So, how do you like this weather?

The number one concern at an introduction is to make the right impression. This takes a three-pronged approach.

  1. Gauge receptiveness of audience.
  2. Project positive information.
  3. Withhold damaging information until qualifiers are set forth.

Are you listening?

Before anything else, we have to know Quaint is listening to what we have to say. Simple indicators, like using our name to address us during conversation and appropriate body language, solidify the knowledge Quaint is listening and participating.

Snowy owl.


Start the information flow.

The most blatant indicator Quaint is receptive to what you have to offer is questions. Every question, including the safe ones, reveal something about us. When was the last time you asked someone about the weather? Do you think differently of the person who says, I hate snow and the one who gives a 32-minute dissertation on the global effect of frozen precipitation on the snowy owl’s migratory practices? And then Quaint (safely) asks, “So, how do you like this weather?”

How do you answer?

If you choose the safe answer of Snow is expected this time of year, Quaint may think you are not interested in sharing, never go outdoors, have only read about snow on the internet or have an abundance of sarcastic comebacks you are not so sure would go over well.

The new identity of The Weather Channel includ...

If you choose the dissertation, Quaint is likely to make the leap of faith you have the Weather Channel programmed into the remote control, watch TWC during commercial breaks to ensure you are not ravaged by the 1/4 centimeter of snow due to fall today or you were a meteorologist in a past life.

It is all about perception.

No one wants to lead off with the warts first. Whether it is our basic instinct to be accepted into the fold or our own insecurity at being first-identified by our foibles, we lead off with a 98-yard kick off return for a score.

English: A vector image of a mortar board hat.



    • Graduated summa cum laude from Impressive U.


    • CEO of Megalotropolis, Inc.


    • Won the Best of Hometown crown.



All of the examples of our winning attributes are connected to surpassing others, making us distinguishable from the rest of the populace. They show society believes we excel above others. (Warning bell tolls.)



The single most powerful question in the English (or any other for that matter) language. Why? makes us justify our actions, inaction, beliefs, goals, past, affiliations, dissociation, and every other quantifiable and intangible assets or detractor we own. Before Quaint can make a snap judgment in the absence of the answer sought, we are going to set out our groundwork for excusing our faults.

English: Photo of a Federal Thunderbolt Siren ...

  • The valedictorian was the dean’s son.
  • I had to sell the company because my daughter needed tuition.
  • The judges disqualified me when we all found out my cousin’s step-grandson’s aunt’s second ex-husband was on the panel.

(Warning bell gives way to siren.) The way we frame our successes is as telling about our character as the things we choose to share.

The good is not always bad.

Knowing we are seeking Quaint’s approval and Quaint is going to judge us based on the information we share, we are willing to offer excuses for our successes lest they later be found to be lacking in Quaint’s eyes. Instead of merely being content with our own success, we go out of our way to temper it with a rationalization to preclude later judgment.

If you have missed any of the first five installments of the Identity Series, please visit the posts below:

Who Are You?

My Answer

Hated to Do It

Diamonds, Q-Beams & Rednecks

Quaint is a blonde.

The comments are always key to how we get to next post. Feel free to comment on the past posts as well as this one. Next, we will discuss the negatives we eventually have to share.

Give an example of tempering success. How does this apply to job applicants? Does this affect how we see our children’s friends?

© Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. As a rule I come across as friendly and good-humored, cracking jokes and generally the life and soul of the party.

    On a CV though I have to be all business, describing past jobs and my qualifications.

    Too often I get classed as ‘overqualified’ and the interviewer is often panicked, thinking I could take their job (which I usually could!) so they go out of their way to dissuade me from taking the job.

    When I was OFFERED a job with Meridian (Software company) my ex-boss had his secretary phone them to tell them I was already under contract for £28,000 per year.

    In fact I was unemployed, but my ex-boss needed me unemployed so he could offer me a part-time job paying £90 per week and have me work full time (I had to pay into my pension after his company was closed due to tax irregularities) every time he had a customer.

    Recent experience has shown that now I have Paranoid Schizophrenia I am classed as an unexploded bomb and therefor unemployable.

    The Government here in the UK is ’empowering’ the disabled by stripping them of benefits and are trying to make discrimination illegal, but in a country suffering a depression even the able-bodied are finding it hard to find work and are persecuted for it…

    As for kids: I judge the child’s behavior and the parent’s response to it, not making snap judgements because I have seen some appalling behavior by parents towards their children and the kid’s response to it.

    Kids need boundaries and, unfortunately, in this age of the Politically Correct kids are not getting those boundaries, parents defending their kids actions, no matter how bad, only for them to end up in jail, addicted, or both is a commonplace event in my area…

    Love and hugs!


    • The interaction between child and parent is complex on the best of days and rarely have clear cut cause and effect because often the effect becomes the cause and results in a chicken vs. egg scenario.

      It is happening far more widely than just your area, Pren. I was reading a blog today (have to get the writer to leave a link here) about a parent suing on behalf of her child for questionable reasons.


  2. Yes, it applies to job applicants. Tempering success is somewhat like tempering steel–it must be heated white-hot and cooled instantly to harden to bring the honed edge to perfection, BUT then the blade itself must re-heated and softened to toughness…resilience, adaptability to appropriate use. The same analogy could be applied to friends of all ages -sterling character first, but softened to remain loyal, tough, and resilient for a lifetime.

    • Can you equate the cooling to self-effacement as a means to add plausibility in place of perceived conceit? And does self-deprecation hamper job candidacy?

  3. Hello Red, I nominated you for the 7 X 7 Link award, check it out… 🙂
    Happy New Year!

    • You are the best, Dolly! I shall be round after my next post to pick it up! Thank you, and a very bright and joyous New Year to you as well!

  4. You rock Red. Spent a lot of time over the years as a speaker to various women’s business groups. Took a while to learn what to look for in your audience, what to say and how to allow you audience to WANT to hear your every word.
    Every point you’ve made in this post has been posited to me, whether in my thoughts or from the audience.
    As Hendix said ‘Are you experienced!’
    Yes Red, you are -grin-

  5. In my past (working toward irradicating it) I have been the queen of tempering success. Since I am a very large woman, I always feel I am starting with one of my warts already showing. Just like the fat gal learns to make the joke first, I often temper my successes in the same way. For example. When I make something, I tend to point out the things that are wrong with it (perceived only by me) in case they notice those things first. I recently handed over an item someone asked me to make for them with no tempering whatsoever. I didn’t tell them how hard it was, how long it took, how I messed up, how I could do it better….. I don’t know why that is so hard for me, but the person absolutely loved it and no one really cared or knew about all that other stuff. Is it a matter of insecurity? Is it a reaction to having someone slam something we did? Probably that and more! It definately applies to job applicants as well. I have stories, but I’ll save those for another comment:)

    Does this affect how we see our children’s friends? Probably. That’s one I have to think about for a while. I’m enjoying your series and can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

  6. Glad you are enjoying it, and gladder still it is challenging you to look at your own interactions.

    I am keeping the itinerary close to the vest. After all, whodathunk a little poll would take us this far?

  1. Enough Frivolity | Momma's Money Matters

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