Saturday, May 22, 2010

Encourage but not insist?


Some people say that it is fine to encourage people to remove their shoes, but one should not insist that they do so.

There is a fine line between insisting on people removing their shoes and encouraging people to take them off. There are a number of things one could say that are subtle encouragements:

We take our shoes off here.

You might like to take your shoes off.

These imply strongly that the host wants the guest to remove her shoes. I do not see that insisting or asking is worse than encouraging. If you encourage people to take their shoes off, then you have started from the assumption that people will be willing to take them off. By encouraging, you apply a degree of moral pressure to comply.

I think a lot of people would not want the uncertainty of just being encouraged. I was dating a girl a few years ago when I was not 100% sold out to the shoes-off rule. She asked me if she should remove her shoes. I told her that we removed our shoes but she did not have to. She was actually uncomfortable at this answer and asked me whether I wanted her to take them off or not.

Sometimes it is simpler just to be straight with people and ask them to remove their shoes. No need to beat around the bush.


richyrich said...

The following is a link to an article on today's Sunday Telegraph. In the second paragraph there is mention of working in stockinged feet at No 10 Downing Street. If we now have a government that thinks it's ok to remove shoes at work, is it too much to hope that it will lead to the practice becoming more common at both workplaces and homes?

Moderate Mouse said...

I don't really see myself going shoeless in a public "job" setting anytime soon, be it a paid job (which I have yet to obtain) or my volunteer position at a thrift store in my hometown (which I'm currently on haitus from as I have taken a "summer job" as a live-in sitter for my nephew as well as a pet/housesitter for when my sister's household goes out of town at some point; I don't mind doing THAT in one of my pairs of ballet flat-style slippers as the proper dress for that is no different from in my own home; not that my sister has any rules on footwear in her home).

However (and I will warn you all right now, this is rather off-topic), I had been thinking quite a bit lately about what someone else (Sandros, I think it was) had said under a previous post about one's place of employment (in my case being the thrift store I've been a volunteer at since February, if not also my sister's home this summer) being more or less an extension of one's own home. I think that does make sense, especially if you have some role in the cleanliness, order, etc. in both your home as well as where you work. (Such is the case for me.) Am I the only one here to whom where they work feels like a "second home?"

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for sharing that, Rich.

Celestial Fundy said...

Nothing wrong with off-topic comments, as long as you aren't going to write your memoirs in the comments box.

believer333 said...

Here in Hawaii almost everyone goes shoeless at home. Depending upon the job, sometimes there also. If in an office, going shoeless is no problem. And it does help to preserve the carpet. But in a more public place, no.

Cute blog. Thanks!

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for dropping in.