannerly behavior you want to improve and put it in your Habit Loop…let us know how it changes your life!

 

Cheers,

Lisa and Demetria

Co-founders Mother, May I