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I graduated from university yesterday. I got some gifts and cards from my immediate family and I know them well and all so I had no anxiety opening/accepting gifts and cards. However, today my employer of 6 years, who is also a neighbor, gave me a card when I saw her at work today. She said, "Here's something from me and [her husband] that we wanted you to have. Congratulations." I said, "Thank you" and set the card down on the table, unopened. We had a casual chat about how graduation went, the usual stuff like that. I feel very anxious opening cards/gifts in front of employers. I mean, we're not friends or family, it's not like we know each other well or anything, etc. I don't want to look greedy, opening the card up in front of her. I don't know if it's appropriate to open a card in this situation. I opened it up when I got home and inside was $100! I will definitely send a written thank you card.

Can someone please tell me, did I handle the situation appropriately? I know I'm going to mull over this for days--what she thought of how I accepted the card, whether she thinks I was rude not to open it, etc. I try so hard to be appropriate in social situations, I think it through so much! If only people around me (who might perceive me as rude/stand-offish) knew how much I go through to act appropriately because I have no social skills, how desperately I wish I could act comfortably in social situations! Uggh!! Frustration!

Tell me what you think.
 

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I think you did fine. I probably would have opened it right away, but then would have been totally mortified when I saw the money and felt totally bad about accepting it. So you definitely did the right thing! Sending a thank you card is the perfect thing to do.
 

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Hello Terra.

I feel exactly the same as you about opening cards or presents in front of people. It feels so rude, as if you're checking to see whether what they have bought you is good enough (!); but people are often surprised when you don't open something straight away! I usually put the card/present into my bag, smile and say "thankyou very much; I'll open that at home."

The person who gave you the $100 is obviously a considerate person who thinks highly of you. Why don't you explain the situation to them and ask whether they thought your behaviour was appropriate? I'm sure they would understand and would not think it an unusual question.

Take care of yourself.
 
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