Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Disclaimer

by Marielle Carlisle

Two weeks ago I made dinner for a lady friend in my ward who had just gone through her final surgery for cancer. This last Sunday we were chatting about the meal, and she mentioned that sometimes when people had dropped dinners off for her, she would thank them for their kindness, and they would said something like "I'm not a very good cook, and my kids always gag when they eat my food, but here you go."

What is she supposed to do with that? Say thank you? Or throw it away?

I've noticed that I too offer a 'disclaimer' for things.

After I cut my daughter's hair, people would comment on her haircut, and I would say, "yeah, well, it's crooked in the back." Even I have to admit that you can't really tell that it's uneven.

Or one time I threw a multi-pool party in our backyard for all my daughter's little friends, and as people were arriving and getting settled, I apologized for the mud tracked onto the concrete. People hadn't even noticed until I pointed it out.

It's like I know I'm not perfect, and I'm letting people know before hand so they don't think I have a superiority complex or something.

Or maybe I do know I'm perfect, but I don't want people to feel bad, so I try and find a mistake or flaw in something that has been complimented.

Why do we do this to ourselves? What I should really do is say "thank you," and move on.

And if you're making dinner for people, for goodness sake just drop it off with love, not an apology.

4 comments:

  1. I take my philisophy about all this from a commercial...never let them see you sweat. There is nothing more killing than a speaker to begin with an apology. Same for everything...I don't expect perfection, just a good time and a yummy meal. Learning to take compliments isn't easy but it does make the person giving them feel more comfortable.

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  2. Thanks, Marielle! Well said! I needed that reminder!

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  3. I think we mistake disclaimers for modesty. You're right--thanks is enough. So thanks!

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  4. Sometimes disclaimers are because the person feels inadequate and is simply seeking assurance. Either way, thinking we are perfect, or thinking we are horrible at something are both false. A simple and gracious "Thank you" is best. It is a learned response which is good to practice. Both sides then feel better. How sad that the woman with cancer is denied her right for thanking others.

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