Episode 15: The Trapped Pool Cleaner
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
The story of a pool cleaner who is metaphorically trapped by her over-sharing clientele is at the heart of this episode of Awesome Etiquette.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned.
Speaker 2: Watch. How is he post and damn posted Act as host and hostess.
Speaker 2: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really friendliness.
Speaker 1: All right, well, you are hopefully going to enjoy listening to another episode of awesome etiquette, which is very proud to be part of the infinite guest network from American Public Media. I'm Lizzie Post,
Speaker 2: and I'm Dan Post sending from the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Dan, what a freaking week we've had. I'm just going to say it
Speaker 2: pretty unbelievable.
Speaker 1: I'm like, I would like to use my non magic words, but I don't want to do that to our podcast like I mean, this is our first of all, just so that you all know this is our third attempt to record this week. Usually
Speaker 2: it's Tuesday mornings.
Speaker 1: Usually, yeah, usually record on Tuesday mornings, and we got blasted with an a snowy ice. It started out really icy and then turned into a snowstorm, which has given us the heaviest snowfall we've like ever had, not in terms of inches, but the weight of the snow itself like branches. Air coming down, telephone poles, air coming down, 23,000 people out of power. Still one of them sitting in Mike Dan just went and bought his generator, which is, like, so geeked out on I have power
Speaker 2: still out at home
Speaker 1: how we're still out at your house like the roads, air, still a mess and tons of places I haven't even shoveled like I'm that person who's like my My Jeep can get through it. I'm all right like it's just nutty. So
Speaker 2: it started Monday night. Usually we record this podcast on Tuesday mornings. It's now Friday afternoon. Three tries later. Third time's a charm. We're going to get this done. We're gonna make it happen.
Speaker 1: E no, it's just It's been an insane week,
Speaker 2: and we're so glad that you can all be with us.
Speaker 1: We are so glad that you could be here with us and in the midst of this insanity, you know, this is the kind of stuff that causes the level of stress that often I mean. First of all, just the normal holiday season is stressful enough for most people. That their etiquette starts to slip are patients get shorter, we start to feel like we're doing so much for other people that we want. We deserve something. Maybe me, you know? And you're right, you dio. But then you add like a week like this, and I don't even know where to begin, man. Like I'm surprised I have not gone bonkers. Like running through the streets screaming like a madwoman. And we wanna
Speaker 2: be our best for the people around us.
Speaker 1: It's the time of year
Speaker 2: when you're supposed to be in a good mood and thinking about other people and doing nice things for them.
Speaker 1: There's enough credit going on daily in life. The holidays. They're supposed to pick you up like Oh, and we're gonna add 15
Speaker 2: inches, maybe 2 ft up where I live. Of the heaviest snow we've seen in one
Speaker 1: 100 years. Snow heavy like we're heavier than rocks. If you were to
Speaker 2: shovel rocks, it would be lighter than
Speaker 1: shoveling E. I pulled my neck and my back
Speaker 2: shovel. We got one of those awesome new shovels that's shaped like an s. That supposed to be a back saving shovel. It's amazing. Unbelievable
Speaker 1: work. Well, if you have me in our cousin Christmas draw. You can give me that gift because I need it. Noted noted, Maybe tell GP. I think he's the one that has me. Yes, we have a cousin named Jeep. Um, it just it has been a really crazy week. And I'm glad that we're sitting here laughing about it with you all right, now, because I'll say the podcast is my favorite part of the week. So to finally be here and end our week on this, you know, it's a nice with
Speaker 2: good morning. Absolutely. And it's and it's a special episode today.
Speaker 1: It is a special office also. Wait. I want to give a shout out. We had a listener right in and say that they love the podcast so much because they listen to it on their runs. So to our runner out there, keep going, man site. I wish it was out there on a run to, but we love it when you tell us what you're up to when you're listening to our podcast. Um and we will definitely give you a shout out if you write in and let us know.
Speaker 2: So finish strong, take
Speaker 1: heart. Finish strong were with your heart and here come your questions,
Speaker 1: right?
Speaker 2: But there's so much to learn how to dio. Sure, there's a lot to learn, but it's worth it. And learning is easy. One way is by watching others
Speaker 1: on every episode of awesome etiquette. We take your questions on how to behave and what makes this episode So gosh darn special is that we're doing in all questions episode. We have decided to get through as many questions as we possibly can with you.
Speaker 2: You've been sending MAWR questions than ever before, and we wanna thank you for that. It's so much fun toe to hear what our audience is thinking and to see that inbox just filling up. So we're gonna do our best to clear through that inbox of questions as much as possible. And without further ado, Let's take us away,
Speaker 1: all right. So Miss Anonymous writes that one of my friends has an annoying habit. She makes plans without a plan. When she wants to organize a gathering, she'll send an email to a dozen friends, asking folks if they'll be around on X date or if she should reschedule the event with each person or couple giving their feedback. Reply all style. The email thread grows to 15 to 20 messages. By the end, I'm not even sure if the events happening, or even where or when it's happening. There's almost never any follow through her confirmation, and I'm then left to scramble at the very last minute when it's finally clear that the plans are ago. We're all in our thirties, and she's pretty much the only person I know who operates this way. This friend runs a do it yourself business, so she's never experienced an environment where certain expectations are held by supervisors, coworkers or clients. I don't want to stop hanging out with her, but I'm tired of having to make last minute adjustments to my schedule to accommodate a lack of planning and follow through by the organizer. My question for you is, um, I being too hard on her. How should I bring this up, if at all? Well, I'd start by saying
Speaker 2: your your question is not uncommon, and it's not unfamiliar. Does that the Emily Post Institute? We hear about this all the time when ah, host fails to invite properly. It definitely creates some questions or some problems for guests. And this particular style of organizing an event where it's done by community can be really frustrating toe people who are, um, frankly, a little shorter on time and who are looking for specific so they can decide how they're going to schedule themselves.
Speaker 1: So I think the best thing for you to do in this situation is to be specific and direct with her. Her style may not change. You might not get around that, but what you can dio is either call her or get in touch with her to say, Hey, Sarah, I'm looking forward to the party. But I want details. Since the message Shane was getting so long, it became hard to see the important info. That way let her in her message chain. You know of emails. Just do what it's going to dio, but at least you know you can reach out directly to her. Find out the details that you need to know in advance, not the morning of, and you'll be all set and you can at least operate with her this way. It's not going to do you a whole lot of good to tell her how inconvenient this
Speaker 1: style of organizing is
Speaker 2: to nurture a grievance about. That's just not gonna feel good for you personally. I think that's great advice, and I would add another little nugget of advice for wannabe hosts or potential hosts out there. Take a lesson from this and really do you're inviting clearly, um, if you are gonna open up to committee, sent a final email that's very clear that states the who what, where, when? So that people know
Speaker 2: what's expected
Speaker 1: and send it with enough time for them to make the plans. We hope that that helps and good luck and have fun at the party.
Speaker 1: Our next
Speaker 2: question is a question that comes up repeatedly. Our listener asks. I've been
Speaker 1: seeing the
Speaker 2: same hairdresser for almost 10 years, and we've grown close. She's been cutting my hair in her home for several years after closing her salon. We share the details of our lives with each other. Keep up on Facebook, and she's just generally one of my favorite people. We usually prolong the time after my haircuts, just talking, just talking and chatting up at the same time. We've never hung out outside of the context of that service based relationship.
Speaker 2: The problem is that as much as I love her, I don't love my haircuts, and I would like to go to a different stylist, but I don't want to offend her or cut her out of my life. She took. She took some time off recently to have a baby, and I was able to see how much better my hair could be with a different stylist. But now she's ready to work again and reaching out to make my next appointment. The socially awkward part of me likes using the transactional part of the relationship is a pretext to hang out with her, telling her that I wanna hang out sans haircut feels presumptuous, and I don't want to offend her by suggesting that I'm not happy with how she does my hair. Should I just suck it up and continue to have her cut my hair in order to maintain the relationship? Or is there a positive and not awkward way to start? Seeing a different style is without offending her and cutting her out of my life.
Speaker 1: This is such a tough one, and for women and men out there who are dedicated to their stylist. It feels like cheating or like a divorce if you've decided to go in a different direction. So here's the thing, though. Stylists Air really used to this and that No matter how much they like you, they really do understand that that is different from you, liking your hair and they definitely my stylist. I love it because she kind of laughed when she says that she's like, Well, I encourage them to go elsewhere but they always come back and I kind of love that like I like that like that. She's got that attitude about it, But it's true. People do. It's okay to go try somebody else, and clearly you had to go try someone else when she was on maternity leave. It's okay for you to a ask her if she wouldn't mind cutting your hair in the style that this new stylist has has cut your hair and give her the opportunity to do it if you'd like that. If not, you can say, You know, Joan, I've actually really enjoyed getting my haircut over at ABC Salon, but I would love to get together with you for coffee. Like, could I take you out for a coffee? And that way you can nurture this friendship that you have with her. But take it away from the salon, since that's not what you wanna be engaging with her and anymore. I really like
Speaker 2: the honest and direct approach there. I think that's great advice. I would also say, Just
Speaker 1: go and think for
Speaker 2: yourself about, um, how you would feel if the role was reversed if your hairstylist moved on to a different profession. Happened to me, the the woman that
Speaker 1: helped me When
Speaker 2: I first started working at Emily Post, I was getting regular haircuts for the first time in many years. Um is now a nurse, and she finished her nursing program. She transition Chris. It didn't hurt my feelings that she had made a new business decision. And I don't think that stylists are gonna feel offended when you make a business decision
Speaker 1: exactly. So have confidence. You have a couple of options here again. You can either ask her to cut your hair in this new style, or you can simply let her know that you're happy at another salon now. But you love to maintain the friendship, and hopefully that'll work out.
Speaker 2: I'm sure you look smashing,
Speaker 1: and now we have a pool cleaner with quite a difficult problem. She's feeling trapped.
Speaker 1: Hello, Lizzie and Dan. I love your show. Can you please tell me a nice, polite way to have a conversation? Here's my situation, and it can happen in a couple of ways, but it's always the same. I have a service based business where I visit customers houses on a weekly basis, Um, cleaning swimming pools, and I have a very full load, 20 customers a day, four days a week. For those of you that have never cleaned a pool, that's Ah lot. Her first situation is my customer is waiting for me and just wants to talk about anything. It's never job related, you know. It's not related to the reason that I'm there, but a lot of the times I can still work and talk, but it is distracting. I feel like my work suffers. People will even block my way, making me double back to complete my work. I really hate this. When I do try to leave a customer, a customer will follow me to the door or even to my truck. I try to say I have to go, but they just keep talking and not noticing the social cues. I don't participate in these conversations. So meaning she's not like sharing her own side of something in detail. She listens to them. She Onley answers with the least needed amount of words. And so that's that's situation number one.
Speaker 1: The second situation is the same as the first, but as I go to leave, my customer will drop a bomb like my daughter was just diagnosed with brain cancer and has two weeks to live. First off, I've never met the daughter and even knew that they had kids. What do you say to this? I can't say, Hey, hope everything works out. I gotta go thes air, nice people who I'm fonder of. But these people are not my friends. I don't even know why they are telling me this. It stresses me out. I feel trapped. I want to be kind. I would never want to hurt anyone's feelings. And on top of this, I'm an introvert like I hate small talk. I'm there to do a job. I don't care that you didn't poop yesterday. You would be surprised what people will actually tell you. People also tell me the same thing over and over. I always respond differently because I would never want someone to realize that they're repeating themselves and be embarrassed. I want to scream once I'm done. I really have to leave. I am also a very private person, and I make a point of not sharing personal things unless is necessary. I work 10 hour days. When this happens. It affects my whole day. It means I get home in the dark on Mr Rogers neighborhood. When Mr McFeely the mailman came, he always made a quick exit, saying he had to deliver the mail. What can I say? I have worked it in that I'm really busy. I've even faked a phone call, but you just can't do that every time. And it's always the same customers. Most people don't do any of this, but when it does happen, it could be devastating to me. Please, Please, what can I do? Sincerely trapped?
Speaker 2: Oh, trap.
Speaker 1: Wow, that's a lot. That's there's a
Speaker 2: lot going on here.
Speaker 1: Do you? Do you ever feel like you're that person who has the stamp on your forehead that says, Talk to me. Approach me. You know what I mean. Things. Poor person. Okay, so what do you think, Dan?
Speaker 2: Well, first of all, she's probably a very sympathetic person, A very good listener. And, um, it can be hard to fight that natural tendency in yourself because it is such a genuine quality in people that they're good receivers of information. Um, I would just say I really sympathize. I clean pools. One of my early jobs was cleaning pools, and I understand how important timeliness is in that job. You're oftentimes paid by the account and how many accounts you can fit in a day really determines whether or not you could make a living, whether the job's worth doing or not. And this
Speaker 1: is a
Speaker 2: professional problem. This is a problem about how you manage relationships that affect your work. So there's a real balance going on here where you're trying to balance maintaining good relationships and still doing the job that you're hired to do well.
Speaker 1: And it's not like it's a coworker who's talking her ear off. It's her client. She offends them she could lose the business. So what do you think she should
Speaker 2: dio? I think she's smart to proceed with care, and she's already doing many of the things we said we would suggest. It's what makes this an interesting question to me. Um, I think it might be time to be more direct. This is really affecting the bottom line. It's clearly getting to a point where it's becoming a real difficulty. I'm going to suggest some specific language here. You might approach your client and say, You know, in order to finish my day's work, I'm gonna need to stop chatting and catching up with you while I'm here to clean the pool. I found that with the number of clients who are home, when I clean, the conversation winds up taking me away from the good job that I'm here to do. I hope you don't take a fence, but I'm gonna need to focus on just cleaning while I'm here.
Speaker 2: If you don't think that you're gonna be able to deliver that kind of message clearly and without giving a fence
Speaker 1: and gently you know you, you want that to say, um, I wish I could I really wish I could spend the time talking to you. But that's not what I'm here to dio. And so I have to get through my work.
Speaker 2: I love the tone in your
Speaker 1: voice that that's soft, you know I do. But I can't. And I hope you don't take
Speaker 2: a fence. I'm really just trying to trying to stay focused so I could get my work done on time. You could include this in an email message to people if you really don't think that you're gonna be able to say it in person, face to face,
Speaker 1: and I would probably suggest not sending a blast email to all of your clients. But I would send this specifically and personally to a few clients that way, it's not like it's a company wide problem, and it gets kind of looked at that way. Instead, it's ah, I just wanna let you know that I love our chats, but I'm not gonna be able to continue them while
Speaker 2: I'm working here. And, as you know, it could be difficult to communicate emotional content in writing. It could be interpreted a lot of different ways, so personalizing that message, maybe even handwriting it. If email doesn't feel like the right delivery vehicle that those are all options. There a couple specific questions you ask your also one about when someone shares really bad news with you? Can you say there are some some real standard answers that are gonna help? You can always say my condolences. You have my sympathy, and that's that's an easy way toe offer a reply. That's that's not specific, but it's still caring and appropriate. Um, I also really like the way you bring up Mr McFeely, the mailman on everyone's favorite Mr Rogers neighborhood. Who says, You know, I off to deliver the mail,
Speaker 1: You could get
Speaker 2: yourself a little signature closing
Speaker 1: line on to my next pool
Speaker 2: or or something to that effect. It really reminds people that that you're off toe to do your next job.
Speaker 1: It also is, and I understand that this might not be your comfort zone, but it is okay to refocus someone and let them know. Hey, e, don't say Hey, but But when they're still going and you're at the truck and you're trying to really leave, it's when you really do have to cut in and say, Jane, I would love to pick this up another time, but right now I absolutely have to leave and then simply get in your car and go it. I've seen I've seen adults in my life adults, But you know, like parents and that sort of thing do that at times. And sometimes it's just a necessity. So feel free to actually exercise and use that one. And again, the more that you have that carrying tone when you say it, the more it will be understood that you're not trying to be rude. It's just you do have things
Speaker 2: you have to get done. You're not aggrieved. You're a person of business. Exactly.
Speaker 1: Good luck trapped. We hope that you get freed
Speaker 2: soon, and I also hope you don't have too many pools with trees are next, Listener writes. Hi, Lizzie and Dan today I met with a couple of friends and it
Speaker 1: came up
Speaker 2: in conversation How old they are. I was really surprised to find out that one of them is 40 as she looks my age 31. I didn't say anything at the time because I didn't want to offend the other friend who was 44 later on, I was texting friend one and really wanted to say something. Like, by the way, you look 31. But I felt slightly weird about it. It was supposed to be a compliment, but I wasn't sure if she'd be offended. So I didn't say it. Would it have been OK?
Speaker 1: I don't think it would have been bad at all. I don't think it would have been offensive to her in any way. I think you were really smart to not say anything in front of your other friend who you do think looks 44. Um, but I think that I think it would be okay to say it to her at a at a later point in time. Just like, you know, I was thinking the other day and remember that you told me your 41. And I was so surprised because I really thought you were 31 Like I had no idea we were 10 years apart. Um, you know, you look fantastic. But you also don't want to come across sounding like you're assuming that at 41 you're not gonna look great. I know exactly looking 40 for not good. Clearly not. You're not to a 31 year old, our next listener writes. I live in London and travel on the tube all the time. I'm constantly having battles with men, usually men. Sometimes women over the arm rest. I think everyone should keep their arms inside the arm rest so that no one's arm brushes up or pushes against anybody else. But some people take over the arm, rest with their elbow, and it really annoys me. When it happens. I often try to move my arm around in a way that knocks against them just a tiny bit so that they get the hint and move their arms in towards them. Um, I justified in doing this, or am I just worse than them?
Speaker 2: Ah, the old armrest question.
Speaker 1: This one is definitely a battleground. It is,
Speaker 2: and it's one. That boy. There's so many angles and approaches to this question, and I would say I sympathize. I actually spoke to someone for the first time recently on a flight about an arm rest defense. I mentioned it right off the bat because I just wanted to get clear the territory in that particular case that I'm talking about. The arm had drifted over the arm rest over the center line of the armrest was actually in my seat. I
Speaker 1: found myself. Yeah,
Speaker 2: inside my side of the arm rest. So I just said right off early in the flight. Oh, pardon me. Excuse me. You know, you're here in my seat and I watched the first. There was just a moment of defensive, and I was like, Oh, no, wait a minute. My arms actually sitting in this other person seat and it was recovered.
Speaker 2: Ah. Thought that I sometimes have is that the armrest belongs to the person in the middle on the plane that if you don't have an edge to retreat to that, maybe maybe the people on the ends defer to that arm, rest a little bit or defer that armrest, the middle ones, the
Speaker 1: shared ones. I always find that I do not have arm rest problems. People talk about having arm rest problems. I've never had enormous problem because I I took my elbow way into the back of the armrest and then I'm resting. The other person seems to have enough room to put their album. So we share it way, share it front and back, and it has never been a problem for me. Now that might be because I always take the back first, so I'm not having to like my arms out forward, but, um, that's always been my solution, but it's work. But I don't think what you're doing is okay. I don't think that, you know, and And don't get me wrong. I get the subtle knock that you're that you're doing on day and that I'm sure I've used it a some point as well. You don't want to say anything to someone. So you just kind of bump and move so that they can see that for you to move even an inch requires them to hit you or you to hit them. Sorry, and it does. It does. It works. It absolutely does work. But I would say more so that arm rest. You know, you aren't the one who gets to decide who gets to use it and who doesn't and these people, they are allowed to put their arms up there. If it's crossing over into your territory, I think you could do exactly what Dan did. You could say, I'm sorry. Would you mind just moving your arm back a little bit?
Speaker 1: Other than that, I really don't think you can say much or do much other than keep your own elbows in, because that's what you prefer.
Speaker 2: There's not a definitive rules. Something else that occurs to me is we're not all the same size. No, we are. Sometimes one person just doesn't fit in the seat the same way the person next to them does. And it just makes more sense, even if it's not fair.
Speaker 1: And when that
Speaker 2: person gets that arm.
Speaker 1: Keep in mind, too, that she's traveling on the tube all the time. She's not traveling in an airline seat that you She is required to sit in Esso, even though it may be very crowded on some of your trips, and you might not have an option of moving. If you do have an option of moving by all means, get up, go sit somewhere else so that you're more comfortable and have a little more space to yourself. We hope that that helps your morning commute, and then it makes it just a little bit easier.
Speaker 1: Our next question deals with when you are invited to a charity dinner. Actually, it's a charity. T. I've been invited to attend a lady's tea at my friend's church. My friend has purchased a table with eight seats to support her church. What is proper? Do I offer to pay for my seat? Or should I just graciously accept the invite? And furthermore, my friend will be placing a token gift at each place setting. Do I take a hostess gift to her? Furthermore, my friend will be placing a token gift at each place setting. Do I take a hostess gift for her help? Sincerely, Debbie.
Speaker 2: Hi, Debbie. You don't need to worry about this too too much. Um, you've been invited, so you don't need to worry about offering to pay. I'm sure that your host would appreciate it if you participated in a particular drawings or fundraisers that were going on at the church. Or maybe offered to help the same charity that the tea was in support of. But it's not expected. It's not an expected part of the invitation. You really don't need to bring a hostess gift to an event like this either. Thank you know, it would be just right to send afterwards
Speaker 1: Perfect and enjoy the ladies T.
Speaker 2: Lizzie, I know you have strong feelings about our next question, so I'm gonna let you handle it Goes like this. How
Speaker 1: do you
Speaker 2: properly, Right on an invitation to a party at a restaurant that everyone has to pay for their own meal.
Speaker 1: I'm so glad you gave this one to me. You don't You don't do this. You do not right on an invitation. Hey, you've got to pay your way. That's just not how it works. There is a big difference between hosting an event where you send an invitation where you invite someone to join you for something that you are going to take care of. That's one thing Organizing an event where you want to have everyone pay for their own meal or contribute or take care of their own is completely different. And you do not do that with very nice invitations. Um, it's really, really important that you never issue an invitation where you ask someone to pay their way. Instead, you call and you say that you're going to organize a dinner for so and so and you want to gather some friends and do separate checks. Or you may say, I've talked to the restaurant and they're going to do a limited menu for us, and it will be $25 a head, and then you take care of your own bar tab. But you organize it that way and you get people's by in that they would be okay with attending an event like this. You do not simply say I'm inviting you to this, but you need to bring your checkbook. The reason why Dan tossed me this question is because I am 32 years old and I have a lot of dinners out with a lot of friends that wind up just being two obnoxious when it comes to everyone paying for, I mean, like birthday parties that air 20 people large at a restaurant, and everyone's supposed to pay for their own plus divvy up the the celebrants, you know, meal amongst everybody, and it just it gets so sloppy and so messy and the poor servers air having to deal with everything for a long time. I didn't drink, so I was always really ticked off to be paying a bar tab for everybody who did drink like and it's just it gets so gosh darn complex. Either host it and pay for it all or organize it and get people's by in so that they know what to expect and talk with the restaurant. Restaurants have great ways of making this easier. Like we said, a prefixed menu, um, you know, or or they might be prepared for separate checks ahead of time so they might set you up a certain way so that it's very easy for them to deal with it. But do a little investigative work first.
Speaker 1: And that's my advice on
Speaker 2: sound advice that that
Speaker 1: I love this question. I don't know why it just cracks me up. Is it rude when parents allow their small Children to dominate adult conversation with constant interrupting? In other words, I find it impossible anymore to have a conversation over dinner or anywhere with our friends who have a three year old daughter. I'm just curious. Is it me or these parents being rude? Yes, Short answer. Yes, it
Speaker 2: is rude. It's also circumstantial. There are times when that that old expression and I'm gonna call it old expression now that Children should be seen, not her just doesn't apply where a precocious child could be charming and could really be a part of a festive scene, even one that includes adults. And there are times and places for this, and I'm thinking of the holiday, the Thanksgiving that I was just at, where a big part of it were these adorable Children running all around and there, playing with each other in the adults. They take a lot of attention from the group.
Speaker 1: There are other times when adults really
Speaker 2: wanna be able to focus on each other and talk about something that might not be age appropriate for Children or
Speaker 1: even just have a conversation
Speaker 2: as a level of complexity and sophistication. That's impossible when you're operating at a four year old level,
Speaker 1: or even just a level of attention, like just a level. Just simply, it could be you're talking about benign things, but there's attention that needs to be paid. Continue. It's why
Speaker 2: it's perfectly acceptable to decide to have a wedding where Children are gonna be there, Yes, and to
Speaker 1: really like kids. By the way, I do not want this to come across like we don't like kids. Sorry, absolutely. It's also really
Speaker 2: like the company of fully functioning adults. It's nice to be able to carve out times and places where that's okay. I'm oftentimes sitting at the dinner table is a good time for that. And it's also setting up kids for success not to invite them into situations where they're not gonna be able to meet the expectations of adults. So this is a real consideration to Children also to really make the times when it's adults Onley explicit and clear, and you do that when you do the inviting. So I would suggest setting up a time where you are going to see your friends, where you make it clear that you wanted to be a time where you can focus on just them and you make that invite and make it clear is part of the invite. And if that means saying it explicitly, go ahead and say it explicitly. You know, I really enjoy the time I get to spend with your kids, but I'd love a chance to catch up with you about a few things also, is there Ah, good time for us to arrange that. Or is there a way that we could organize that that works for you?
Speaker 1: Oh, see, I go even further and just straight up actually say, I'd love to get together with you without the kids around, like, just where it's like, literally, because Because what you just said even that even could still leave room for Oh, yeah, I totally dio and oh, yeah, Brian will just play. And you're like No, Brian, never just place. Like exactly. Um, So I do think it's really important to just say I love the time that we spend together and I'd love it if we could have a nadol TSA only, you know, get together. Let's, you know, do lunch one time where where you're gonna be kid free or something like that and then make sure that you also hang out with them with the kids so they know it's not like you just never want to see their kid.
Speaker 2: There's some compromise here, but your desires air not unreasonable. So take confidence and definitely make that ask a clear ask.
Speaker 1: I like this one because it's it's holiday and tech, so it's both traditions and modern. With the holidays upon us, my family is spending a lot of time with my in laws and lots of pictures air being taken by them. I have a policy of being very picky about how many and what types of pictures I post online and social media of my Children, who are ages one and four. But my in laws, some of whom do not share their posts on social media with me seem toe overshare, especially the pictures of the Children. We don't have a great relationship, but I'd like them to cut back on their information overload. Is there a polite way to tell them that we're trying to protect our Children's privacy and asked them not to post full names and maybe share pictures with me first? Thanks for all the information that you share Anonymous
Speaker 2: Anonymous. That is such a reasonable request to make of someone that they not share pictures of your kids online, and you should feel really comfortable doing it. Ast faras Making that a polite request, I would say try to do it ahead of time so that you're addressing the issue before it comes up in a way that there's a real grievance that people feel bad about. It can take a lot of the emotion out of the situation. If you talk about it ahead of time, it might be, Ah, quick mentioned, right when you get to the party, if they're not somebody that you talk to all the time, just pull on the side early on and just say, You know, I've been really careful about pictures of my kids going up online and before you post any pictures of my kids. I'd love it if you'd run them by me.
Speaker 1: I love that. I like the saying, Could you run them by me first? Because I'm sure there are going to be a couple that Yeah, you might really like to post that. That will be okay. They'll be in that category of Yeah, I would. I would post it. So yes, I'll let you post it, but I like that. You you ask for their buy in of checking in with you first. And different parents
Speaker 2: have very different boundaries. They'll draw the line in in different places, and that's okay. So it's up to you as a parent to really make explicit where you're drawing the line with other parents when there's going to be some overlap.
Speaker 1: And just remember that making an explicit doesn't mean being hard about it. It can be done in a really gentle and, you know, request driven way. You know, I'd really love it if you could please do this. We're trying to maintain our Children's privacy this way, and I'd love it if you could help us doing that.
Speaker 2: We really hope that helps and enjoy those holiday gatherings. Well, wasn't that better?
Speaker 2: Look at the effect of a little politeness.
Speaker 2: E
Speaker 1: loved that. I loved that. That was all questions. It was just so much fun to get to go and answer all those questions like,
Speaker 2: indeed, and and and some tough ones
Speaker 1: e no, some good ones, some different ones. Someone's I've never answered before like I love it, I have. This truly is my favorite part of what we do. And I'm so glad we got to have an entire episode of just answering your questions and remember that we love to hear from you, so send us your questions, your etiquette salutes and your suggestions to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. And remember, if you like what you hear, you can subscribe on iTunes, And if you really like what you hear, we would love it. If you would leave us a review. We want to connect with you in any way that we can, so we invite you to participate. You can find us on Facebook, where the Emily Post Institute, as well as on Twitter. I am at Lizzie a post
Speaker 2: and I'm at Daniel Underscore Post,
Speaker 1: or you can visit our website Emily post dot com. Our theme music was composed and performed by Bob Wagner.
Speaker 2: Awesome Etiquette is part of the infinite guest network from American Public Media. Our next episode will be part of The Infinite Guest, your End extravaganza. All of our shows will share some of their best material and look back at 2014. Lizzie and I are gonna pick out and highlight some of our favorite questions from the previous year. Learn more by following at infinite Guest on Twitter