Irene Schiff

Christmas is a time for goodwill, for moments shared with loved ones around a large elegantly decorated table, and there are also occasions for less formal get-togethers with friends, acquaintances and colleagues to share good wishes.

Short-lived moments or longer events, words and smiles to remember with pleasure, but there are also dissatisfactions because of our own behaviour or the behaviour of others. I didn't explain myself well, I could have used another expression, his behaviour has humiliated me even if it was surely not his intention. How often have you said this to ourselves! Sensibility and style is not only a matter of good etiquette. No matter how perfectly well we set the table, we can lack sensibility with our conversation partners, and when there are persons with disabilities, our embarrassment can be even greater. We can be overwhelmed by doubt. How should I behave? What should I say? What should I not say?

It may seem strange but when talking with a blind person, for example, it's all right to say the verb 'to see' because it is possible to see through other senses, but the sentence 'I have placed the book there' can be more problematic. It's better to say this: The book is on the table in front of you. And the expression, I'll bring you there, even if it shows our willingness to help, could be substituted by: If you want, we'll go together. Yes, the red light is also for him. And, how did it happen? If a person wants to talk about it, and I repeat, if he or she wants to talk about it, then he or she will decide to do so, otherwise, we will keep our curiosity, however naive, to ourselves. Little things? Certainly not; tact, or sensibility, transforms an unpleasant or uncomfortable moment in one that will be pleasingly remembered.


Test your own sensibility:

1) A girl is writing her own diary, you think:
a) what a waste of time
b) I would like to read it
c) how sweet

2) In a discussion:
a) you listen more than you speak
b) you speak more than you listen
c) you listen and speak equally

3) You know that the other person has different ideas than you:
a) you wait until the person expresses his or her own ideas first
b) you let the conversation flow spontaneously
c) you express your thoughts right away so that the other can adjust

4) When a person has another objective in mind:
a) you often don't realize it
b) you have some doubt but you are not sure
c) you know it right away

5) Have you ever been told that your tone of voice was either too high or too low:
a) often
b) only if you are excited or bored
c) rarely

6) One of your friends tells you that he or she has a problem:
a) you wait until your friend tells you what it is
b) you ask your friend what it is
c) you say something unrelated and walk away

7) On the news, they are reporting a tragedy that happened during the day:
a) you turn off the TV because it would hurt you too much to hear it
b) you listen, these things happen all the time
c) you listen even if it moves you

8) Have you ever been told that you speak too fast or too slow:
a) often
b) only if you are excited or bored
c) rarely

9) Someone wants to offer you a cat, you think:
a) how can I organize myself?
b) how cute!
c) what excuse can I imagine to get out of this?

10) After an animated discussion with an acquaintance:
a) you offer to see each other again sometimes
b) you try to say goodbye politely
c) you say that you prefer not to see him or her again

11) Your friends compare you to:
a) a lion
b) a cat
c) a puppy

12) You enter the house, you were told there has been some tension, but everything now seems back to normal:
a) you feel it anyway
b) if no one had told you, it would have been difficult for you to notice
c) everything is quiet, there is certainly a mistake

13) Someone is asking a personal question and you don't want to answer it:
a) you elude the question
b) you answer that it's something you don't want to talk about
c) you say that it's none of their business

14) Your remember more easily:
a) anniversaries and repeated events
b) meetings
c) where you put objects

15) Holidays are for:
a) getting some rest
b) enjoying ourselves
c) discovering new things

To answers A B C

1) 1 2 3
2) 3 1 2
3) 3 2 1
4) 1 2 3
5) 1 2 3
6) 3 2 1
7) 3 1 2
8) 1 2 3
9) 2 3 1
10) 3 2 1
11) 1 3 2
12) 3 2 1
13) 3 2 1
14) 3 1 2
15) 2 1 3


FROM 45 to 35 POINTS:

Tact and sensibility are your strength. You really know how to deal with people because feelings and emotions are very important to you. Be careful, though, not to burden yourself in useless details or to preoccupy yourself with certain behaviour others could have; not everyone is as sensitive as you are!


You know how to change 'being together with others' into 'being well together with others'. You have an intuition for what interests others and what their sensibilities are, and not only do you adapt well to others, but you let your good style influence and guide others.


Try to listen to yourself when you speak, and try to understand the reasons for the discomfort people close to you may experience. Are you sure your behaviour has been the best it could be? Try to put yourself in other people's shoes and imagine what they can feel; it's not that difficult and you will be the first to be happy about this.

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