Author Topic: Acknowledging a "Bless You"  (Read 5094 times)

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Danika

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2012, 01:42:56 AM »
1) Is it rude to not say 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you', or acknowledge it in some other way?

I've been involved in many discussions where saying 'Bless you' is actually considered rude and presumptuous because it's religious in nature. In general, where I live, most people will say 'Bless you' and that is considered the most polite thing to do - to acknowledge that someone else had a poor health moment (a cold or an allergy) and that you are wishing them good health. But from the discussions I've had with others, IRL and on forums, not everyone takes a 'Bless you' as an acknowledgement of what they did and that you wish them good health. Some people truly believe that you are making assumptions about their religious beliefs and the state of their souls and they dislike being told that. Those folks are generally ok with 'Gesundheit' based on the things I've read.


2) Is it rude to say 'Bless you' to everyone in a group except for one person?  Does it make a difference if that person has never acknowledged a 'Bless you'?  (Note: There are other people besides me that still 'Bless you' Ann, but I don't know if she would notice even if there weren't.)

Generally, yes. But if she doesn't seem to appreciate it, then are you truly saying it for her benefit or for your own, so that you feel good about being polite and thoughtful? Maybe she doesn't notice, so you shouldn't expend the effort. Maybe she secretly dislikes it and hopes that you'll stop.


3) Is it rude to never say 'Bless you', 'Gesundheit', or sneeze-related comment of your culture when someone sneezes?

I think it depends on where you live. I live in a roughly cosmopolitan area with various religious and cultural backgrounds so people generally say 'Bless you.' I've lived in other places where it's more expected, like said about 95% of the time, and other places where it's said about 60% of the time.


4) Do the answers to the above questions vary based on whether the person is close (friend, family member), not-so-close (co-worker, acquaintance) or complete stranger?

I'd say yes. If you're good friends with someone, you might know their religious beliefs or if they notice people saying that to them. Someone who is seated near you but is not a close friend, you don't know if they like it or not.


In your situation, I've actually said to my coworker "I tend to automatically say 'Bless you' to people, but I don't want to do it if it's annoying you rather than coming across as a social nicety. What do you think?" And then going forward, I try to do what interrupts them and annoys them least.

Allyson

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2012, 02:31:15 AM »
I have dust allergies, and when they kick up, I can sneeze upwards of ten times in a row. To be honest I really wish people would not say anything to me when I sneeze, particularly if they aren't already interacting with me in some way. "Bless you!" "Thank you!" ten times in a row is not fun, and having sneezing fits already puts me in a grumpy mood. It doesn't make me think less of the person, nor am I really annoyed with *them*, it's just the situation. And it's not a religious objection, I feel the same with 'Gesundheit'.

I don't see why it's rude to not say anything to someone's sneezes. I wouldn't say anything about someone else's coughs, burps, hiccups etc either, as it's my preference to just ignore those things (unless it's a burping contest, in which case you can rate your friend's burps, but anyway...)

CakeEater

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2012, 06:49:25 AM »
I have dust allergies, and when they kick up, I can sneeze upwards of ten times in a row. To be honest I really wish people would not say anything to me when I sneeze, particularly if they aren't already interacting with me in some way. "Bless you!" "Thank you!" ten times in a row is not fun, and having sneezing fits already puts me in a grumpy mood. It doesn't make me think less of the person, nor am I really annoyed with *them*, it's just the situation. And it's not a religious objection, I feel the same with 'Gesundheit'.

I don't see why it's rude to not say anything to someone's sneezes. I wouldn't say anything about someone else's coughs, burps, hiccups etc either, as it's my preference to just ignore those things (unless it's a burping contest, in which case you can rate your friend's burps, but anyway...)

Yes, Ann might be the type of person who would prefer people to ignore her sneezes and is perhaps hoping that not saying thankyou might deter people from blessing her. It might just not be a habit that she grew up with and makes her feel uncomfortable. No-one in my family ever said bless you when anyone sneezed. It's a habit I adopted as an adult because lots of people seem to expect it, but I still feel vaguely uncomfortable every time it happens.

Zilla

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2012, 08:48:27 AM »
I think that your coworker that pointed out the lack of thank yous was rude and obnoxious.  You never noticed it before and it isn't a big deal.  It's automatic to you to say Bless you without thinking.  But now that she pointed it out, you are waiting and seeking out that thank you.  It doesn't cost you a single thing to say Bless You, and I would continue to do so unless told to please stop.  Or not do it, which is also not rude.
 

Judah

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 10:41:09 AM »
Quote
1) Is it rude to not say 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you', or acknowledge it in some other way?
2) Is it rude to say 'Bless you' to everyone in a group except for one person?  Does it make a difference if that person has never acknowledged a 'Bless you'?  (Note: There are other people besides me that still 'Bless you' Ann, but I don't know if she would notice even if there weren't.)
3) Is it rude to never say 'Bless you', 'Gesundheit', or sneeze-related comment of your culture when someone sneezes?
4) Do the answers to the above questions vary based on whether the person is close (friend, family member), not-so-close (co-worker, acquaintance) or complete stranger?

IMO,
1) No. It's nice if you do, but it's not necessary.
2) All "Bless you"s are voluntary.
3) Same as #2
4) relationship makes no difference to me.
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O'Dell

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2012, 12:42:38 PM »
1) Is it rude to not say 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you', or acknowledge it in some other way?
2) Is it rude to say 'Bless you' to everyone in a group except for one person?  Does it make a difference if that person has never acknowledged a 'Bless you'?  (Note: There are other people besides me that still 'Bless you' Ann, but I don't know if she would notice even if there weren't.)
3) Is it rude to never say 'Bless you', 'Gesundheit', or sneeze-related comment of your culture when someone sneezes?
4) Do the answers to the above questions vary based on whether the person is close (friend, family member), not-so-close (co-worker, acquaintance) or complete stranger?

Bonus question: Was Betty rude with her question and comment?


1) IME, most people don't say "thank you" every time. They might never say it or only sometimes. Based on that, I'll say not rude.
2) No, not rude. Some people don't even like it being said to them. It's fine to say it only to people who respond to it.
3) It's not rude among people I know to never say "bless you". No one thinks that much about it.
4) Somewhat. I don't often say it to complete strangers except in close quarters and sometimes not even then. If it matters, I'm probably the most insistent on saying it of the people I know.

Bonus: Not at all rude, but then I love discussing this sort of thing so I'd welcome someone bringing it up. One of the reasons I'm here at EHell. I still like to chat about it with RL friends too.
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Auntie Mame

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2012, 12:51:09 PM »
If Ann sneezes often (allergies, etc.), it might be tiring to say "thank you" each time she sneezes or she might not want to call additional attention to the sneeze.  Or she might view a response to a sneeze as a superstition and not want to take part.

This.  I now hate it when say "bless you" or anything else when I sneeze because my allergies are really bad and I sneeze often and sometimes several times in a row.  My sneezes are often very painful as well.  There is always someone who thinks it's cute and clever to say "Bless you! Oh bless you again! Bless you again! Bless you again! Bless you again!" after each and every single sneeze.

I don't acknowledge bless you's and I don't say them to other people.  I find it stupid, pointless and extremely annoying.
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camlan

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2012, 01:58:15 PM »
I have dust allergies, and when they kick up, I can sneeze upwards of ten times in a row. To be honest I really wish people would not say anything to me when I sneeze, particularly if they aren't already interacting with me in some way. "Bless you!" "Thank you!" ten times in a row is not fun, and having sneezing fits already puts me in a grumpy mood. It doesn't make me think less of the person, nor am I really annoyed with *them*, it's just the situation. And it's not a religious objection, I feel the same with 'Gesundheit'.


When this happens with co-workers, I pop my head up from my cubicle and say, "Please consider yourself blessed for the day." That usually gets a chuckle, and the poor person sneezing knows that when I stay silent when they sneeze, it's not because I've suddenly decided that I don't like them, but that I know we both have work to do.
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grannyclampettjr

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2012, 12:48:43 PM »
I don't think either (not saying bless you, or not saying thank you) are rude.  It's really a habit more than anything, and I don't see blessing or not blessing as more/less polite. 

I sneeze a lot at work (perfume allergies) and I have a new coworker who is always blessing me.  It drives me a little crazy because it interrupts my train of thought (I don't even notice when I sneeze anymore, it's so common, but I do sometimes notice when she blesses me) and honestly, if I stopped to say thank you every time it would get pretty silly.  I'm hoping eventually she'll grow tired of blessing me.

It's a social nicety and goes along with please and thank you.   If I knew you sneezed a lot and would get silly then of course we change the rules a little bit.  But in general I can tell a lot about a person by whether or not they mind their ps and qs.  Sorry.

Surianne

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2012, 02:00:15 PM »
I don't think either (not saying bless you, or not saying thank you) are rude.  It's really a habit more than anything, and I don't see blessing or not blessing as more/less polite. 

I sneeze a lot at work (perfume allergies) and I have a new coworker who is always blessing me.  It drives me a little crazy because it interrupts my train of thought (I don't even notice when I sneeze anymore, it's so common, but I do sometimes notice when she blesses me) and honestly, if I stopped to say thank you every time it would get pretty silly.  I'm hoping eventually she'll grow tired of blessing me.

It's a social nicety and goes along with please and thank you.   If I knew you sneezed a lot and would get silly then of course we change the rules a little bit.  But in general I can tell a lot about a person by whether or not they mind their ps and qs.  Sorry.

I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you're saying here.  It sounds vaguely insulting.  What do you mean by ps and qs in this instance, and what do you think you can tell about me? 

I apologize if I'm misreading.  I'm pretty confused. 

bopper

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2012, 02:07:00 PM »
Not too long ago, Betty asked me, away from our desks, "Why do you still say 'Bless you' when she sneezes?  She never says 'Thank you' to anyone for it, and never says 'Bless you' to anyone either."  I replied that I say 'Bless you' to everyone; it's a habit and a polite thing to do.  Since then, I've paid attention and Betty is right.  Ann never says 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you' to her, and never says it to anyone else.

Perhaps you could say "Some people just need a little more blessing than others. "

doodlemor

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2012, 02:27:48 PM »
Not too long ago, Betty asked me, away from our desks, "Why do you still say 'Bless you' when she sneezes?  She never says 'Thank you' to anyone for it, and never says 'Bless you' to anyone either."  I replied that I say 'Bless you' to everyone; it's a habit and a polite thing to do.  Since then, I've paid attention and Betty is right.  Ann never says 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you' to her, and never says it to anyone else.

Perhaps you could say "Some people just need a little more blessing than others. "

Love this!  It's perfect.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2012, 02:28:36 PM »
Not too long ago, Betty asked me, away from our desks, "Why do you still say 'Bless you' when she sneezes?  She never says 'Thank you' to anyone for it, and never says 'Bless you' to anyone either."  I replied that I say 'Bless you' to everyone; it's a habit and a polite thing to do.  Since then, I've paid attention and Betty is right.  Ann never says 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you' to her, and never says it to anyone else.

Perhaps you could say "Some people just need a little more blessing than others. "

I actually find that quite insulting and do not suggest its use.
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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2012, 03:49:27 PM »
I have dust allergies, and when they kick up, I can sneeze upwards of ten times in a row. To be honest I really wish people would not say anything to me when I sneeze, particularly if they aren't already interacting with me in some way. "Bless you!" "Thank you!" ten times in a row is not fun, and having sneezing fits already puts me in a grumpy mood. It doesn't make me think less of the person, nor am I really annoyed with *them*, it's just the situation. And it's not a religious objection, I feel the same with 'Gesundheit'.


When this happens with co-workers, I pop my head up from my cubicle and say, "Please consider yourself blessed for the day." That usually gets a chuckle, and the poor person sneezing knows that when I stay silent when they sneeze, it's not because I've suddenly decided that I don't like them, but that I know we both have work to do.

One of my friends says, "Bless you all day," and I think it works nicely.

Not too long ago, Betty asked me, away from our desks, "Why do you still say 'Bless you' when she sneezes?  She never says 'Thank you' to anyone for it, and never says 'Bless you' to anyone either."  I replied that I say 'Bless you' to everyone; it's a habit and a polite thing to do.  Since then, I've paid attention and Betty is right.  Ann never says 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you' to her, and never says it to anyone else.

Perhaps you could say "Some people just need a little more blessing than others. "

I actually find that quite insulting and do not suggest its use.

Seconding the "don't do it." It comes off as snippy and rude and if someone else heard you it could get you in trouble.
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baglady

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Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2012, 08:31:25 PM »
I don't think it's rude or insulting; it's a joke. But it's the sort of know-your-audience joke not everyone is going to get, so I wouldn't use it, especially in a workplace situation.

The OP's original response is all that's needed -- "It's a habit and the polite thing to do." Or maybe just "It's a habit."

I'm a blesser; it's a habit. I know that not everyone is going to say "Thank you" in response, and not everyone is going to give me a "Bless you" or "Gesundheit" if I sneeze. I've got more important things to think about than whether I should stop saying "Bless you" to Mary because she never thanks me, or to John because he never blesses me back.

I had a co-worker years ago who had nasty hay fever; she pretty much sneezed nonstop through her shift. Another co-worker gave her a Post-it that said, "Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!" A pre-emptive strike as it were. She loved it.
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