Sometimes we forget that speaking in a submissive manner could include moments we don't know who is on the other end of the conversation. Answering the phone or the door is a process that has gotten far too sloppy lately. I hope that with this advice we can begin to correct that. At least at our houses. We'll cover formal and informal ways to answer the phone and the door. Practice makes perfect but also be sure to be sincere in your delivery. No one likes a bored, frustrated or irate-sounding greeting.

Answering the Phone

Phone greetings need to be three things; helpful, sincere and simple. I know we've all be on the other end of a phone greeting that went on so long that you wondered if the person was ever going to stop trying to sell you their latest deal just so you could ask them what their hours are. Depending on your level of protocol in your relationship you could use formal or informal phone greetings.

Formal Greetings

"Hello, Smith residence, Jane speaking."

"Good day, this is the Smith residence, I'm Jane. May I help you?"

Formal greetings traditionally have a greeting, an identification of the person answering the phone and an offer to serve. It's very likely you can find a personal and relaxed way of doing this in your own home.

Informal Greetings

With the invention of caller ID, e have gotten lazy with answering the phone informally. It is jarring to have the person answer with their name, such as "Hi Jane! I'm so glad you called!" even before they got a breath to speak. Allow them the courtesy you would afford someone you don't know on the line and say "hello?" first.

Everyone knows how to answer the phone informally but just to remind you, try to use full words. Avoid slang, speaking too quickly or with uncommon greetings. I've been greeted with "Yo!", "Go!", "What?!" and "Hiya" before and that does not convey the appropriate decorum for a phone conversation - even if you know who is on the other line.

Answering the Door

I'll admit I don't get a lot of visitors to my home. Those that do visit have to go through a call box at the front door, so I use a phone answering informal greeting until they get to the door. In which case I know who is coming to my door.

But that isn't always the case for everyone and you need to present yourself courteously to visitors who come to your door.

First, if you are a cautious person and which to know who it is before you open the door then you need the visitor to announce themselves. Speaking through the door is possible in most cases and isn't considered rude, as long as it is a short, simple exchange.

"Hello? Who is it?"

Once it has been decided that you are going to open door you need to do so with confidence, not caution. Don't hide behind the door.

"Welcome to the Smith residence. How may I help you?"

"Hello, I'm Jane, what brings you to our home?"

Once you have greeted them, step aside so that they may step into your home. Each person has a comfort level for how far visitors are welcome and your moving aside will display that personal bubble to them.

Remember to be polite and respectful. Even unknown visitors deserve a sincere greeting and treated with respect.