Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Etiquette in Social Situations

Here are some situations you might find yourself facing.

You can’t remember a person’s name. You need to work out a technique for coping with these bad moments. Otherwise do your best to fake your way through it, which doesn’t always work. One way to handle the situation is to let the other person do the talking until he or she gives you a clue as to who they are. Let’s hope they never say to you, “You don’t remember me, do you?”

Sometimes at church I run into this situation – I see a person I have never seen before and I welcome them saying, “Are you new to the parish?” Their answer often is, “No, I’ve been here for 15 years.”   I’ve learned never to say that.  Now I say, “I don’t believe we’ve met.” A simple solution, but it works.

I have also learned that personal questions usually are not in good taste. Never ask a woman’s age or weight. Never ask about their bank account. Never comment on a person’s height, whether they are very short or very tall. This can be insulting to some people. Most of us like to be the norm.

I read about an author who was asked (obviously by a jealous person), “Who wrote your book for you?” The author replied, “Who read it to you?” This is the question for question defense, which probably should be left to professionals.

By Lois Jamieson

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