Episode 287 - Keep'm Separated
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 Lizzie and Dan take your questions on keeping work and personal life separate online, loud chewers in the workplace, workout regimens that get in the way of quality time and a friend who always feels like they’re missing out. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about Messrs. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on number four in our most searched topics, the attire guide.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social. Could you see that's old fashioned.
Speaker 1: Watch how busy post
Speaker 2: and then post to
Speaker 1: act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect,
Speaker 2: thinking of the other
Speaker 1: person, real friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello
Speaker 1: and welcome to awesome etiquette,
Speaker 2: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show, we take your questions on keeping work and personal life separate online loud chewers in the workplace,
Speaker 1: workout regimens that get in the way of quality time on vacation and a friend who always feels like they're missing out
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about Messers,
Speaker 1: plus our most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on number four in our most searched topics attire Guide
Speaker 2: All that coming up
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of Vermont public Radio and is proud to be produced in Burlington, Vermont, by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post and I'm
Speaker 2: Dan Post setting.
Speaker 1: Hey, I feel like we're back. What a difference. A
Speaker 2: couple of days I
Speaker 1: know, I know you had a really interesting reason for skipping are recording this week and moving it,
Speaker 1: which we'll get to in just one second.
Speaker 1: But it's funny how much the difference of recording on a Thursday versa Tuesday, it makes it feel like it's been a really long time sweeping at the mic.
Speaker 1: Tell us, Dan, what was the wonderful reason that we had to move our recording schedule this week?
Speaker 2: I can't wait to share, but first I have to thank the people that I'm working with today. Lizzie Post, Chris Albertine.
Speaker 2: I gave a very late notice that I would not be able to record on Tuesday, and I really appreciated your flexibility in shifting our recording date,
Speaker 1: given the reason which we're definitely building up a lot of suspense for at this point. I was expecting it because I figured Chris working V P R. Would be tied up with the days, the Super Tuesday election results and all of that. And
Speaker 1: you being town moderator of ducks, very. You had some very official business throat adjust town meeting day. It's a really celebrated day here in Vermont, especially because we actually do close schools and everything for town meeting day. We really try to make sure that people have access to their towns and to speak up. And you
Speaker 1: had the wonderful job of controlling that conversation and keeping it adhering to Robert's rules of order and everything. Dan, you must have just been like like I could think of so many,
Speaker 1: so many phrases a pig and I don't know what you must have just been a hog in heaven there, that's a good, clean one to use. You
Speaker 2: know, I was very open on this show three years ago now when I first ran for and got the position of moderator in the town of Duxbury. And
Speaker 2: it's not a big job like your idea of controlling the conversation. I'd like to say facilitating
Speaker 1: facilitated the
Speaker 2: conversation. You
Speaker 1: organize it in a lot of ways. That's what the Robert's rules of order for
Speaker 2: absolutely and the better I get to know Robert's rules and parliamentary procedure. The more I love them, which is
Speaker 2: a little weird.
Speaker 1: Surprise me at all. Dude does not surprise me at all. They're really structured
Speaker 2: to give everyone a voice to provide a system so everyone can participate. Any limitation on anyone's speech or discussion
Speaker 2: is all done with a real eye towards not letting either minorities control a discussion or majorities to release suppress minority opinions. It's a really balanced system when it's well executed. It's
Speaker 1: supposed to be one that's not looking at the content of what you say, but the amount of time that you get to say it for and the
Speaker 1: equality of how people get to respond to things that have been said.
Speaker 1: It's a fascinating process and it was really cool to hear yesterday when we talked about what town meeting day was like for you and how it worked and everything for two people who talk a lot about consideration and respect and honesty and the right time and place and thinking about the circumstances that you're in and all the players involved.
Speaker 1: I found that your job and your nature as a person made you very well suited to carry that out. You told me things like that. You were calm in your tone that you kept a very even tone throughout the day, and I can imagine that that is a very hard thing to do
Speaker 1: when people are standing up to fight for things like
Speaker 1: you know their opinion on the town that they live in and things that affect them financially or in other capacities. These are important things for people and you have to be able to let them say their thing but do it in the appropriate way, but also not be the person. Just because you have the gavel doesn't mean you are a judge.
Speaker 1: It's a very interesting space you occupy.
Speaker 2: I am finding I enjoy it more and more and I was worried I was nervous about this year. Our town is dealing with a lot of big issues and
Speaker 2: there are a lot of strong feelings in the community about them, and I wasn't sure exactly how it was going to go. And I want to applaud the participation of the citizens of Duxbury, who kept their cool last year. We had less so
Speaker 2: to deal with. Structurally in town. The meeting was done by lunch. Everyone enjoyed the historical societies
Speaker 2: potluck at
Speaker 1: noon and
Speaker 2: everyone got to go enjoy a sunny afternoon this year. That same meeting ran from early in the morning till very late in the afternoon. It was a long day and it required a lot of everyone who participated in a lot of people showed up.
Speaker 2: The town meeting tradition in Vermont is old. It's older than the state, the town meeting in Duxbury. I love to tell people, has been going on annually for over 200 years. It's amazing. It's not a huge meeting. It's a small town. But it's a storied tradition in that community, and
Speaker 2: it's really fun to be a part of. It's such a big deal in the state. It's one of those things where you miss something because it's so obvious. It didn't occur to me to reschedule our
Speaker 1: recording
Speaker 2: because it's so obvious, and yet I hadn't done my due diligence on that particular point.
Speaker 2: So again, I want to return to my thank you. I appreciate both your and Chris flexibility. We
Speaker 1: all had an eye on it. Don't you worry. I was totally anticipating it this week.
Speaker 1: Well, I do think it was especially cool given how much we talk on this show about consideration, respect and honesty to hear how much that's really a foundation within Robert's rules of order and managing a town managing exactly what we talked about on this podcast all the time. Different perspectives,
Speaker 1: different backgrounds,
Speaker 1: different ideas, managing them well in a space so that people can be heard so that people can be understood clearly and so that people can get answers to the things that they're talking about. It's really wonderful to hear about it in practice and to see it working.
Speaker 2: I certainly enjoy it. But
Speaker 2: speaking of working, we have some questions to get to. Yes, we do. Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 You can also find us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Our first question this week is about social media separation. Hey, Dan and Lizzie, I occasionally receive Facebook friend requests from colleagues and co workers, which I really don't want to accept.
Speaker 2: I work hard to keep my personal life separate from my work life to maintain balance, especially since I work from home.
Speaker 2: Can you help me with a sample script that respectfully conveys my blanket ban on accepting Facebook? Friend requests from people I work with. I don't know how to phrase it without sounding stuck up.
Speaker 2: I do use LinkedIn if that helps. Thanks, Rachel.
Speaker 1: Rachel, this is a great question. And I think that the answer to it lies within the idea of confidence and being able to say this with confidence as opposed to distance.
Speaker 1: I feel like when you want to separate things, sometimes when you tell people that it can feel like you're trying to put an arm's length between you and someone else like you're holding the world at bay.
Speaker 1: And in an effort to explain yourself to people, it can just not even come across stuff like you're actually pushing people away. But like you're nervous about having to push people away, and so people are like, It's okay, man. I'm fine. That's okay. You know, like you can hear it in your head. How it happens like
Speaker 1: I just, um I want you to know that, like, I it's it's nothing about you. It's just that I keep these separate, Um, I keep them separate, you know, it's like you can hear the nervous version of it. You can hear the matter of fact version that comes across too arrogant, you know, in your head to, and you can hear the other people being like, Dude, it's not a big deal. So I say go the confident, casual route
Speaker 1: with your answer to someone and just say,
Speaker 1: You know, I actually keep my work and social media separate, but I'd be happy to join you on LinkedIn like, Do you want me to send a request often? That's like, Okay, now we're moving forward. We're in the lane, we want to be in, and you've been inviting. You've been inclusive. I'm even getting nods from Chris over here on this one.
Speaker 1: I think that this is the right kind of approach. Casual confidence.
Speaker 2: I love that advice. The idea that the ease with which you do something matters almost more than the particular word choice.
Speaker 2: I also wanted to mention that
Speaker 2: no explanation is required of you that you're not expected to accept friend requests just because someone sends them to you.
Speaker 2: So it's up to you how you manage your Facebook, any social media that you have
Speaker 2: and you get to choose. And you don't have to explain your choices why you don't invite someone just like you don't have to explain why you didn't invite someone to a dinner party or your wedding. You don't have to explain to someone why you didn't connect with them on social media.
Speaker 2: Having said that as a baseline, oftentimes work relationships or relationships where someone might have a reasonable expectation that you would accept a request
Speaker 2: choosing to say something is often times a good way to actually acknowledge the relationship acknowledge that someone matters to you enough that you would mention it to them or say something to them off line. And I would keep that spirit in mind to maybe help find some of that confidence and that ease when the moment comes to say something.
Speaker 2: My final advice as we wrap this question up has to be. Be careful with everything that you do on social media, even if you maintain very small social circles. Everything that we do online has the potential to become public. I know that if you manage your privacy well, it's a smaller chance. But people are connected in all kinds of ways, so
Speaker 2: take care out there, enjoy the benefits of participating generously, but also use some caution in these very public spaces.
Speaker 1: Rachel Thanks so much for the question.
Speaker 1: Is there some particular method of being thoughtful that works every time? What do you do?
Speaker 2: Our next question is about office mate meals.
Speaker 1: Hello, Lizzie and Daniel. I've been working at my company for over 10 years. While we don't have a completely open floor plan, the little dividers between our desks are only as deep as the desks, leaving little to no privacy or sound barrier.
Speaker 1: We hired this new and honestly, totally awesome person that now sits next to me.
Speaker 1: There is just one really big issue for me, and it's totally me, not her. When she eats,
Speaker 1: her jaw cracks super loudly.
Speaker 1: I've known people that purposely crack their necks, and it's the same sound, but with every chew. And yes, she also regularly cracks her neck, and that's even louder.
Speaker 1: Why Is this so bad for me? I wish I had the answer to me. It's like fingernails running down a chalkboard. It turns my stomach
Speaker 1: to avoid hearing it. I've started putting my head sets in and listening to music when she eats. But sometimes I'm just not fast enough. And then it takes a few minutes for my stomach to calm down,
Speaker 1: thinking this is all just in my head
Speaker 1: and I can work on overcoming it. I actually tried to expose myself to the chewing sounds by sitting next to her during lunch at a company gathering. It wasn't as bad as I thought due to louder surroundings, but I was hardly able to get my food down.
Speaker 1: I love my desk. I've been sitting here for a long time, and I have a beautiful view out of the window, so I really don't want to give this up.
Speaker 1: But I also don't think I can keep doing what I'm doing right now. There are situations when a co worker comes over and needs to talk to me, and then I have to remove my headphones. I usually then ask them if they want to come with me to the kitchen because I need some water so that I can leave my desk.
Speaker 1: I feel really bad about the situation. There's nothing she can do about this. She probably doesn't even realize it's happening. I guess I don't even know what I'm really asking your advice for. But any help is great. All the best anonymous.
Speaker 2: Wow, this is so tough. This is a really awkward situation, and I appreciate the gross out factor here.
Speaker 2: I am instantly reminded Big picture about how important basic etiquette is. This is a version of table manners. It's kind of a personal hygiene question. It's
Speaker 2: a little thing that someone might not even be aware of that is clearly so disruptive for the person sitting next to them. And
Speaker 2: as such, it's a really good example of why etiquette matters.
Speaker 2: The other thing I have to say is part of our answer preamble is that
Speaker 2: I used to be a really bad neck cracker myself. I was nervous and I would do it, and I didn't even know that it had become such a habit for me. I was aware when I did it sometimes, but like someone who cracked their knuckles. It
Speaker 2: got to the point where I wasn't always aware that I was doing, and it took a little bit of learning for me
Speaker 1: to self
Speaker 2: reflection, control that to learn to recognize it was happening and shut it off before it happened.
Speaker 1: And that's the neck cracking in this instance. But the jaw click is a natural thing that's happening with her jaw, and we don't know why. And so I'm really
Speaker 1: I'm glad that our question Askar is bringing that up and saying Listen, this is me. This isn't just like a habit that they're doing like consciously or sub God. This is something that their body is just doing when they chew, What do I do? How do I politely handle it?
Speaker 2: So our question Askar has already done the first
Speaker 2: major thing that we would advise, which is control what you can control. Things like wearing headphones, thinking about the timing of when meals happen and trying to strategically be away or protect yourself in some way.
Speaker 1: I like the added, even. Maybe I can just get through this like, you know, I've had so many people tell me when it comes to cilantro, just eat a whole bunch of it and you'll end up like, you know, maybe I can just get through this. Maybe I can work on it, and I like the willingness to admit it wasn't as bad as I expected it, but I still couldn't really eat. This is quite literally changing her body when she is hearing this noise, and I think that's something we have to do.
Speaker 1: Recognizing this question, this isn't just
Speaker 1: it's irritating. It's causing her to feel sick to her stomach, and that's a difference in why we're having the level of attention to it that we are.
Speaker 2: I also want to acknowledge the seniority factor. There is something to having been working somewhere for 10 years and to have certain routines that have established over time. And that doesn't mean those are
Speaker 2: a mutable that will never change that you won't adapt and evolve. As change happens, times go on. But
Speaker 2: it does, I think, have some bearing on the situation. Also,
Speaker 1: I remember when we used to switch offices around, there was like some kind of sadness and nostalgia for the place that you'd been for so long and had and really loved and appreciated in ways and other things were really nice about having things change up.
Speaker 2: Maybe you're not sitting next to the person. Shock clicks in a way that makes your stomach turn. Exactly.
Speaker 2: I do think it's okay to talk about it, having done those initial steps and a little bit like our answer to the last question, I think that a spirit of
Speaker 2: confidence and ease
Speaker 2: is going to help a lot. The word choice will matter, but more than that, the emotional tone of the discussion, I think, is so, so, so important.
Speaker 2: You might get really lucky. The person sitting next to you might
Speaker 2: B
Speaker 2: And this is coming out a little wrong. The way I say it like me and appreciate knowing that this is happening and use it as a moment for self reflection, a little personal growth where they get to say, Boy, I didn't know about that. Let me pay a little more attention to it. Maybe it is something that's fixable or correctable.
Speaker 2: If someone is thinking about it, and maybe that's the net cracking. Maybe that's the clicking jaw when they chew,
Speaker 2: but it's a possible outcome and you don't know until you raise it and you try.
Speaker 2: I think
Speaker 2: talking about your willingness to be part of the solution is a good thing to think about in that conversation that
Speaker 2: if this person is willing to give you a heads up, you're happy to have your lunch somewhere else. If they really like to eat at their desk for some reason and aren't going to offer to eat in the kitchen or somewhere else,
Speaker 2: I think that you don't exactly know or can anticipate what the outcome of that conversation is going to be. But you can raise the question and be really ready to be understanding and talk about a couple of different solutions.
Speaker 2: If you can't reach an accommodation, if the person isn't able to stop this, if it's built in, then you might need to think about moving your desk. If it affects you that strongly and it's not something that they can control and they're not willing to move or to eat somewhere else, then
Speaker 2: I think this is impacting and affecting you enough that you might say to yourself I'm really going to have to take some action and create some distance just so that I can enjoy my work day.
Speaker 1: I don't know exactly the right words to make this feel okay, and it's why I have such a hard time saying that you should go have the conversation to me. I lean heavily on the idea that even though I like that window view, it's probably easier for me to move my desk and not make this person feel like
Speaker 1: eating around them is weird.
Speaker 1: Even though our listener is so aware, this is her problem, that she doesn't view the other person as problematic in the world of everybody else. It's her problem, and that's what makes me want to have her be the one to adjust and move.
Speaker 2: I hear you.
Speaker 1: That's and it's It's so hard to say that I want to give the encouragement. I want to say, Have confidence, keep it casual and I just have a hard time on this one with that.
Speaker 2: It's a very personal thing how someone choose and there is a strong likelihood that it's not something they can control.
Speaker 2: I think just holding out hope that this person is a little bit like me because I had a similar problem and that that information might be empowering in some way. You don't know if it's impacting other relationships in their life. So again, I'm holding onto the hope that
Speaker 2: there is a really positive outcome for both people that could come from
Speaker 2: addressing it head on, bringing it up, doing it in a gentle way.
Speaker 2: But I also understand the potential for difficulty there.
Speaker 2: Anonymous. This is such a tough question. Let us know how it goes. I'd be really curious to hear how this turns
Speaker 1: out. Those are some of the important ways we help keep our room quiet when we work in groups. Thank you, Children. Now let's get back to work.
Speaker 1: Her next question is titled What a workout.
Speaker 2: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I have a house guest question. We host a family of four in our house sometimes, and we also visit them. The husband and this family has started a fairly rigorous workout regime in the past two years, and when he visits us, he joins a specific branch of his fitness group in our area. To work out with
Speaker 2: this takes place in the morning for about two hours, several days a week, and it leaves his wife, two kids and my husband and me at home.
Speaker 2: Sometimes this means that we can't really go and do anything until he returns. He is aware of this. The workout takes place after we are all up in the morning and it's a group activity, so he can't reschedule it.
Speaker 2: We eat breakfast without him, and we could go about our day without him, too. But I still feel badly about this because we have all taken off work to be together and because we only have a few days together each year, I feel like he is saying that his fitness regime is more important than our time together.
Speaker 2: I am not sure how to deal with this. When we're at his house, then it's his business what he wants to do. But when they are at our house, can I ask him not to go?
Speaker 2: I have hinted that we're waiting for him, and I have asked when he expects to return because we're planning to go somewhere. But I don't think I can really give him an itinerary and tell him he needs to be back by a certain time.
Speaker 2: I have talked with his wife about this, and she says she doesn't know how to handle it, either, because she, too, has asked him not to go. And it hasn't helped.
Speaker 2: She apologized for him, but said there was nothing she could do, nor would I expect her to.
Speaker 2: This is not a workout that is accessible to the rest of us. It's men only, and my husband doesn't want to encourage our friend by going with him.
Speaker 2: I don't want to be rude by giving our guests a list of forbidden activities or by telling him that we have a strict itinerary for the visit.
Speaker 2: But is there a way to approach this politely? If so, please help. Thank you Don't want to be a dictator.
Speaker 1: I think if you don't want to be a dictator, then you have to take out the dictating and the urge to dictate. I think as a host you you do want to provide some structure to your day, and clearly you're supposed to gather with your guests. And that is happening, save for the several days a week that he does this to our workout, that he is very committed to
Speaker 1: when I hear the conversations you've already had with this gentleman's wife and the fact that she's tried to get her husband to say vacation time is the time we're not going to do this. And he says No, I found my group of people that I can do this within this town and it takes two hours and I'm asking for that, and that's what I'm doing.
Speaker 1: That to me is a real indication that this is meaningful to someone.
Speaker 1: This is something where someone is willing to say on my vacation. I am going to do this rather than have breakfast with my family. And there are other things I will do that will connect me with my family. During this time, you're getting someone who has already rationalized for themselves that this is something they are going to commit to stick to and not waver on.
Speaker 1: So my thought, then, is either don't host them at your house because it's not the type of guest you enjoy having which I don't think sounds like a good solution In your case, I think this has been a vacation or a group gathering that you guys really look forward to, and I think you like this guy outside of
Speaker 1: this particular instance? And that's where I start to say, You know, the rest of our time with this person is great
Speaker 1: if what they need to live their life and and be the person that we enjoy is two hours on two of the days that they're visiting us to go do this thing.
Speaker 1: Then we will plan morning things on the days where they don't go do that thing and they will go do their thing and we will do our thing and it will be okay.
Speaker 1: Um but, Dan, am I crazy? Here am I Am I off my rails? Am I like not in a in a polite zone? Have I like his town meeting? They've broken me or something. It
Speaker 2: is really hard to tell a fully functioning adult what to do, really is, particularly when it's something that they care about, and
Speaker 2: exercise is something people really care about. Understandably, I do want to kind of shift gears from the It's hard to tell someone
Speaker 2: what to do and give some advice that is, don't let this drag you down emotionally, totally that there are ways to work around it and to be a good host, and I want to sort of pick out a couple of points of etiquette that might be helpful. I really liked Lizzie's idea of
Speaker 2: think about those mornings and think about the ways you can plan activities that are easy for him to jump in on when that's over. So if if you've got limited time you've got a couple of days. There's stuff you want to do, plan activities that allow you to go start that day and do those things and enjoy the company of the people that are available.
Speaker 2: And it's not, uh, an impossibility for exercising husband to come join you later. So I'm thinking no whale watches that day, where you're out on a boat for six hours and I can't get there
Speaker 1: or like a bike ride. That would be hard for you to meet up with people unless there's a good midway point of all. Come drop the car here and you know we'll do this and that's a little
Speaker 2: more work for you as a host to plan that way. But I think it's doable work and that sort of within the scope of reasonable expectations for a host. It's like someone who
Speaker 2: brings a food, allergy or
Speaker 2: a dietary preference. You work with it. You accommodated as best you can.
Speaker 2: It's also okay as a host, when you're planning these sorts of things to let someone know if it's not possible for them to participate. So if the meal that you're planning simply doesn't work for someone's dietary restrictions, you let them know that you're not gonna be able to do the accommodation and then they can make good decisions accordingly. So if you
Speaker 2: do, you really want to do a whale watch and you're going to get on a boat and be gone all day,
Speaker 2: letting someone know as soon as possible early ahead of time so that they can make a clear and concrete choice.
Speaker 2: Yes, I'm gonna do my exercise routine this morning and miss that or no, I might actually shift that around to a different day. Or I might give up on just that one session this one time so that I can not miss the day and
Speaker 1: be flexible with that. If there's a way for the whale watch to naturally happen on the love that we've just thrown whale watching as the thing you know, I
Speaker 2: think the hardest thing to
Speaker 1: join later on. But yeah, no, um, the hardest thing to join a whale watch. Um, but no, If the whale watch can happen on a different day,
Speaker 1: a good host is the host that picks the day. That's going to be easiest for their guests to accommodate, I think, and a good guest is going to be trying to be flexible with the activities that a host is wanting to introduce to the visit. And I think that's where you try to find that balance and remind yourself to find balance rather than to carve out winds with this.
Speaker 1: You don't want to get to that place where it feels like he's winning because he gets to
Speaker 1: do his work out. Of course, he's winning because he gets to do his work out. He's taking. He's taking care of his body and committing to the things he's committing to. That's a that's a win for a human being. Let's support that, you know, let's let's get behind it rather than let it be something that emotionally drags us down and makes us not be able to participate in those good moments without him with everybody else.
Speaker 1: You as a good host, want to be enthusiastic about the time you have with your guests. And if you're allowing the bummer, feeling that you have of, Oh, but Jim's off doing his workouts to overshadow the amazing French toast or the really cool bike ride or just the kids playing in the backyard. While you guys all get to talk as adults for
Speaker 1: half an hour around the table like those things then then you're missing the visit and you don't want to miss the visit,
Speaker 2: so that is absolutely the best spirit you could proceed with. I do want to do something that I very rarely do on this show, and I want to do almost cracked her voice. What is it? I kind of want to take the side of don't want to be a dictator and acknowledge that this behavior
Speaker 2: is maybe a little rude and inconsiderate that the idea of refusing to change your routine if there really is limited time Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get to families together, and for someone to say
Speaker 2: no, I'm going to go do my own thing, and I've kind of been talked to about it by my partner spouse, who said, This matters and I'm not going to compromise and it's just gonna be what it is, and everyone else has to deal with it.
Speaker 2: I can understand having a little bit of ire or frustration about dealing with that.
Speaker 2: And I also want to give you
Speaker 2: a little bit of latitude, a little bit of permission not to censor your choices in the moment when you're dealing with that, if something comes up that is, we really want to go do this. And he's not there
Speaker 2: that I do think when someone has said I'm independent and the choices that I'm making or not
Speaker 2: connected or related to what you're doing or choosing to do that, that frees you a little bit in some ways to, without a spirit of as lazy points out kneeing them say to yourself, I have a little more latitude. I don't necessarily need to consider that person for these couple hours as I'm making choices.
Speaker 1: Yeah, that's okay, and
Speaker 1: and you want to hope that their spirit to is I've got this thing. I'm really dedicated to, and I am so happy to have you guys do whatever you want in the time that I can't be with you.
Speaker 1: I don't want to be a dictator. We hope that our answer to this question helps you feel like a host.
Speaker 1: So what was his need for physical activity
Speaker 1: By taking time for some exercise every day, Hal finds an outlet for his nervous tension
Speaker 1: and does even better work at his studies and on the job.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 2: our next question is about a foam. Oh, friend,
Speaker 1: our friend, Let's call her. Jane has struggled with her mental health her entire life. We all have a very close group of friends, and we have always done our best to make accommodations for her when needed and support her in whatever she may be going through,
Speaker 1: However, we have an uncomfortable, rapidly recurring situation. I, along with a few friends in our group, work for the same company, and Jane does not. We frequently go out after work or are invited to work functions or are invited out by coworkers. Jane does not know
Speaker 1: in our own lives. Jane is non negotiable, and we invite her to anything. We ourselves maybe having birthday parties, weddings, dinners, movies, et cetera.
Speaker 1: Jane gets very jealous, angry and upset when she sees or finds out that we have gone out or seeing each other without her constantly digging or making comments like Thanks for the invite or, well, I wasn't invited or even worse, saying or posting about needing new friends passive aggressively.
Speaker 1: We have explained several times that sometimes it is not our place to invite her in many of these situations, especially if it is a work function or a colleague has invited us to their home or out to dinner.
Speaker 1: She has been open with us that this is part of her mental illness, and we understand that and understand her feeling left out. But the problem doesn't seem to be getting any better, and the comments have only increased.
Speaker 1: We have tried several explanations to get through to her like we don't get upset when you go out with other friends or we knew you were busy as well as the aforementioned. It wasn't our place to invite you. We also tried options like not telling her or not posting on social media, but we feel dishonest
Speaker 1: or that we are lying to her.
Speaker 1: And in some situations, we would like to be posting on social media, Christmas parties, promotions, holidays. This is starting to take a toll on our friendship with Jane Is there may be a better way to delicately help us explain this to Jane. Thanks so much for your time. Thoughts and insights.
Speaker 1: Dan. What do you think this is a really tough situation? Um, we can hear that everyone's on the same page about where Jane's at and that Jane experiences this particular type of friendship situation difficult with difficulty,
Speaker 1: and that's starting to weigh on friends. And you can hear rationale trying to happen in places. What's going on here?
Speaker 2: Big picture. I think our question. Askar is doing a lot of the right things.
Speaker 1: I'm hearing that, too.
Speaker 2: I think you have to keep the communication open and really honest, and you keep it up. You try not to get frustrated, you
Speaker 2: say to yourself, I'm willing to say this in the same spirit as many times as it takes, and it might be as simple as
Speaker 2: just letting someone know each time that no, this was an event that happened at work where it just wasn't feasible or practical to invite you. It happened very quickly. It happened immediately after work. It wasn't a big plan to get together.
Speaker 2: It happened organically
Speaker 1: or it wasn't our place or someone
Speaker 2: who did the inviting or it was a work function that was being paid for by work. So only people that work there
Speaker 1: are able to
Speaker 2: attend are invited. I think that's all really good information to share because it de personalize. Is this in a really important way? And it may required
Speaker 2: doing that repeatedly, and it's all
Speaker 1: very true. There is no there's no trying to make it true or explaining of it. It's just very factual.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. There's nothing mean girls about this correct as long as there isn't anything mean girls about it. As long as you're not really trying to exclude this person for any particular reason,
Speaker 2: it really makes it easy to talk about it with them. I also want to say it's okay to be discreet when it helps. If you do find yourself getting together after work quickly, casually, informally and you know or think it might be hurtful for your friend to hear about it.
Speaker 2: I hear that you're already doing the thing of not maybe posting those pictures on social media where they're likely to see it.
Speaker 2: That's not deceptive or dishonest. That's taking care with someone else's feelings and emotions and sometimes
Speaker 2: having personal boundaries. Having a sense of privacy, having a sense of discretion is a really important part of participating, well, socially. There are all sorts of things that we choose not to talk about in front of other people because it would make them uncomfortable or
Speaker 1: that it makes us uncomfortable to try to talk about in front of them. There are both sides of that
Speaker 2: having some ability to regulate that is an important
Speaker 2: part of functioning, well, socially. It's a big part of the art of etiquette.
Speaker 2: I had one positive idea that I wanted to share also, which is that it might really help to invite the friend who feels excluded or feels like they might be missing out
Speaker 2: with a certain degree of regularity that if they can anticipate
Speaker 2: being included, if there's some regular thing that they can look forward to and feel a part of it might go a long way towards making them feel less nervous that they're being excluded or distanced in these relationships in some way.
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: would also suggest that it's not a bad idea to do that wonderful, self reflective thing that we always talk about on the show
Speaker 1: and take a minute and look at the gatherings that you are doing without her. And are they truly just when she cannot be invited? Or are you starting to have a lot of gatherings where you know it could have happened but didn't
Speaker 1: and just take a minute and say, Wait a second? Would it appear to someone else like Boy, there are a lot of work gatherings recently. Jane's probably feeling like this is happening a lot more than usual or,
Speaker 1: you know, No, this is feeling pretty balanced. I'm see, I really am feeling an uptick in just her distress around it. How can I then talk with her to help decrease the distress so that this kind of
Speaker 1: standard number of events without her does feel normal, you know, does feel okay,
Speaker 1: Anonymous. We hope that these thoughts and insights help and that you are able to continue what has been a great relationship with your friend Jane on Joe, I learned how to be a friend
Speaker 1: and how to make friends.
Speaker 1: That one friendship often leads to others
Speaker 1: and, best of all, to appreciate and enjoy people of many varying backgrounds and personalities.
Speaker 1: Yes, sir, with friends. It's a great old world.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Thank
Speaker 2: you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette. At Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: You can reach us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 2: and on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: And,
Speaker 2: yeah,
Speaker 1: if you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content.
Speaker 1: Plus, you'll feel great knowing you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air.
Speaker 2: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover. And today we hear from Kate on thank you cards and addresses from episode number 2 26
Speaker 1: High. I love the show. I'd like to give some feedback on collecting addresses for thank you cards.
Speaker 1: I'm a soon to be bride and have heard the advice of placing envelopes
Speaker 1: for the thank you cards by the guest book. I find their various logistical issues with this specifically, Not all guests fill them out, and also they potentially can get lost in the cleanup.
Speaker 1: Personally. Over the last few years, I've had a number of events for myself. A graduation party and bridal shower come to mind, where the invitations have been sent through text and social media not my preferred style, but the way that my circle of friends stay in touch.
Speaker 1: It seems that in our digital world, we just don't have physical addresses for our friends and relatives at hand.
Speaker 1: Therefore, at these events, I put out index cards at the entry under a sign stating address, book collection and as we greet everyone, tell them we're building an address book and would love their mailing address. Additionally, every year around November, I send out a Google form through social media,
Speaker 1: asking for updated addresses from my friends for holiday carts.
Speaker 1: Using these simple tools, my fiance and I have been able to get our invitations out without calling or texting everyone on the guest list at the last minute for addresses. It has saved us headaches and hopefully kept us in line with good etiquette
Speaker 2: etiquette. Golf collapse over here.
Speaker 1: Bravo! I love the
Speaker 2: idea of an email or a social media. Reach out or a digital reach out with a little Google form for change of address, breezy, very cool, Super
Speaker 1: super easy. And I do think it's important to use the tools that we have at our disposal. It does make it a lot easier, and I think doing things like using gatherings as a time to go collect addresses from people is great.
Speaker 1: Um, if you don't want to walk around and hand enter them into your phone at that particular moment, then you know, setting up a little station with a card and inviting people when you as the host or inviting them into
Speaker 1: take a minute and fill out a card. I think that's fabulous.
Speaker 2: I couldn't agree more. Thank you for sharing this feedback.
Speaker 1: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette at Emily Post com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: It's time for our post script segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and today we're going to continue with our countdown of the top 10 most searched content on Emily post dot com, and we are up to number four, which is the entire guide.
Speaker 2: This is a really hot piece of content.
Speaker 1: No, it is. It's a really obvious of content. It's also one of our more frustrating visas of content. Dan and I do not like advising people on what to wear. It is such a difficult task and and added to the difficulty is just how incredibly broad
Speaker 1: the world of fashion is and the world of personal expression collide so quickly with it. Because clothes are so much a personal expression where we are for many people and then for other people, they're totally not. And so it's just such a complicated and fashion changes seasonally and there's different areas of the country in which things would be acceptable. And in other areas, which is so hard to gauge exactly what to say
Speaker 2: and to add a whole other layer of confusion. People are getting more and more creative in terms of how they're giving direction about attire,
Speaker 1: yes, oh, very interesting element to the entire field of giving people advice about attire and I
Speaker 2: and personally in that camp where I want someone just to tell me. I wish that I could call up the Emily Post Institute and be guaranteed a rock solid answer as to what I should wear when the
Speaker 2: invitation says this. The tricky part is that
Speaker 2: a lot
Speaker 1: of times, what's
Speaker 2: described on the invitation doesn't necessarily conform to the very traditional categories that people are used to, and that frankly, people look to Emily Post to define and keep clear.
Speaker 1: It is wonderfully complex to that. Typically you would have a formal invitation and expect
Speaker 1: that you would wear formal attire and you would know what that meant.
Speaker 1: That's not the case anymore. It's not necessarily so. We're picking and choosing what parts of formality we're pulling into our lives. And it could be really hard when that invitation shows up to know exactly what's expected.
Speaker 2: So I want to keep this as simple as possible. Having said that, it's incredibly complicated that
Speaker 2: the easiest part of this, believe it or not, is the top of the formality spectrum. The place where you have the least amount of choice is the place where there's the most formal expectation, and that's an event that's described as white tie.
Speaker 2: And this means you are going to the nines for women. We're talking about formal floor length evening gown with long gloves as an option
Speaker 2: for men. We're talking about black suit tailcoat with matching trousers, probably a white vest, white bowtie,
Speaker 2: maybe even whiter grey gloves, absolutely black shoes that
Speaker 2: picture that three piece suit that vest the tails on the jacket, the white bowtie.
Speaker 2: This is the kind of event you could maybe even get away with a top hat,
Speaker 2: piece of flair. So you're going that far on the formal spectrum. Let
Speaker 1: me interject for those who are having this question pop up in their head. What do you mean? White tie isn't a white suit.
Speaker 2: It really means white tie.
Speaker 1: The tie is white. The suit is black, okay?
Speaker 2: And
Speaker 2: when something is white tie, you are encouraged not to approach this creatively. Correct. This is about a certain standard of formality. There is a
Speaker 2: feel that is being created for this event, that is, that is very specific.
Speaker 2: Women do have a little more latitude in terms of there's a broader spectrum of dresses to choose from that fall. Within that formal evening gown, I guess I should say
Speaker 1: gown, dresses, gown it's That's a good way to describe it. I think it's important to use that word because Gown does evoke a different
Speaker 1: image. Then maxi dress or long dress gown does not have to have a train, But a gown is definitely going to be not something that could pass as an evening date on the beach. You know what I mean? This is this is going to be your formal version of a gown.
Speaker 2: So we're going to descend down the scale of formality a little bit now, much more common as an event that's described as black tie for women. You could still
Speaker 2: go the formal evening gown, particularly one that you really like,
Speaker 1: also be encouraged to do so. Hosts like it when guests dressed up, and if they've said black tie is here, black tie optional, even go for it. Host gets so stoked when you do when you participate at that level, it's great
Speaker 2: you could go the dressy cocktail dress route. Absolutely. It's not like the white tie event, where the expectation is that you hit those highest marks of formality
Speaker 2: for men
Speaker 2: I'm seeing.
Speaker 2: Think about that tuxedo. It
Speaker 1: might be an option,
Speaker 2: depending on the nature of the black tie. If your sense and this is where it gets a little tricky, is that it's a slightly more formal black tie event.
Speaker 2: Get that tuxedo out. This is your opportunity to wear something that's formal evening attire. Can
Speaker 1: you hear the two of us encouraging all of you out there to not try to play it cool and be casual? And that cool doesn't necessarily equal casual in this in this arena
Speaker 1: that the cool actually might be leaning in and showing up
Speaker 1: dressed super sharp
Speaker 2: for men. This is one of those places where you are freed from the tyranny of choice.
Speaker 1: What an excellent way to put that as an opportunity.
Speaker 2: It's time to dust off that tuxedo and wear it, and I say, Enjoy those opportunities. They come so rarely for me personally there so few and far between. But an opportunity to where your formal evening attire is an opportunity,
Speaker 1: Dan says, where your formal evening attire and that includes rented versions like We don't all have that formal. And that is why the rented tuxedo is something that's so easy to find is because it's not common to just have it ready to go, and it's perfectly okay to go rent one.
Speaker 2: Be sure to visit the entire guide at Emily post dot com to get the full rundown on what that tuxedo requires or entails. So that's the details on the cuff links, the studs, the bow tie, the shoes.
Speaker 2: We're not going to be able to cover every item for each of these, so definitely know that one of our most searched resources is available to you as well.
Speaker 1: Now analysts, you get a little more latitude
Speaker 2: with creative black tie. You do, and this is where men can think of the more whimsical versions of tuxedos or
Speaker 1: Tabasco sauce boat. I can come out
Speaker 2: exactly. I'm thinking like the burgundy vest or the
Speaker 1: color. Interesting color combinations. Wonderful patterns can come into play here. Different
Speaker 2: fabrics, different textures. You can start to play a little bit. Think events like a Met gala, where you see every possible version of a tuxedo that you could imagine some more successful than others. But
Speaker 2: people are having fun with it, and that's the whole idea. Behind creative black tie
Speaker 1: for women with creative black tie, you'd really do kind of have a lot of options From here on out. Your formal gown might not be quite as fancy as we get down a little bit, but it's still an option here at Creative Black Tie. A beautiful formal gown is going to be completely in place at a creative black tie event. You could do a really dressy cocktail dress. You could do your absolute dressy ist little black dress and that means put on the best jewelry that you have with it. The most beautiful shoes, you know, make your accessories really kind of on point. And then you can also do do fun and unique accessories when it comes to creative or festive black tie. So you might add things to your wardrobe. They're a little different. That kind of can pull it out. It's a little costumey without actually being a costume party.
Speaker 2: Now let's talk black tie optional.
Speaker 2: This is sort of a fun thing to see because it gives someone like me who says, I'd like to get my tuxedo out the opportunity to do that. But it also gives someone who says I really just think it would be such a frustrating, obnoxious thing to have to go rent a tuxedo this week. The choice of pulling out a conservative suit wearing a dark tie and
Speaker 2: going that route. It's what it says. Black tie, optional. It's indicating a level of formality.
Speaker 2: You want to hit a certain mark on it, but you're not required, and the expectation isn't that you're going to go all the way to that tuxedo or that gown.
Speaker 1: So for black tie optional. We're looking at more of the same floor length gowns. Dress cocktail dress is a nice little black dress. It doesn't have to be your best little black dress.
Speaker 1: Um, dressy separate start to come in here. So talk about like gorgeous awesome pants with really cool tops or fabulous skirts. Be them long or knee length. We end up with a lot more options as women start to come into the optional territory. Now we're
Speaker 2: going to drop out of that
Speaker 2: really formal territory into what is often described as semiformal. And here for men again, the choices are relatively constrained. We're talking about usually a business suit.
Speaker 2: More people are going to be wearing their suits. You might have some people getting away with
Speaker 2: jackets and really nice pants, but think of yourself as being in that
Speaker 2: territory of I'm going to want to get a suit on for this.
Speaker 1: But I think you've got options here. When it comes to semiformal, your dress shirt could have a more playful pattern on it. Your tie. Frankly, I could see semiformal going without a tie. I don't think you have to have a tie necessarily. You want to think about it. You want to judge who's hosting the event. What are they like?
Speaker 1: You know what I mean. I think you've got some stuff to work with in there. Even if it feels a little limited
Speaker 1: for ladies, it's more of the same. But we're into. You don't have to wear a long dress at all. If you wanted to, you could. But I would keep it on the more casual front. So my long dress isn't gonna have quite as much sequins or it's not going to have quite as intricate pattern on. It is gonna be a little more simple. It might be out of a material that's more casual.
Speaker 1: You know this. This is the place where you start to see that.
Speaker 1: But you can also do a long, dressy skirt and the top you could do other forms of dressy separates. These are women have a lot of options as we start to descend in in the category.
Speaker 2: In some ways, the bulleted list, the top items are going to start to drop off here. So you're not going to see the tuxedo at the top of the list. The rest of the list is going to look very similar, and your choices for the bottom items on the list are broader festive attire usually designed for holiday events.
Speaker 2: I think the big picture here is that people want you to dress up a little bit to
Speaker 1: participate. Yeah, like you shouldn't feel like you have to, but you want to,
Speaker 1: whether that's Fourth of July and coming in our our national colors, or whether that's, you know, the ugly sweater party and you actually wear an ugly sweater to the ugly sweater party. Those are the types of things when it comes to festive attire that can that can run the gamut. And
Speaker 1: remember, festive attire can find its way into formal events to. So if someone is asking for formal and festive, try and go that route.
Speaker 2: If it's not a theme party, I would think about something like a sport coat or blazer, sort of notching up a little bit, but having fun with it, you can wear that plaid blazer that you like so much, or that salmon tie or shirt or jacket that you like so much it's
Speaker 1: bring out your neons. I've
Speaker 2: got some corduroy pants that have, like little dogs embroidered all over them that really are just holiday festive. I can't wear them any other time of the year. Really? Probably shouldn't wear them at the holidays either. Should I?
Speaker 1: I'm sure they're cute. Um, with women, you've got such an open range Here. It's, you know, cocktail dresses, long dresses, skirts and tops. Casual long dresses, dressy pants. Outfit separate. The little black dress could come in here.
Speaker 1: You know, your holiday favorite dress could come in here. There's just there's almost too much range to bother saying exactly what they are. You
Speaker 2: know what I mean?
Speaker 2: All right, Lizzie Post, I'm going to cut us off here.
Speaker 1: I think we unfortunately have to, but it means we're going to continue it next week.
Speaker 2: So next week come back for the second half of our entire guide, where we will discuss business. Formal business, casual, dressy, casual, casual
Speaker 1: and a few other options for a tire.
Speaker 1: A filmy dress
Speaker 1: her size to match a handsome swain and a lovely lady.
Speaker 1: Will you enjoy this special evening among your friends? Will you really have a good time?
Speaker 1: Or will you be a little unsure? a little uncertain about the right thing to do in the right time to do it.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: we like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world, and that can come in so many forms. And today we hear from Nikki.
Speaker 1: Hello, awesome etiquette team. I have an etiquette salute for my husband, Jim.
Speaker 1: I've had a chronic illness for many years. My husband married me, knowing that it had the potential to get worse. Unfortunately, it did, which has left me mostly homebound.
Speaker 1: The state of my health has been a source of sadness for me. But Jim's kindness, patience and empathy have made a big difference in my life. Recently, I have come to realize that I need to own a wheelchair.
Speaker 1: I delayed buying one as I kept hoping my health would improve. When I realized that wasn't the case, my husband offered to buy one for me. He spent some time online looking for the best wheelchair for me and bought it.
Speaker 1: He then excitedly talked about the places we could go when it arrived.
Speaker 1: He has assured me many times that he enjoys helping me be more mobile, and I know he is genuine.
Speaker 1: I would also like to salute his wheelchair etiquette when pushing the wheelchair. He is thoughtful, patient and attentive to those around us. I enjoy being out with him because he is considerate, respectful and honest to everyone we come in contact with. I love you, Jim. Oh, my gosh, if that just won't melt your heart.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for sending us this Nikki. It is a beautiful salute, and we hope that you and Jim really enjoy getting to get out together.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: thank you for listening
Speaker 1: and thank you to everyone who sent us something
Speaker 2: and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patreon.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and coworkers. On social media.
Speaker 2: You can send us questions, feedback and salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post com
Speaker 1: by phone. Leave us a message or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 on Twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute on Facebook.
Speaker 2: We are awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You can also subscribe to the
Speaker 2: ads version of our show
Speaker 1: on iTunes for your favorite podcast app. And
Speaker 2: please consider leaving us a review. It helps with our show ranking, which helps new people find awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Our show is edited by Chris Albertine an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd. Thanks. Kris and Brigitte.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Uh huh.