Episode 24 - White Lies
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show, in light of news anchor Brian Williams’s suspension from NBC, Dan talks about his own liberating decision to stop lying.
Speaker 1: it smells like popcorn in here. Do you smell that it's like super strong,
Speaker 2: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social, could you see it's old fashioned,
Speaker 2: watch how busy post and dan post sent to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness. Good
Speaker 1: morning, good afternoon, good evening. Whenever you're listening to us, we want to welcome you to another
Speaker 2: episode of awesome
Speaker 1: etiquette. Our podcast comes to you from the studios of Vermont Public radio and is 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.
Speaker 1: You wanna
Speaker 1: you want to start off today with a little confessional,
Speaker 2: I do want to start off today with a little confessional and today's introduction really is an extension of last week's Introduction, where we were talking about following our own advice and
Speaker 2: you offered some some very insightful reflections on following our own advice in terms of having difficult conversations and facing that moment.
Speaker 1: Is that the truth, dan,
Speaker 1: Is that the truth? or maybe 90
Speaker 2: 9.9 of the truth?
Speaker 1: Just maybe are these all white lies?
Speaker 2: Well, not so likely
Speaker 1: not so likely. Especially because my cousin Daniel
Speaker 1: actually is one of the few people I can know and trust to never tell a white lie.
Speaker 2: I appreciate the compliment and I'm going to say the never isn't exactly entirely 100 the truth. Because to say that I absolutely never lie wouldn't be entirely true. But
Speaker 1: I do that in these
Speaker 2: jeans. What I will
Speaker 1: say, what
Speaker 2: I will say
Speaker 2: is that I notice every time it happens, I'm very aware of it whenever I start to play even a little loose with the truth
Speaker 1: stretched the truth a little like it was three days I was sick. Not
Speaker 1: actually the two
Speaker 2: or I'm sorry. I'm a little late picking you up tonight. I got a call from my cousin lizzie just as I was leaving the office and it delayed me a little bit when really, I went back to my desk and watched another Patriots Super Bowl video before I left the office.
Speaker 1: The truth on the podcast.
Speaker 1: It wasn't my fault. You blame me. I was the
Speaker 2: dog. I was, I was thinking about using that excuse. I was saying to myself, I really can't. It wasn't the reason
Speaker 1: I'm planning on talking
Speaker 2: about don't use
Speaker 1: white lies on the podcast tomorrow.
Speaker 2: So I want to take everybody back in time. I want to go back in time about 10 years to when I was very first started to work for the Emily Post Institute and I was living in California.
Speaker 2: And at the time we used to answer questions that we receive via email individually at the institute. And lizzie and I both cut our teeth at the institute as part of Emily's Army answering questions that were sent in via email.
Speaker 1: Actually, it was a fantastic way. We were able to learn so much of the etiquette that we teach in the classic questions. And you also you were actually editing other people's answers to questions as well. And it really gave us I think the voice that we have today. And what many of you right in about that gentle tone or that,
Speaker 1: you know, thinking of everyone involved that came from this process.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. It was an email, a one on one email version of this show that we're doing now. People would send an etiquette questions and we would give them Emily post answers. And it
Speaker 1: was incredibly time consuming and did not turn out to be beneficial to our company in the long run. And so we wound up having to change how we did that. And this is one of the reasons the podcast evolved.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. And I would invite people to visit our question and answer blog etiquette daily at etiquette Daily dot com where we continue that written discourse and dialogue back to the story at hand. When you're first learning to answer those questions, there's a framework that you learn at the Emily Post Institute. If there's a manners answer, if someone wants to know about which words appear on which lines of a wedding invitation, there's a book, there's a reference, You can go and look
Speaker 2: there is someone asks a question about a difficult relationship situation. We based our answers on a framework um that's principles of values based framework and we use consideration, respect and honesty. Is our core principles are answering difficult situation questions
Speaker 2: and I found myself so often giving people the advice to be honest. But I had to do a little personal reflection, a little self assessment. And
Speaker 2: the truth was that I was a little white liar. I would tell little white lies.
Speaker 2: I won't say all the time, but not infrequently. And most often they were embellishment and exaggeration is designed to make other people look good or myself look good or a story more interesting. They were to my mind harmless, no harm, no foul. Didn't give a second thought to doing it until I started giving this advice all the time. And
Speaker 2: I made a commitment when I started working full time at Emily Post to not lie and uh to be really careful with how I use my words. And it has been a transformative experience. It's really been quite remarkable and liberating and freeing and I find myself in my personal relationships now when people ask me difficult questions,
Speaker 2: oftentimes the answer is the answer that lets you be truthful. The answer that I end up wanting to give, that's the good advice about how to handle the situation. Is is that really how you feel? Is that honest? Is that is that the truth? And so often that gets you there. And
Speaker 2: I've been thinking about this, particularly the last couple weeks with the trouble of nightly news anchor brian Williams has gotten himself into about his time in Iraq and whether or not he came under live fire or not. And he had told some stories about that and that since come out that that isn't true, that he was not really in those live fire situations. And
Speaker 2: he since apologized and has me thinking a lot about
Speaker 2: the consequences for not telling the truth and what is a harmless lie and what isn't a harmless lie. And it's being played out in such a dramatic fashion on on such a public stage. Right now, I've been thinking a lot about honesty and how honesty serves us and how it impacts our reputation and all kinds of ways. So
Speaker 2: as we were thinking about following our own advice, I'm recommitting myself
Speaker 2: to telling the truth this week and I want to invite our listeners both to go back and take a listen to our very first podcast. Where where was he? And I talked about that framework for the way that we approach and answer etiquette questions. It really was satisfying for me to get that framework presented in that very first episode. And um
Speaker 2: so I'm taking a little moment to think about that, to remember those principles and to recommit myself and and I wish brian well, um it is such a natural and human tendency and and we all fall prey to it and I know we do, it's why I say I
Speaker 2: don't never lie, but it really is, it's it's it's a natural human tendency and I think it's important to keep reflecting on it.
Speaker 1: I think it's always interesting when you decide to hold yourself accountable, you know, and you hold yourself accountable to what really happened and just the the ease that comes with that you the things you no longer have to remember.
Speaker 2: If you always tell the truth,
Speaker 1: if you always tell the truth, then your story is your story. And there is no I've got to remember that I told that person I was doing this at that time when really I wasn't none of that bs falls into your life because you're simply telling the truth. And
Speaker 1: I've found over the years, especially during my twenties, you know, when you kind of are learning that people are more forgiving than you'd expect
Speaker 1: that um you know, missing that alarm in the morning or needing to take a personal day or something that you don't have to lie and say you were sick or the power went out at your house or you know, you just don't need some big excuse. And you know, they do always say that there's a big difference between a reason and excuse.
Speaker 1: Um
Speaker 2: and I think a
Speaker 1: lot of it lies in the truth and lies in the truth. I never was able to figure out that one grammatically, but it is it is interesting how there is a slight weight that gets lifted from your own life when you decide to really live a very truthful life.
Speaker 2: And I think from that, from the perspective of someone who plays fast and loose with the truth, it can feel like a limitation
Speaker 2: to have to stick to the truth and at the same time there's a liberation there. Um So anyway, I just thought I'd share that in the spirit of reflecting on following our own advice. Shall we get to some questions?
Speaker 1: I think we should get to some questions. All right,
Speaker 1: Sure,
Speaker 2: you're right. There's so much to learn how to do. Sure, there's a lot to learn, but it's worth it.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 2: learning is easy.
Speaker 1: One way is
Speaker 2: by watching others
Speaker 1: on every episode of awesome etiquette. We take your questions on how to behave. So, let's get started
Speaker 1: No one. I love it because this combines tradition and like new new age wedding
Speaker 2: stuff. I'll take this one. I was facing it very recently. Were you okay
Speaker 1: when making your wedding website? Do you put the information for the rehearsal dinner on the website? As not everyone going to the wedding goes to the rehearsal dinner. Thanks Peggy.
Speaker 2: Hi Peggy. You're talking to someone who spent a couple of days in this last week working on his wedding website. And I was asking myself the exact same question.
Speaker 1: Your answer was
Speaker 2: no, if not everybody is going, it does not go on the website and that can be a good general guideline to give yourself when you're thinking about what information to put up there. It's the general wedding website, that's for the general audience. You don't want to be talking about exclusive parties or events there.
Speaker 2: Um you're better off spreading that word, the a word of mouth.
Speaker 1: Well, in view of the invitation that you say
Speaker 2: and the invitation
Speaker 1: coming to the rehearsal dinner, thank
Speaker 2: you know,
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: I appreciate it. And in my particular case, the rehearsal dinner is also the sanctuary, which is a party thrown by the bride's family that involves song and dance and a night of performance put on for the bride and groom by their assembled families. And just about everybody who's invited to our wedding is invite. In fact, not just about everybody is invited to the
Speaker 1: wedding, it's a two night event, basically.
Speaker 2: It really is. So we get to put it on our website and get everybody invited. So it's not that you're not allowed to invite people to other parties and events. Associate with the wedding. You just want to be sure that everybody is invited.
Speaker 1: You know, I have been debating about whether I'm going to sing a song for you guys at the singing.
Speaker 2: I really hope you do.
Speaker 1: I hope I do too. But I'm really nervous about it. I haven't performed anything
Speaker 1: in front of people in a long time.
Speaker 2: I really hope Cousin Pete reads at home.
Speaker 1: I hope he does too. I think he's really he's been into poetry for a while now and I think it would be really wonderful to have him read something. But we shall see.
Speaker 2: So good luck with the plan and good luck with the website and have a great rehearsal dinner.
Speaker 2: So our next question is a really hard one and I'm going to serve it up for cousin lizzie
Speaker 1: in the spirit of not telling white lies dan. And I would like to preface this for mary or, or mari, I don't want to mispronounce your name.
Speaker 1: Um, we we are actually a little unsure of our answer. Not that the advice is wrong, just that were unsure if it will wind up being helpful
Speaker 2: to you. You have stumped the panel and we want to put this question back out listeners out there that we're really curious your thoughts and opinions. This particular question,
Speaker 1: right? Let's hear it dan.
Speaker 2: This question begins help. We have some neighbors who do work on their property that involves hammering, sawing, sanding, driving loud vehicles, talking loudly and tossing lumber around at night. Last night was a full moon and they worked until dawn.
Speaker 2: Do you have any ideas on how to address this problem without becoming targets of revenge of some sort?
Speaker 2: We live rural E. And there is only one home that might be affected besides ours and it is currently empty. Although I have heard a rumor that it might be an escrow. Thank you very much mary
Speaker 1: Murray. M. A. R. I am not sure.
Speaker 1: Um wow this is so tough because your property, your choice to do what you do on it. You're also in a rural community. There are no sound noise ordinances
Speaker 2: like there are in our town. Exactly.
Speaker 1: Um, This is, this is why a lot of people live in the country so that they can
Speaker 2: few things whenever there were some latitude. Some freedom.
Speaker 1: Exactly. And this is one of those things where um,
Speaker 1: it's really hard my way of looking at a problem like this
Speaker 1: is to
Speaker 1: tackle it. Um,
Speaker 1: from the, I need to find out information so that I can best handle it for myself.
Speaker 1: You you aren't going to tell this person to stop building or hammering or sawing or doing whatever it is that they are doing.
Speaker 1: I do kind of love the visual I get with talking loudly and tossing lumber around. I just
Speaker 2: picture these like driving loudly big
Speaker 1: men throwing logs at each other.
Speaker 2: Like it's like a Disney theme
Speaker 1: song that's starting to happen anyway.
Speaker 1: Um, it's a,
Speaker 1: it's, I would tackle this by going over
Speaker 1: and rather than complaining and saying you guys kept me up all night. This is really rude behavior. This rather than going on the attack, I would go from the root of seeking information so that I can handle it my own way. So I might go over and say,
Speaker 1: hey, you know, I just wanted to introduce myself because you might not have done that yet in the country. Sometimes you don't actually meet your neighbors for a very long time.
Speaker 1: Uh you know, I've noticed you guys are doing a lot of work. I just wanted to find out how, what you know, what the project was, how long you were thinking of doing it. I've noticed you've been working at night and I just wanted to kind of find out
Speaker 1: how long we could expect this to be going on so that I can either, you know, go stay in a hotel for a couple nights or arrange my schedule so that I can I can sleep when you guys aren't working because this is something that I don't think, like you said, you don't want revenge of some sort, you don't want ill will.
Speaker 1: And so the best way to do that is to think, okay, you're doing this and I can't change that. So how can I make it better for me just by knowing more about the project, how long it's going to go, what hours you're going to work on when you come at it from that and with a very sincere and genuine tone, If you're
Speaker 2: the way you're taking this question,
Speaker 1: because if you did say,
Speaker 1: well, I really want to know how long this project of yours is going to last, that's not gonna cut it, It's you know, I think it's great you guys are doing work and getting things done and I just wanted to find out how long it was going to go on so that I could
Speaker 1: either get a really good sleeping medication or
Speaker 2: double pane windows, bedroom on the other side of the house. If this happens every full moon
Speaker 1: something, I don't know what
Speaker 2: Lumberjacks that worked by the full
Speaker 1: moon. I don't know what it is, but find a way to very pleasantly inquire about the project and the duration of the project. And I hate telling you things like, you know, you should go get a hotel room to sleep in or go stay at a relative or another neighbor's house further away.
Speaker 1: But sometimes these are the best ways to control the situation
Speaker 1: rather than going on the attack and making someone feel bad because
Speaker 1: guarantee there's going to be something you do in the future that's going to affect them and you'll want that same courtesy. And I would have hoped that your neighbor would have done the nice thing and come to you with this information to start, let them know they were let you know that they were planning on late nights, but
Speaker 1: if they haven't done this. So instead politely inquire for that information
Speaker 1: and I really think that's the best thing you could do.
Speaker 2: There are several parts of your advice that I thought really made a lot of sense. One was, what's the status of the relationship has just gone on over and introduce yourself, have you? And and and I would think a lot of the response would depend on what the status of that relationship is. I like the way you talked about doing things that are in your control
Speaker 2: and looking for places where you have some control, whether it's removing yourself from the situation, whether that's taking whatever action you can take. There's an old expression sometimes, um, fences make the best neighbors you don't want to go there right away. But sometimes there isn't a lot you can do. Sometimes if it's a difficult neighbor or a neighbor, you don't want to get closer to to help sort of get deeper in to solve the problem, sometimes about figuring out where those boundaries are and whether you're going to be friends with them or not. I think that process of getting to know them,
Speaker 2: introducing yourself some sort of inquiry investigation but also thinking about what you can control in the situation of being really realistic and realistic with yourself. About that being the reality.
Speaker 2: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. No, don't
Speaker 1: go that that's such b I'm sorry I'm going to call you out on that. I think that's such B. S. You don't keep your enemies closer but just simply don't don't again I'm going back to two negatives don't make a positive like
Speaker 1: be the positive person. Even if they if they are choosing not to be they're not doing the considerate thing. They haven't done the considerate thing
Speaker 1: but you go play the considerate role for both of you
Speaker 1: and walk the high road, you know? Yeah. Like and they don't have to be enemies. You don't even know that their enemies yet.
Speaker 2: Good point properly scolded slapped on the wrist.
Speaker 1: Sorry, I didn't mean to do that to you. These people are already sleep deprived. They're annoyed there. I mean, I would be if I was her. And so it's like I want to I want to give her the advice to stop those emotions right in the beginning and instead think of this as someone that you can, you can be friends with first
Speaker 1: that you can make that friendship relationship. If you haven't done that already, don't automatically make them enemies just because they made a mistake from the beginning
Speaker 2: and whatever direction the relationship takes from that point forward, you're in better standing and it's going to be better no matter what it is. Even if it doesn't,
Speaker 2: it's awesome into a beautiful friendship. Even if they don't have to be the most difficult neighbors you've ever faced.
Speaker 1: No. And picture these neighbors when you come over are probably going to be like,
Speaker 2: Oh and you know, the four
Speaker 1: letter words that are forming over my head, but like it's, they're probably gonna think that and instead you're going to surprise them by being the person who's like, hey, just wanted to find out about this and oh no, no, no, don't worry about it. We'll find a way around it. But
Speaker 1: you know, eventually if they're doing this months on end, that's when you can start saying, hey, jim, you know, this is okay. This is starting to be something that's making a little bit of a difficulty in our lives. And we're wondering if there's some agreement we could come to so that, you know, we're getting some sleep and you're getting your work done
Speaker 1: mary. We hope that that helps and good luck and please we want an update on this and we do want to hear our other listeners views on how to handle this or if you handle the situation like this before because this is definitely super difficult etiquette territory.
Speaker 2: Last week we were talking about
Speaker 2: an etiquette salute for good neighbors. Your thoughts on dealing with difficult neighbors would be much appreciated.
Speaker 1: Our next question is definitely one that we have heard before and I'm actually gleefully glad to answer it. As I have a lot of friends getting married and having babies right now, I go to a lot of showers, something my mom and I have both noticed lately is that the hostess will set up a table with envelopes and pens and ask the guests to address
Speaker 1: their own thank you notes. Before they leave, we both think this is a little tacky. Something about it just makes me cringe.
Speaker 1: Am I being overly critical and should just be thankful. A thank you note will be written. Or is this in polite to ask of your guests? Sincerely curious guest,
Speaker 2: curious guest. I'm going to venture that you're not being overly critical here. This is definitely a bit impolite.
Speaker 1: It is impolite.
Speaker 2: Not the first time we've seen this question and we advise against it. We don't think it's a good idea to have guests do the work of writing themselves. A thank you note
Speaker 1: and that's that's not exactly what's happening, but the addressing of it to try and make it easier on the bride or the mother to be.
Speaker 1: You know, my guess is that you really do have time to sit down and write some thank you notes for the people that took the time to go out, buy you a gift wrap it nicely and attend a party in your honor.
Speaker 2: The advice I'd give to someone who wants to be sure they get addresses right is appoint someone. Probably one of the party organizers to circulate and double check or confirm people's addresses before they leave.
Speaker 2: Have a little list that you keep yourself, but just don't ask guests to do it for you.
Speaker 1: I think so. And also, you know, this is this usually comes from a place of good intentions. The hostesses usually thinking of a way to make it easier on the honoree because they are at this difficult time. But this is this is what we call etiquette overkill. You're actually creating an uncomfortable situation or a rude situation for other people because you're trying to make it better for this one involved. So we go back to saying think about all the people involved
Speaker 1: and when it comes down to it, it really is not a huge burden of time to address
Speaker 1: 15 or so envelopes.
Speaker 2: Well, it's nice to have a concrete answer no, on a real question of it again
Speaker 1: and we do know that at your own showers, you will not be asking your guests to pre addressed their envelopes.
Speaker 1: We seem to have
Speaker 2: gotten a lot of wedding questions recently. Our next one is another wedding question our listener wants to know as the spring approaches, I am the bride step mom and I'm trying to find out who should walk me down the aisle, thank
Speaker 1: you
Speaker 1: um to this step mom, I I hate to say it so bluntly, but traditionally you're not a part of the processional, so nobody really walks you down the aisle, the way that the groomsmen walk the bridesmaids down the aisle. Um instead, the what usually happens is that you are escorted to your seat before the processional begins by someone and there is, there is no pomp or circumstance, not something everybody watches you do. Um So it may just don't be surprised that it may happen while other people are being seated and there's other things going on. But typically, or traditionally what does happen is that the groom's mother is seated and then the bride's mother is seated
Speaker 1: and when you have step parents involved, what they do is they have the step mother of the groom is seated and then the mother of the groom is seated and then the stepmother of the bride is seated
Speaker 1: and the mother of the bride is then seated. And usually when someone escort, if someone is going to escort you to your seat, that will happen by a close family member on your side of the family or one of the groomsmen will do that, or one of the ushers. Some people may have a mother or a stepmother, you know, walk down the aisle in the processional, I'm thinking right now of the movie
Speaker 1: Father of the Bride, but typically that happens more um more in those movies, the traditional processional doesn't usually have the mother in it,
Speaker 2: it's sort of nice, it starts to draw attention to the space and you see the honored grandmother
Speaker 2: escorted in by a favorite uncle.
Speaker 1: And this does open up sort of a bigger question as to um step family members being involved in weddings. And I just really want to say that every family is different
Speaker 1: and every connection to a step parent or a step sibling is different and you really want to um honor the relationship that you have and and respect the relationship that you have within your own family. Um, it's not uh, it's it's it's just something that this is a really important day and you may be a very big part of it, or you may be very small part of it, depending on
Speaker 1: how long you've been with the family and how close you are with a couple. There is just one other thing I want to add to this, to this answer about, and it's not just about step relatives. When it comes to a wedding, you know, obviously,
Speaker 1: uh step relatives, some have wonderful relations, some have more difficult relations. It all depends on the family and how this family has come together. But in general, families have sometimes
Speaker 1: uh difficult ties to each other and sometimes wonderfully strong bonds. But when it comes to a wedding, it is very easy for relatives around the couple. You know, step or non step to wind up
Speaker 1: trying to use the wedding as a way to build a bridge. Make known how, how close they wish to be or how close they are. And I really just want people to remember that when it comes to a wedding, it is about the two people getting married and to really keep the focus on those two people and what they would like. You may have grand ideas about giving a really heartfelt speech
Speaker 1: and the bride and groom may not want speeches at their wedding. Um you know, you may want to be standing up there beside them very proudly and they may have decided to only have one or two bridesmaids and groomsmen standing next to them and you aren't one of them. And I just really really ask people to always respect the wishes of the couple and understand that
Speaker 1: you can find other ways within the wedding planning process and within supporting the couple and sometimes simply just doing what they ask is actually the best way to build that relationship. So whatever it is that the bride and groom are asking for, if you support that, that is the best way to support them during their wedding.
Speaker 2: I think that's really beautifully
Speaker 1: said, we hope that that helps you understand where and when you will be seated at the wedding. So this question starts and dan and I are both chuckling a bit dear Emily Post and we always get a kick out of it because when we did a family brand survey about 25 years ago, it stated that most people think Emily Post is alive and well and about 10 years older than they are
Speaker 1: not quite the truth planning how it, it's what people think. This question begins. And I do love this question. We recently went to the theater to see a lively and popular musical. It was a special occasion and a real treat for us. The tickets were a fortune and not something we could usually afford.
Speaker 1: The couple sitting directly behind us started the evening by telling each other in very loud voices. The story of the show we were about to see and how they had seen it before and how brilliant it was so far, so irritating. As soon as the show started, they started to sing at the top of their lungs
Speaker 1: and they were not great singers,
Speaker 1: nor did they actually know the words. We could feel the atmosphere around us drop. But no one said anything at the interval or the intermission. Someone did ask very politely for them to keep it down. But all that resulted in was allowed discussion about how people were no fun and they were only having a good time, etcetera, etcetera.
Speaker 1: I put up with this for about 20 minutes and then to my shame,
Speaker 1: I have to admit to turning around and saying, I did not pay to hear you sing, would you shut up, please?
Speaker 1: There was a frosty silence and then they started up again. No one else said a word. It spoiled our evening and I'm still not sure if I am proud of myself for speaking up or ashamed that I did. What is the etiquette for dealing with behavior like this sincerely kim PS.
Speaker 1: The man concerned was man mountain. He's enormous and I was a five ft 2 female.
Speaker 2: I'm guessing by that she
Speaker 1: wanted to include that. She actually did
Speaker 2: feel intimidated by the person behind her kim. I want to start my answer to you by just saying how much I sympathize with the difficult situation that you found yourself in. And
Speaker 2: I also want to thank you for making an effort to go out to the theater to see a show and to support the arts because it's so important and it's so important that people continue to do it. And I want people to have a good time when they're out at the theater.
Speaker 2: It really is. It's a special thing to see a show, a live show with other people and hopefully part of that experience, that that makes it so special is that you're sharing that with other people, that there's a live audience and there's a real energy that forms between that crowd and with the performers
Speaker 1: telling you the
Speaker 2: plot.
Speaker 2: And
Speaker 1: we're so sorry that this happened.
Speaker 2: So good etiquette is based on being aware of the people around you and crowds will oftentimes determine what's appropriate. Some concerts, everyone standing up and dancing, other concerts, everyone's sitting in their seat and listening quietly and attentively and it's not going to be the same everywhere you go. So it's important for all of us to pay attention to each other and when you have some people that are such outliers are behaving so badly, their behavior starting to negatively impact the people around them. And this could be anything. The micro version is someone
Speaker 2: who's texting in the middle of a movie. This is the macro version, someone who's just singing along badly and out of tune without knowing the words at a show.
Speaker 2: The textbook answer is that you really don't have standing to address someone else's bad behavior, that when someone else's behavior is bad enough, that it's, it's negatively impacting others. You find someone was standing to address it and you bring the problem to them. So in a movie, it's going to be a theater manager, maybe at a show like this. It's an usher or a house manager, somebody
Speaker 2: who's in the employ of the establishment that's hosting the event, who has the authority to deal with the situation, to threaten to throw someone out if they need to and to escalate the situation, to talk to other authorities. Also, if they need to, um, that's your, your first best course of action. Sometimes, sometimes
Speaker 2: a little social pressure from the crowd can work to rein in bad behavior to give those cues that no, this isn't a stand up and dance concert. This is a sit down and listen concert,
Speaker 1: a couple of questioning glances or a finger to the lips and a shish motion without actually shushing someone, but just
Speaker 2: enough to bring their attention to the difference in their behavior
Speaker 1: facial expression please? Absolutely.
Speaker 2: With a little smile.
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: wish you could see lizzie's phase
Speaker 1: right now.
Speaker 2: It sounds like the crowd already tried this. It sounds like some people around this couple have already addressed them. And
Speaker 1: the thing that stinks is that if the people who have tried it before like to keep it down, that's actually fairly aggressive and like it backfired, it made them just
Speaker 1: insult the person who yeah, it made them get their backup instead. So now you're dealing with people who were on the defense immediately
Speaker 1: and when you turned around, of course you weren't going to get a good reaction, you were just showing them how mad you were and they were just going to keep their backs up no matter what.
Speaker 2: And of course, you know that probably the shut up,
Speaker 2: it's a little over the line. That
Speaker 1: it is not a little, it is
Speaker 2: to say something to choose to say something to be part of that social pressure. You really um you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar and you
Speaker 2: hold yourself beyond reproach by doing it well at this stage, it's gone too far. It's past that what I really think that this the escalation for me is during this intermission. I'm gonna talk to an usher. I'm going to be sure that they know about the situation, know what's going on. Are aware of it if you've done that and they will not deal with it. That being the house or it's just impractical. They can't deal with it. You're sitting in the middle of a section, There's no way for an attendant rusher to hear what's going on
Speaker 1: once the once the usher comes. So they haven't observed any bad behavior.
Speaker 2: Had even thought about if they were that bad
Speaker 2: at that stage, If you've talked to someone at the house, you can get up and leave, you can go and you can talk to someone in the
Speaker 1: box office
Speaker 2: and you can even talked about a refund about why you're leaving about the nature of your experience and there's a good chance that house is going to refund your money or make it possible for you to come to another show. But
Speaker 1: we hope that that gives you some options as the situation escalates because
Speaker 1: I'm just, I'm just so sorry that you had to go through that as I've mentioned before,
Speaker 1: You know, things like shows are a treat. You know, not everyone can afford to do things like this regularly,
Speaker 2: so let's keep it special. And I want to share two pieces of theater etiquette very briefly, to wrap up this question. One, when you're coming going from your seat and other people are already seated. You
Speaker 2: face the performers as you come and go from your seat down the aisle,
Speaker 1: but face not waste to face.
Speaker 2: Sometimes people think, no, I should give the person, I'm walking in front of my front, but actually you keep your front facing the performers. That's the idea by that one and the second one is the three block rule that you save your critique of the performance to your three blocks from the theater. You just don't
Speaker 1: know if
Speaker 2: the person sitting next to you as a mother or the person walking behind you on the way out as a fiance who thought that her partner just did beautifully that night.
Speaker 2: So you save your harshest critique. You save your artistic criticism for three blocks from the
Speaker 1: Oh, I really like that kim. We hope that your next venture out to the theater is a much more positive one.
Speaker 2: You hear that? She says you're not as rude as you used to be.
Speaker 1: What do you know?
Speaker 1: As always thank you to everyone for sending in your questions and remember that we love updates. If we answered your question on the show or if you have a comment about one of our questions, please feel free to send it in. You can also submit your question to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com or send it in via facebook or twitter. Just use the hashtag
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette. So we know you want it on our show
Speaker 1: today dan would like us to call this our social studies segment. So we are dipping into a little bit about introductions and dan is going to take it away. Indeed. Let me introduce you dan
Speaker 2: dan. Thank you.
Speaker 2: All right, go for it. I thought I would start today's section. We lizzie and I wanted to take a turn and return to a traditional etiquette to talk about some of the details, some of the nuts and bolts of the form that we work in
Speaker 1: Case you want to know what is sitting in front of Daniel Post setting at this very moment. It is the 1922 edition I've Emily Post's etiquette.
Speaker 2: I have cracked out a replica edition of it's a replica. It is of the first edition of etiquette published in 1922. And it was fun for me. I was saying, where am I going to find introductions in this? I'm going to need the index. No chapter one. There is the introduction of a small discourse on best society and then
Speaker 2: introductions. This is how Emily starts her book. It's oftentimes how we start our seminars. If you think about how you initiate or begin a relationship, introductions are so important, they're a big part of that first impression. First impressions can make and break you. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, blah, blah blah. We all know the cliches because they are true. Um that's why we say them all the time. That's why they become cliches.
Speaker 2: So I'm gonna let Emily begin our introduction.
Speaker 2: Her chapter two introduction starts the correct form. The word present is preferable on formal occasions to the word introduce on formal occasions. Neither word is expressed though understood as will be shown below. The correct formal introduction is mrs Jones, May I present, Mr Smith
Speaker 2: or mr distinguished, May I present Mr young.
Speaker 2: The younger person is always presented to the older or more distinguished, but a gentleman is always presented to a lady even though he is an old gentleman of great distinction. And the lady a mere slip of a girl.
Speaker 2: That's how Emily begins her chapter on introductions and I she could really turn a phrase every once in a while. It's fun to to pick up the old text and take a look at how Emily approached one of these things. And I think there are some clues for us here. I think a lot of people get confused about order of introduction and that's what I want to talk about today. Hierarchy of order for introduction. So Emily
Speaker 2: alludes to two thoughts that you might have their one having to do with age and another having to do with gender. I'm gonna introduce two concepts that I think are more important. The first is that you want to honor the guest or the outsider in any particular situation. So if you're hosting someone in business, it's the client, it's the person who's visiting the organization, the country, the home from outside.
Speaker 2: If there isn't a visitor or a guest, you're going to respect organizational hierarchy. So you're going to defer to the president over a senator, you're going to defer to a senator over a congressman. You're going to you're going to observe the organizational hierarchy in the hierarchy of the way you do an introduction and you're going to start with the person that you want to honor.
Speaker 2: If those two things are also equal or equivalent, then you're going to go from age and then all other things being equal. You might consider ladies first the gender designation or distinction.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 2: So an example of that in today's world might look something like this.
Speaker 2: MR client. I would like to present our senior vice President tom smith to you or
Speaker 2: MR guest. I would like to introduce our senior vice president tom smith to you.
Speaker 2: The two you is uh, at the end of the sentence, you're following Emily's uh direction about who is presented or introduced to whom, sometimes more informally today. That too, you will drift into the middle of the sentence and you'll hear something to the effect of
Speaker 2: MR guest. I would like to introduce you to our senior partner. Tom smith. That is um less formal, less correct what happens all the time and the location of the to you in the sentence changes the direction of who is being introduced to whom. And this is the point of confusion for some people, I like to keep it really simple for our business clients and for our Children's etiquette program, We always say just start with the person that you want to honor,
Speaker 2: say the name first of the person that you most want to honor in a given situation and use those four point hierarchies. Start with the guest of the outsider. Start with the person who's senior in the organization. Start with the person who's older. Start with the lady, say their name first,
Speaker 2: then make your introduction and whether you manage to get that to you at the end of the sentence, whether you leave it off completely, just leave it implied or whether it starts to drift to the middle of the introduction. You're going to be in good shape. You started with the person that you want to honor.
Speaker 2: Pretty simple actually. And we could break down. There are all kinds of shifting customs around how much of a title that you give in different situations. In social situations, you don't include someone's title in a business situation. You want to give everybody involved enough information so that they know who they're talking with and who they're dealing with
Speaker 2: in diplomatic situations. You want to go to the N degree and be sure you include every honorific entitle. You could possibly come up with.
Speaker 2: Um
Speaker 2: don't let not knowing those particular things get in the way of making an introduction. My mother would say the single most important thing is that you make an effort to introduce people to each other. One of the biggest social mistakes that people make is in casual or informal situations where they're talking to one person walking down the street with one person, just engage with one person, they see someone else. They know they start a conversation with that person without introducing those two people to each other.
Speaker 1: That would be the biggest mistake.
Speaker 2: That's the biggest mistake. It leaves someone feeling out and awkward. And a lot of
Speaker 1: people wonder in those, in those instances where you are, you're with someone and you cross paths with someone else, where where
Speaker 1: at what point does it become that you need to introduce someone? And my guideline is if I say more than just high, if we actually stop to chat and say how are you for a moment, that's when I introduce the person that I am with to the person that I am talking to. If it's
Speaker 2: any interruption to what's already going on, if you're going to spend any time with that third person, make the introduction and practice, it gets easy with it, get comfortable with it. It doesn't need to be a big deal. Just so and so this is so and so.
Speaker 2: Oh yeah. We know each other. We see each other all the time. You've made the effort. You've included everyone. You've started to develop a social situation the next time we talk introduction because it might not be next time we'll talk about what you do in that very predicament where you've forgotten someone's
Speaker 1: name. Oh,
Speaker 2: I love it. To be continued.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 2: Social courtesy does pay, doesn't it?
Speaker 1: Thanks Every week we like to end our show on a positive note with an awesome etiquette salute. And I am going to call out our listeners. We have only had a few etiquette salutes coming from our listeners and
Speaker 1: dan. And I would really like to hear more about the people in your lives that make your world a better place or
Speaker 1: companies or organizations that you are aware of that are out there doing the right thing. So please we beg of you send us your salutes. But we do like to end our show on that positive note about someone or some place, some organization that is making the world a nicer place. So dan, who have you got for us today?
Speaker 2: In the spirit of thinking about positivity. I would like to introduce our audience and in the spirit of good introductions to Dr Forney Dr P M. Forni, who is a good friend of our aunt Peggy's and he has been in the civility and etiquette business for many, many years. He's an award winning professor at johns Hopkins University.
Speaker 2: Um he really started his graduate work in
Speaker 2: The early 70s. He's been thinking about civility and social structures and customs ever since. And one of the things that we really like about his work is that he approaches it from the perspective of what good social skills, what good etiquette does for us does for us as individuals and does for us collectively.
Speaker 2: And if I were to think about an academic who really um
Speaker 2: holds down in the academic sphere, the type of thinking, the type of work that we really like to do with the Emily Post Institute, he is clearly on the forefront. His Civility initiative at johns Hopkins is a model model program and I
Speaker 2: I can't encourage you enough to check out his civility website hosted by johns Hopkins and to learn more about dr p. M 40 because
Speaker 2: um he's a luminary in the field, and if you care about this podcast and you care about people being good to each other, um his his work is really foundational and has helped me develop my understanding. So, thank you dr Forney, We really appreciate your work and hope to continue a long relationship with you into the future.
Speaker 2: Well now wasn't that better? Look at the effect of a little politeness,
Speaker 1: That's our show for today. As always, we want to thank you for listening, whether you're on your commute, doing your dishes,
Speaker 1: taking a break from work or doing your work out. We love that you choose to spend some of your day with us and we hope that you have a wonderful
Speaker 2: rest of your week
Speaker 2: and that's not where it ends because we really need your help to keep this show happening. Please send us your questions and especially your etiquette salutes as well as your suggestions for the awesome etiquette podcast. To awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot
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Speaker 2: on facebook where the Emily Post Institute on twitter. I'm at Daniel underscore Post
Speaker 1: and I'm at lizzie a
Speaker 2: post or you can visit our website Emily Post dot com.
Speaker 1: As always, our theme music was composed and performed by the wonderful bob Wagner.
Speaker 1: Mhm.