Gra­cious­ness is key to ac­cept­ing a com­pli­ment

Austin American-Statesman - - THE PLANNER - Jeanne Phillips Dear Abby

Dear Abby: I’m a young man in my mid-20s, and I have a deeper voice than my stature would typ­i­cally sug­gest. Close friends even get thrown off when I talk to them if they haven’t seen me in a while. I’m fairly happy with it, and peo­ple of­ten ask if I do ra­dio or voice act­ing. I run into prob­lems, though, when strangers com­ment on it.

If some­one says, “Wow, has any­one ever told you that you have a great voice?” or some­thing of that na­ture, my first im­pulse is to make a joke about it. If I’m not quick enough on my feet, how­ever, I of­ten catch my­self say­ing some­thing like, “Yeah, I get that a lot,” or, “I know,” both of which sound ego­tis­ti­cal, and I feel em­bar­rassed af­ter­ward. Is there a way to ac­knowl­edge the com­pli­ment that doesn’t come off so pre­ten­tious? — Not Quick on My Feet

Dear Not Quick: Yes, ac­cept the com­pli­ment gra­ciously by say­ing, “Thank you.”

Dear Abby: My hus­band has been sick and un­able to work for sev­eral years due to a de­bil­i­tat­ing ill­ness. He has been home tak­ing care of the kids while I have been work­ing full time. We have lost ev­ery­thing be­cause of the fi­nan­cial bur­den of his ill­ness. I am very grate­ful to my par­ents for help­ing us fi­nan­cially dur­ing this tough time.

Un­for­tu­nately, I be­lieve some of my fam­ily think my hus­band is fak­ing his ill­ness. This is hurt­ful since they have known him for a long time (we’ve been mar­ried 12 years). My sis­ter re­cently asked him in a rather nasty way why he doesn’t just go get a job, and I’m be­gin­ning to think that my par­ents share her sen­ti­ment.

He al­ready feels guilty and worth­less for not be­ing able to pro­vide for our fam­ily. It’s com­ing to the point where I just want to get away from them and cut off con­tact. Should I ad­dress the is­sue or just let it go? — Sick in the South

Dear Sick: By all means ad­dress the is­sue. What your sis­ter did was both cruel and out of line. Ask your par­ents if those are their sen­ti­ments as well, be­cause you are con­cerned they might be.

If they are hav­ing doubts about your hus­band’s phys­i­cal prob­lems, of­fer to share med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion that proves his health prob­lems are all too real. Be­cause your par­ents have been help­ing out fi­nan­cially, it might help to clear the air.

Dear Abby: My son just got some dev­as­tat­ing news. He found out that the son he has raised for 20 years isn’t his. We will al­ways love the young man re­gard­less. The thing is, how do we help our son to over­come los­ing a child we all thought was his? — Heart­bro­ken in Texas

Dear Heart­bro­ken: Re­gard­less of who con­trib­uted the sperm that fer­til­ized the egg that be­came your grand­son, the per­son your son raised IS his son. The bond is there. Your son is the only fa­ther he has ever known. If you move for­ward from there and don’t de­vi­ate from that path, you should all be able to deal with this in a pos­i­tive man­ner.

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