Open Thread

by epi on May 15, 2012

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Just Laura May 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

Good morning, Friends,
I recently returned from being abroad. One of my routines when I vacation is to bring back something local for friends/family/coworkers. I brought back a food product that is particular to this place, and have been sharing. My coworkers cleaned the plate and thanked me. However, a friend mentioned to me that what I’m doing might come across as bragging to some.

Do you feel that this is the case? I really like when friends bring me back a little something, and never thought ill of them; that said, I don’t want to brag about my vacations in front of people who must focus on student loans and/or their young children. (No, I don’t show anyone my vacation photos -that’s what Facebook is for.)

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Chocobo May 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

The person who sees boastfulness in a thoughtful gift is over-thinking it. Bringing a small souvenir back for your friends and coworkers is a lovely idea, please don’t worry about it.

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Jerry May 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

I can’t believe that someone approached you with this.

No, you are not bragging. Sounds to me like your friend is jealous.

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Elizabeth May 15, 2012 at 10:42 am

I agree with Chocobo and Jerry – your friend is being silly. Would this person prefer that you kept your travels a secret? I think the difference between talking about something and bragging has to do with the length at which one goes on about something, the kind of value judgments that one applies to it or the kind of comments that surround it (“the hotel was lovely!” is fine, “it was so great to not have to be stuck here!” is not fine) and most importantly, it’s key to pay attention to the conversation – if your friends keep asking questions, it’s fine to go on, but if they start to lose steam, allow the subject to switch to something else.

Merely acknowledging that you took a trip by bringing back a gift is NOT bragging!

Anyway – welcome back!

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Lilli May 15, 2012 at 11:37 am

I agree that your friend is being silly and that it’s thoughtful to bring back a small treat from a vacation. The only way I could conceive of a situation that a gift would be seen as bragging would be if you were to bring back very obviously expensive gifts for your coworkers when you know they are struggling to make ends meet. Even still, any gift is a thoughtful gesture and people shouldn’t over think them!

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Just Laura May 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Thanks, all. :) Just to clarify, the person didn’t actually accuse me of being a braggart, only that some might think of it that way. I’m glad to know that probably no one thought I was angling to show off.

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Jody May 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I think you’re being generous and not bragging at all — I agree with others that your friend was a bit out of order to say what she did. Sounds like a bit of jealousy to me.

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