Miss Manners: I want to deflect my patients’ comments about my body

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Dear Miss Manners: I am a female health professional. I counsel patients on nutritional and dietary issues related to their efforts to lose weight for health reasons. I also happen to be naturally quite thin.

Sometimes when I meet a patient (most of whom are women), she comments, “You are so skinny! Or, during a consultation, “Well, I’ll never look like you!”

These well-meaning remarks make me feel uncomfortable and interfere with my ability to build rapport. Usually I smile weakly, mumble something like “Well, you know…” and try to get back to the topic at hand. Can you suggest a better way to handle these useless comments?

“We are each on our own path to good health, and there is no point in making comparisons. Instead, let’s focus on you and your unique goals. »

Out of compassion, however, Miss Manners suggests that you refrain from emphasizing your own good fortune by not eating a whole pie.

Dear Miss Manners: I’m upset with the use of the phrase “You’re fine.” It seems to be used in the context of reassuring me that I haven’t done anything wrong, but often in a situation where they have.

For example, if someone is blocking the grocery aisle and I politely say “Excuse me,” they may move but respond with “I’m fine.”

Or, when explaining to a customer that she would need her ID to renew her membership card, she said she would have to go to her car to get it. I reiterated that she would need to bring the ID and got a response of “It’s okay”.

It may be the millennial version of what Miss Manners calls a convention. Am I too spicy?

Dear Miss Manners: I’m pregnant with my second child and I want to throw a party to celebrate. I missed a baby shower with my first: I was hospitalized at six months and had my son a month later (two months earlier), so he was in the hospital for a while.

Fortunately, he is very healthy, but it was very difficult for a while and we never took a shower. I would really like to have this experience and I’m not interested in gifts, just a celebration.

Would it be sticky? And how would I phrase an invitation to say it’s a celebration and not a gift?

What you are to describe is not a shower — you shouldn’t shower — but rather an arrival party.

Miss Manners therefore suggests that you wait for the arrival of the baby to do so. The invitation can be worded as follows: “Please come meet our new girl, Willow Grace, on Sunday, August 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.”.

Your guests will probably bring gifts anyway, but it won’t seem as obligatory to them as at a shower.

New Miss Manners columns are published Monday to Saturday at washingtonpost.com/board. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

About Keith Johnson

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