Episode 289 - Changing Fast
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 Dan and Lizzie talk about how fast things are changing and take your questions on invasive pregnancy questions, unclear invitations, house guests who don’t want to leave and coronavirus handshake woes. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about carefully critiquing how your barista made your coffee. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on developments in social distancing etiquette.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social. Could you see?
Speaker 2: It's old
Speaker 1: fashioned
Speaker 2: watch how busy
Speaker 1: post, And they're supposed to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person,
Speaker 2: real
Speaker 1: friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello
Speaker 2: and welcome to awesome etiquette,
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On
Speaker 2: today's show, we take your questions on invasive pregnancy questions, unclear invitations, houseguests who don't want to leave
Speaker 2: and coronavirus handshake woes
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette sustaining members are Question is about carefully critiquing how your barista made your coffee,
Speaker 2: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on social distancing etiquette. All that
Speaker 1: coming up
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of, well, Our Offices now and is proud to be produced in Vermont by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post and
Speaker 1: I'm Dan Post sending
Speaker 2: hey, because it's nice to get to see you.
Speaker 1: Likewise, this zoom meeting that we're using to
Speaker 1: see each other while we record this show is
Speaker 1: sort of remarkably personal. In some ways,
Speaker 2: it really is. I have missed your face. I missed Chris's face to. So when we got to zoom with him earlier, before he had to go, it was really nice to see him as well. But this is definitely awesome etiquette. In the age of Corona, we are respecting social distancing,
Speaker 2: and our mix might sound a little bit different because we are for the time being on our cell phones. But we're going to be upgrading and changing that as soon as we can,
Speaker 2: but we're making it work. And honestly, I'm really grateful that we have a podcast audience who wants to keep listening and wants to keep talking about etiquette, even though things feel a little different right now.
Speaker 1: Well, in some ways, it's really good practice. We are definitely dealing with a lot right now, individually, collectively, and
Speaker 1: that's you and me and our families, but also everybody. And in some ways there's things about that that are,
Speaker 1: um, sort of reassuring. We're all in this together and at the same time there are things that are really unnerving and unsettling and these little moments of
Speaker 1: normalcy. But I want to think of it as informed. Normalcy, I think, are important.
Speaker 2: Thanks, so to talk to me about how you're doing. You've got a little family. I'm one person in the house. I kind of know what's going on with my house.
Speaker 1: All confess there,
Speaker 1: being the eternal optimist. I'll start with the positives, um, things that I'm really enjoying. I'm spending a lot of time with my daughters and and it feels good. I love that time. I'm spending whole days with him pooches still working a couple of days a week. She's
Speaker 1: teleworking, and that means that I've got the girls Mondays and Tuesdays, and it's delightful. It's also there's an underlying anxiety to everything that's going on right now, so it's It's hard to just really fall into that and enjoy it. But they're they're definitely aspects of, of what we're going through that
Speaker 1: that are okay. And the family life. The home life is definitely one of those for me.
Speaker 2: That's awesome, and it's really, really awesome.
Speaker 1: I know you've got a lot going on also, any updates
Speaker 2: I do. I I became the very proud aunt of a of a nice uh Delfay. Yes, my sister Anna and Matt and and Jasper had Delphine Lamborn Post
Speaker 2: born on the 11th and She is beautiful and sweet, and she and mom are healthy and home. But they have been instructed not to see anyone pretty much, and they do have my parents getting to help them.
Speaker 2: But until I've spent enough time in no contact with other people outside the five of my family members that I'm hope for, six of my family members that I'm hoping to get to go see and help out with, I really can't see them. And so I'm in a zone where I kind of have to wait until a few of my outside interactions are done happening. And then I have to wait a number of days and then I can start
Speaker 2: both getting to interact with my family again and also get to help out with them because I'm fine. I'm so far I've been healthy and
Speaker 2: and everything, but it's my exposure to other people that could cause the problem. And so, um, so I'm just doing as much as I can right now. I think Saturday is my last commitment to the outside world, and then I kind of
Speaker 2: go under for a while so that I can then be helpful and be a part of things. Um and I'm trying really hard to respect that. It's been different and it's been interesting seeing everybody trying to embrace this or at what stage they are of embracing this. And I think that the more that we can all do our best to wash our hands, to cough into our sleeves, to not touch each other and to maintain that 6 ft
Speaker 2: distance, that literal distance, I think the better off we're going to be. And I just want to encourage people to know that that doesn't mean that you are shunning people, that you are being rude to them, that there are lots of ways with friendly faces and bright tones that we can
Speaker 2: convey to people that we are really happy to be in a community. We just want to be really respectful and careful with how we interact within that community. Right now,
Speaker 1: things are moving so quickly, I feel like I'm watching the news each day and there are new things that are happening, and the understanding of the situation changes as the situation itself changes, and I'm really reminding myself to stay flexible, to stay willing to change and adapt as things change. And of all the
Speaker 1: advice you just gave is excellent is very good advice. And we might be at a place where we're taking even stronger measures a few days from now, even by the time this podcast lands. And in some ways I'm trying to stay really conscious and engaged with the specifics of what's happening in the moment, but also
Speaker 1: staying willing to change and adapt. But then also thinking about what are the good tools for both staying present and committed, but also adaptable. So thinking about some of the big picture things, like just how how we take care of each other, how we set higher goals and priorities for ourselves, of compassion, understanding,
Speaker 1: um, courage, commitment and and that these are really I'm hoping the attributes that will serve us well now and in the future.
Speaker 2: I hope so, too. I hope so, too. There's a mantra in my head that I've been really trying to have become a drumbeat, and that is I can and I will
Speaker 2: like I can get through this and I will. I can help and I will. I can do my part and I will. I can. You're gonna love these next three cause Be considerate and I will I can be respectful and I will
Speaker 2: And I can be honest and I will. And I want to see my niece More than anything. I want to help out and go for a walk with my nephew more than anything,
Speaker 2: the way that I can help and the way that I will help my family right now is by not doing those things until I've had enough time where we know it's safe.
Speaker 2: That's my I can, and I will. So tell me some of your if you're in the I can and I will crowd if you're gonna sign up and join me What some of your I can and I will.
Speaker 1: Oh, boy, the pressure
Speaker 1: I I can and I will. I can take care of the people around me and I will
Speaker 1: I can remember the things that really matter to me, even in times of stress and anxiety. And I will
Speaker 1: I can be loving and I will.
Speaker 1: And to me those are the Those are the best ones I can, because you already nabbed c r N h. But
Speaker 2: you see me tearing up and I don't mean to, but it's because Dan and I had a really emotional conversation yesterday where we had tapped into to some of that part of it. And
Speaker 2: it's been, uh, in our family and in our in our small world that we've all come down to you right now. Um, there are concerns, and there are things that people are worried about, and we've started to see some of the emotions come out, and I really love your I can
Speaker 2: take care of the people around me, and I will, and I really feel like you're doing that. And I feel like in our relationship and our running of Emily Post Institute,
Speaker 2: we are doing that for each other. I've noticed how how we lean on each other for support in this time has been really interesting, and I want to look at it as really encouraging. We are in positions of privilege where there are certain things that we aren't having to worry about now that other people are having to worry about.
Speaker 2: It's been
Speaker 2: really great
Speaker 2: to recognize that and to recognize where we can help and where we can extend our help to to,
Speaker 2: but I'm really grateful to
Speaker 2: be in a place where I can think about things like Okay, we can take a minute and have an emotional moment about this and and talk about the stress of it or some of the long term worries or some of the short term worries and also know that that can be an expression. And then we can get back to dealing with the things in the moment,
Speaker 2: like the show and
Speaker 2: my favorite line that has come out of the world of coronavirus since we've been dealing with it. Which is Excuse me data,
Speaker 2: but arias in the dishwasher like you told me this delightful moment of working from home, which so many of us are doing now and having a one year old or not even a one year old. How old is are you know, seven months, nine
Speaker 1: months to the day yesterday today
Speaker 2: and that we're all going to be hearing dogs bark and kids say things. But
Speaker 2: can you tell the story of what happened yesterday on that phone call that so brought home life and work life together?
Speaker 1: I had taken a work call. I was in the kitchen with both the girls, and while I was talking, I was looking out the window at the bird feeder. And we just have a riot of birds right now at our feeders. And
Speaker 1: And as I'm talking to someone in California about etiquette classes,
Speaker 1: my three year old saying, Excuse me, data. Excuse me, data. Excuse me. That and I try to reward that particular interruption
Speaker 2: because it hasn't excuse me on it. It's got the magic words
Speaker 1: exactly as I say. Pardon me. Just a second by three year olds wanting my attention. She's asking the right way. I really want to reward her.
Speaker 1: Oh, initial, What's going on?
Speaker 1: Data hurry is in the dishwasher, and so I like, turn the rest of the way around. And the nine month as the door was open and she crawled up onto the open door and was like making her way into
Speaker 1: I didn't know she was capable of that exactly yet, And I hope I'm not just like confessing to terrible parenting right now to a big audience.
Speaker 1: But I was like I think she did. You put her up there, she swears. No and I kind of believe her like because Ari is doing the cruising thing now where she, like, walks her her hands up things and stands and moves. And she's She's a lot more active than she was even a month ago. So she surprised me. She's a climber. I have a friend who told me, Look out, babies that are climbers turned into, um
Speaker 1: a certain a certain kind of personality later and
Speaker 2: like, that's really
Speaker 1: cool a little bit like you, because I was looking forward to this intro, and you and I started to peel back the curtain a little bit. Oftentimes, don't talk much before the show about what we're going to say in the intro. It.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: it feels spontaneous to me often because it is spontaneous, and I was really looking forward to this particular show because it is a charged moment, and I just wanted to pause a minute and look back and thank you for the I can and I will. I like that mantra. I think it's, um,
Speaker 1: it's It's a useful tool, and I'm looking for useful tools right now, so thank you for that.
Speaker 2: Good. I'm glad it's It's helping this brain right now, so I'm very Yeah, no, I'm glad. I'm glad it's useful. I hope it's useful to some folks out there.
Speaker 2: Where else do you want this conversation to go? Other than towards some questions? What do you think? Anything else in the world of Corona that we want to touch on before we jump to the rest of the show?
Speaker 1: I think there's going to be plenty of time for that,
Speaker 1: and I want our audience to know that we're gonna be here as best we can. And we continue to lean on all of you. We say it on this show often, and it's
Speaker 1: as true now as it ever was, and it's going to continue to be true and important. There would be no show without you.
Speaker 1: So please do let us know how it's going for you. Send in your questions, your comments, your feedback and
Speaker 1: we'll do our best to be here, and we'll all get through this. Together we will.
Speaker 2: We absolutely will. And
Speaker 1: for now, so we get to some etiquette questions.
Speaker 2: I think we should.
Speaker 2: Awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions, and you can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 or reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post install on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media post, so we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled Pregnant and Polite.
Speaker 1: Hello, I am pregnant and the inappropriate comments and questions have begun to roll in. I've gotten comments on how round and full I look, unwanted advice and judgment on everything from finding out the baby's gender to the type of birth plan I have.
Speaker 1: I have also gotten the dreaded stomach touch from a stranger. Do you have any advice for responding to unwanted and rude comments? What about questions? I don't feel comfortable answering. Thank you Sincerely anonymous.
Speaker 2: I think that this is one of those times where it is so frustrating to feel like you need to stand up for these personal boundaries because you just wish people knew better.
Speaker 2: I mean, why are you reaching out to touch another human being that you don't know when they're carrying another human being inside them? It just doesn't. It doesn't jive with today's, I think modern woman. I think that modern women don't enjoy being touched. I think
Speaker 2: there's a lot of enjoyment of people loving the fact that they're pregnant,
Speaker 2: but that stops when the hands start reaching out. And I think that it's really important for you to feel comfortable saying to someone I'm sorry, I really would rather not be touched right now when they go in for that reach because you're dealing with a small amount of distance even during the current circumstances
Speaker 2: and someone's arm can very quickly get close enough to you that you do need that speed in order to do that. And unfortunately with that speed, it's very hard to not convey some kind of urgency in your voice. So trying to get someone to be calm, cool and collected while someone else is like reaching out at them in a short amount of distance. It's a lot to ask someone to be perfectly polite in that moment. I give pregnant women a huge pass on when they don't want the bump touched, putting up that boundary and putting it up in a way that they feel comfortable with.
Speaker 1: It's funny. I almost feel like we could have two answers to every question, the normal answer and in the time of coronavirus answer. Because if you really are social distancing, there will be that space right now
Speaker 2: and no one is going to try to touch you.
Speaker 2: But
Speaker 2: it doesn't always happen that way.
Speaker 1: In reality, it really doesn't and just like it's okay to set those physical boundaries. And it's not just okay. It's important that you let people know what is and isn't okay, that it's also okay to set those boundaries in terms of the conversations that you're willing to have. It is absolute perfectly okay to redirect with care.
Speaker 1: You don't call someone out for asking.
Speaker 1: The best case version
Speaker 1: of a reply goes something like, You know, I really don't want to get into that, but it's so good to see you. I love to hear how are you doing? Or I'd love to hear about X, y or Z.
Speaker 2: Yes, I love that as a redirect for how to handle the questions about the birth plan or the baby's gender or things like that. Dan. Awesome sample script because oh, yeah, no, I'm giving you from Stan. I know this usually goes the other way, but like
Speaker 2: it's honestly, I love that. I just don't want to get into all that, But it's so good to see you.
Speaker 2: Awesome.
Speaker 1: There's another piece of very traditional etiquette advice that comes into play here, and it's not going to be so helpful when you're on the receiving end. But it can help all of us avoid being someone who ends up causing this kind of discomfort.
Speaker 1: The comments about how round or full you look could be avoided completely if someone didn't comment on your appearance. And obviously pregnancy is a different time. That doesn't mean different rules apply. It's not like all of a sudden it's okay to comment on someone's appearance. You have to take a lot of care when you're going to talk about how someone looks. It's much better
Speaker 1: to talk about what they do or a quality that they have than their appearance.
Speaker 2: I think one of the one of the only ways that you can get away with it in the world of commenting positively towards pregnant women is
Speaker 2: you look radiant or, you know, like it's like wow, like yea, right now, like you look great carrying this baby. Like if that's the only thing and that's only when people are far along like you can really tell. But the truth is you don't always know and people get into such trouble with this.
Speaker 2: And so, for me personally, I try and limit the compliments I give to people who I really know and have
Speaker 2: welcomed me into their kind of pregnancy journey with them. So, like my sister, you know, your wife, um, the people who I really talk with in more detail about the pregnancy. Those are the people that that I'll say, I'll ask questions. First. I'll be like, Oh, does the baby. Do you feel like the bump is really growing? You know, is it really a lot bigger? And
Speaker 2: I'm always fascinated to hear what pregnant women say back. No, you know, I don't feel bigger, but people tell me I look bigger right now, or wow, I feel huge. Thank you for telling me I don't look gigantic, you know, And
Speaker 2: and there's all kinds of things about whether people want to be looking big. Don't want to be looking big. There's no way to tell what a compliment would be in this zone. A lot of the times. And that's why we say, Don't go for trying to talk about appearance.
Speaker 2: Don't try to make a compliment unless you're 100% sure it's going to land as a compliment for someone
Speaker 1: anonymous. Congratulations on the pregnancy. Good luck as you navigate the rest of it, and we hope our answer helps, at least with those unwanted comments and touches.
Speaker 2: Yeah, if you don't understand a rule, find out why the rule is made. If you really know why, then it will probably make sense.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Am I invited?
Speaker 2: Hello, Dan and Lizzie. I have an etiquette question. I'm hoping you can help me with a cousin of mine is getting married. A save. The date was sent to my parents' house addressed to the X family.
Speaker 2: I assume invitations will be addressed the same way. The problem is that I no longer live with my parents, and it wasn't obvious to me that I was invited. I do have siblings still living with our parents, who are more obviously included. The communication in the extended family
Speaker 2: indicates the couple have included everyone, so I am fairly sure that I am invited.
Speaker 2: My mother has also indicated that I am invited and she has been in touch with the cousins Mother,
Speaker 2: Given the way things were addressed, should my parents R S v p for me, even though I am an adult and no longer live with them?
Speaker 2: Am I wrong in thinking that I should have received my own invitation? Should I do more to confirm whether I am invited? That seems like overkill, but I also don't want to impose.
Speaker 2: This situation. Also raised a question about gifts. My understanding is that the invited guests are expected to give a gift. How would that work with a group invitation like this? It seems like a group gift from the immediate family makes sense, since that's how the invitation was done. But I also don't want to be stingy.
Speaker 2: Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Best regards. Confused guest question Mark
Speaker 1: Oh, confused guest. Don't be confused. This is actually a not uncommon etiquette problem, and there's a pretty clear etiquette answer. And I think we can start with the simple things.
Speaker 1: Yes, you are invited. It is great that your mother was able to get that confirmation, and that's absolutely
Speaker 1: for me. The intuitive, obvious first choice for getting that confirmation that she was able to as the one who received that invitation. Reach out to somebody connected with the issuing of it and get some clarification. Uh, I have some of my Children live with me. Some don't. Are they all? Yes, absolutely.
Speaker 1: Who are you? And you're right. It would be overkill to continue to pursue this situation beyond that and and the reason it would be overkill. Lizzie smiling at me in the zoom space. I'm so proud of myself. Answering Connecticut question that is all about weddings and invitations
Speaker 1: is that there is an etiquette gaffe here. And yes, you probably should have received your own invitation. That would have been best practice because you live alone. You have your own address, and it's precisely to avoid this kind of confusion that you would do that as someone
Speaker 1: hosting a wedding or issuing an invitation,
Speaker 1: it might start to tip toe over the line of calling them out on that gaffe. If you continue to bring it up and avoiding that is sort of good taste on your part.
Speaker 2: Totally. You've checked so many boxes in the category of checking whether to make sure that you're invited, you are 100% in the clear.
Speaker 2: But I think that the question of gifts that comes up next is a really good one,
Speaker 2: and I think in this case that a group gift is absolutely fine. I think if you wanted to, you could give an individual gift, or you might give an individual card to express your your additional congratulations and support, you know, especially if you're closer with that cousin or something like that.
Speaker 2: But I think mostly you just as a family get the gift and as a family give the card. So sign that card.
Speaker 2: I mean, I think we're pretty much in agreement on this one. Yeah,
Speaker 1: I would say yes. I definitely think that if you're going to participate in that group gift, do you want to be sure that you sign off on the card
Speaker 1: so that they've got that
Speaker 1: information on the receiving end of things and know how to thank appropriately, improperly. But like my cousin Lizzie, I would say, if you feel so inspired, if the spirit of generosity is overtaking you and you want to do your own gift, there's nothing wrong with that,
Speaker 2: either. Do you think it is weird or strange? Unusual. Pick your word at all to have, like three members of a family on a group gift and one member on an individual gift, even though the invitation goes to everybody like it does. Is it strange, or is it just like Oh,
Speaker 2: well, that's nice to gifts them. I know that for my family, like I always jump on the group gift. If the family decides to do a gift from the family, I jump on that. And if I want to do something a little extra on my own, I do that. But I tend to join that family card kind of no matter what. Personally,
Speaker 1: this is how I'll answer that question. I'll say
Speaker 1: nothing strange about it, but maybe figure out a way to get a return address on your card in some way so that it makes it easy for them to send you the thank you note. Because your own house there's a good chance they don't have that address. Or at least that's what I would guess, based on the way the invitation was issued.
Speaker 2: I think so. Too
Speaker 2: confused. Guest. We hope that this eliminates some of the confusion and lets you go to this wedding and have a wonderful
Speaker 1: time. Mother,
Speaker 2: what do you suppose Mary didn't invite me to her party?
Speaker 2: Are you sure you didn't get an invitation? Maybe they thought he wouldn't want to go to a party. They probably thought I wouldn't know how to add. You will get an invitation to the party who's just been some mix up
Speaker 1: way.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about a humorous house guest who's maybe not so humorous.
Speaker 1: Hello. I have recently reconnected with a family member who lives out of town for holidays. She has stayed with me and my family. I love having her and she is a considerate guest. The problem is, my husband and I both work and have young Children. A k a. R. Life is hectic
Speaker 1: when my relative comes. Her departure date is never communicated, and she always says, I'm leaving when you kick me out
Speaker 1: after three or four days, it's not funny anymore, and my kids need to get back to their routine. At this point, I don't even know what I'm asking. Do I suck it up and enjoy her company? Or is there a polite way to nail down an end date to her visit? Sincerely, just trying to be a good host.
Speaker 2: Oh, just trying to be a good host. This is a problem. A lot of people experience, especially with close family members, are very close. Friends who come to visit is they think they're close enough that they don't have to set dates. And that's where you as a host, get to set that wonderful boundary and be that wonderful, guiding,
Speaker 2: guiding, light guiding person
Speaker 2: and say, Oh, we would love to have you come stay. We'd be able to have you stay with us from the 13th to the 15th or the 13th to the 17th, whatever it is, but you know, after that, unfortunately, we have to. Our house isn't going to be open to visitors.
Speaker 2: You don't have to say we're going out of town. You don't have to make up some kind of reason like someone else is staying. It's just we're just not open. We've got to get back to routine and everything at that point.
Speaker 2: And then if she makes a joke, you can say, Well, this is me doing that, kicking you out on the 15th thing and then say like if she's saying this is how I can play with this idea That's kind of a quasi socially uncomfortable idea.
Speaker 2: Maybe play with her in that space if you can do it Well, I don't think my example was a very good example. I wouldn't use my same tone with it.
Speaker 2: I think you can match the tone that she has, but in a in a way that says I'm participating, not making fun of you, you know,
Speaker 1: absolutely. And that that good humor, well applied is
Speaker 1: a really effective social tool. I like how you said there's no need to make up a reason, and this is one of those places where I think there's the art to good etiquette. I like the idea of giving a reason. It'll help someone understand. But the reason that you could give is it.
Speaker 1: That's about how long we can step out of our usual routine.
Speaker 1: That can be enough. It doesn't have to be a special reason, like, Oh, there's a big event that day or something but sort of acknowledging that, you know, this isn't just coming from nowhere or it's not a personal thing. It's not. We don't like you. We want you to go away. It has to do with us and how we manage our lives. And that can be enough of a
Speaker 1: reason in quotes. If you're able to articulate that in a way that makes sense to you.
Speaker 1: And I love that idea of giving concrete dates saying, Oh, from this to this really works for us and that that's part of the framing of the whole conversation that sets you up well.
Speaker 2: That is like our most classic house guesting advice is no matter who, no matter how close, no matter what the visit, set those start and end dates and make them really clear.
Speaker 1: Of course, you cannot answer an etiquette question about how long house guests stay without reminding everyone about the classic saying
Speaker 2: give it to us.
Speaker 1: Fish and houseguests both start to smell after three days.
Speaker 2: And there you have it. Just trying to be a good host. We hope that your fish and your houseguests smell wonderful when they visit. Stay fresh. Either way, we hope that this advice helps and that you can get back to your routine with your kiddos. Practice
Speaker 1: the skills of a good guest. Leave on time and courteously to thanking your host sincerely for the good time you've had.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Courteous, but there's coronavirus. Hi, you two.
Speaker 2: Do you have any comments on all the pieces I see out there for alternatives to handshakes? In this day of coronavirus? There are some pretty creative alternatives, but they still are not a handshake. Cindy
Speaker 1: Cindy, Thank you for the question. This is such a clear illustration of what a moving target etiquette is. And
Speaker 1: as you say in this day of coronavirus, that target is moving really rapidly, so it's up to all of us to kind of
Speaker 1: keep up as best we can. A week ago, I would have given very different advice about this. The set of options and alternatives for a good greeting included things like touching elbows or even toes. But
Speaker 1: a week later, that
Speaker 1: is really probably closer than you want to get to somebody if you don't have to. And there are some other really good options. Ways to acknowledge someone physically when you meet that don't require touching or getting that close to someone.
Speaker 1: One. Yeah, one's been around forever, and Lizzie reminds me through the zoom with a little wave that just waving to someone is a great way to acknowledge them. You can show a lot. You can have a kind of timid, shy wave. A really excited wave you can. You can communicate a great deal with that gesture.
Speaker 1: Lizzie is going through a whole series of emotions, questioning awkward, the self depreciating, uh, so again, and a lot of that's what the face, as well as the gesture, other options. Some people really like something that's like prayer hands with your fingers together, palms touching in front of your chest.
Speaker 1: There can be a little bow that goes along with that or not. Um, if you're familiar with greeting someone and saying no mistake, that's oftentimes the gesture that accompanies that particular greeting or parting.
Speaker 1: There's a gesture that comes comes from I don't know exactly if that's true, but I first became familiar with it. In the Muslim world, where people of different genders aren't going to shake hands, it's very common to place your hand over your heart
Speaker 1: and acknowledge the other person with a nod of the head. And I started. This is my favorite. It's been my choice to I think it's
Speaker 2: I really like that. I think that it it just gets right at the heart of it quite literally. It's like greeting you seeing you. It's I feel it here
Speaker 2: and the little bow that goes with that, I think makes a wonderful gesture of that towards someone. I just I think it's my new favorite greeting.
Speaker 2: It's
Speaker 1: almost like an invisible hug. It's almost like you're hugging like like the essence of someone. It includes your body and your
Speaker 1: hand, your face. I think it's a really nice option. So,
Speaker 1: Cindy, thank you for the question. I hope we've given you a few alternatives, a few things to choose from and definitely keep your antenna out and let us know if you come up with anything else.
Speaker 1: Any time you pick up a wretch, reach for a control, use a grease gun, grab a welding torch or work on any machine while forgetting safety. You're shaking hands with danger.
Speaker 1: Thank 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 You can reach us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 1: on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 1: and on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just remember to use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: 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. Plus, you'll feel great knowing you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover. And today's feedback comes from Sam and Stephanie. And it's about Episode 2 87 where we talked about a co worker who had a jaw that clicked when she ate.
Speaker 2: Hello, I am with Lizzie that there is no polite way to bring up a coworker's jaw clicking when they chew.
Speaker 2: Unlike neck and knuckle cracking, this is more likely a medical condition than an unconscious habit. My jaw clicks very loudly when I chew most foods, and in addition to being a source of self consciousness, it can be extremely painful.
Speaker 2: Although I take measures to mitigate the issue, it is not something I can do anything to prevent. If the co worker in question is in the same boat, they are likely already aware of the extra sound when they chew, and bringing it up would be more akin to bringing up someone's acne scarring
Speaker 2: than calling attention to spinach in their teeth.
Speaker 2: I've had two coworkers comment on my jaw, clicking during my communal lynch's, and both occasions were fairly embarrassing and unwelcome since they brought it up in front of other people. And in the second instance, the coworker insisted on speculating about what caused the issue until I actually left the room
Speaker 2: because they were not taking any cues that I did not want to discuss it.
Speaker 2: I know that's not at all what you were suggesting when wondering if there was any room to gently mention the jaw clicking and the question asked. Her is clearly more conscientious than my co workers were on these occasions, but I do think it's worth pointing out how poorly the conversation maybe received, especially in a work setting.
Speaker 2: Kudos to the question asked her for her efforts to deal with this as her issue. You are making the right call. I hope you find a solution that brings some relief. Sam, Sam, we really appreciate you writing in with this first person perspective and
Speaker 2: recognizing all that you have with it that are question. Esseker was doing a good job that the idea is not to embarrass someone and to give us the perspective that as someone who deals with this,
Speaker 2: you have yet to have someone successfully talked to you about it in a way that made you feel okay, and I just I'm liking the feedback that we have here to tell people when it comes to things that are different from, like a knuckle crack, and it is something that's medically related.
Speaker 2: If someone tells you it's medically related, don't use that as necessarily you're in
Speaker 2: to then ask them questions about that situation. What might cause it, why it might be cause this way or that way in a different person. Unless the person with the condition is inviting those conversations,
Speaker 1: I found it really helpful. The analogy of acne, scarring, verse, broccoli on the tooth
Speaker 2: really
Speaker 1: great distinction isn't about, uh, something that's easily correctable necessarily, that this is more about pointing out something that someone is probably, well, well, well aware of and is something that they have learned to live with.
Speaker 1: Our next piece of feedback takes a similar tone.
Speaker 1: Hello, I just paused episode to 87 to email you about the jaw clicking question. This sounds like TMJ, a medical condition I and perhaps your listeners coworker have that causes a clicking sound during certain jaw movements like eating. Essentially, my jaw joints don't work properly, and this can actually make
Speaker 1: things like eating a bit painful.
Speaker 1: In addition, to causing that pesky clicking sound.
Speaker 1: It's embarrassing for me when I'm around other people. I try to ignore it, though perhaps I should consider addressing it head on so that more people understand the condition and why my jaw is being so noisy during a meal I wanted to write in so that your reader could consider this possibility and understand that it may be a medical condition that their co worker cannot control
Speaker 1: P s. I agree with you completely on your advice, to talk to the co worker, about the net cracking that is voluntary. And it annoys me as well, wishing my fellow listener all the best and hoping that they are able to find a way to enjoy their lunch in peace. Stephanie.
Speaker 2: I love Stephanie's attitude with her advice like I'm wishing that you can find a way to eat in peace,
Speaker 2: but not by telling me that my jaw clicking is making it not peaceful for you because it's painful for me. I like the fact that Stephanie is considering whether or not tackling this head on when she eats with people is a better tactic than leaving it unsaid.
Speaker 2: And I think that if you're the kind of person who you feel comfortable doing that, that that's a great avenue to go, and if you're you're not, I'm not.
Speaker 2: I don't think you should feel like you have to. You know what I mean?
Speaker 1: Absolutely. And Stephanie? I also appreciate the way you're able to take the perspective of the co worker who is wrestling with this question as well.
Speaker 1: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next piece of feedback or update two awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can also leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. 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 actually going to take a break from our top 10 most search list this week and address some of the issues of social distancing etiquette. And we had a listener right in with a couple questions that we thought were actually a good springboard for the conversation.
Speaker 1: This email began Hello, I recently stumbled onto your podcast and have been enjoying it. I do have a question that has two parts that have been on my mind quite a bit.
Speaker 1: First, I work in sales for a business association, often attending large events, banquets and networking events. Personally, I don't like shaking hands with people. I find it gross but necessary. Often when I'm eating lunch at a banquet or order curves at a networking event, people will extend a hand to shake,
Speaker 1: and I reluctantly shake their hand
Speaker 1: instead of having to run to wash my hands every time I've gotten in the habit of not touching my food with my right hand, only eating with my left hand.
Speaker 1: Is there a better, more polite way to handle this?
Speaker 1: Secondly, at a recent meeting with an individual, I noticed he rubbed his nose with his hand quite a bit during our meeting. Toward the end of the meeting, I knew I'd have to shake his hand and I was grossed out, and especially with the virus going around
Speaker 1: afterwards, I immediately washed my hands. If it were me, I would have used a tissue to rub my nose.
Speaker 1: What's the best way to handle this or address it signed fear of handshakes.
Speaker 2: These are definitely interesting issues, and one of the reasons why we selected them for our post script segment and not for actual questions was because we thought they brought up kind of two big ideas here. One is, how am I taking care of me? And the other is, How do I deal with it when other people aren't taking care of themselves the way I would take care of me.
Speaker 2: So for that first part where we're talking about the hands at an event, for one thing, we now don't have nearly as many events that we're going to where this is even going to be an option, something to think about. But I also think it's important to recognize that what I like about what our question Askar is thinking about here
Speaker 2: is
Speaker 2: in a world where I'm going to encounter a lot.
Speaker 2: What can I control for myself? And the left right hand division is actually not a bad one. Dan brought it up recently. In are just regular conversations of cousins. How are you handling the coronavirus?
Speaker 2: And said that is something he's been doing a lot of Dan talk to me about how it's working for you, how you feel about using the left right hand separation.
Speaker 1: I've been generally, and this started for me sort of maybe a week or more ago when I had less concerned. But it was starting to become more conscious of these issues of exposure to germs and how we could potentially impact each other that I was just using my left hand when I was grocery shopping,
Speaker 1: whenever I was touching surfaces or picking up products that I didn't know where they've been or who else had been touching them. But that was one way I would kind of protect myself. And then
Speaker 1: I'd use my right hand for unbutton ning and buttoning my jacket, doing the things that were close to me in your
Speaker 2: face, trying not
Speaker 1: to touch my face generally, but
Speaker 2: at least then your right hand. And let me guess you're right hand is the never touching other people or other things, right?
Speaker 1: Exactly. Sort of as best I could on a trip out to do errands or something like that. But
Speaker 1: I adopted a very similar mindset, and like you, I liked the practical thinking here that there are ways that we can manage social expectations. But there are also ways we can manage ourselves and what we do that are really practical. And we've said on this show, I think a number of times that practicality is often the heart of good etiquette, and
Speaker 1: safety is often times more important than it. And I think there's some good lessons there for being creative, being adaptable and really thinking about what you're doing.
Speaker 2: For those of you who may be wondering also because we are now in a state where we really aren't shaking hands and Dan in particular, is not shaking hands with everyone.
Speaker 2: That's why he's not so worried about using his right hand for himself.
Speaker 2: You might, in coming months, end up using your right hand to be your interaction hand and your left hand for yourself, and that's what our listener is trying to do.
Speaker 1: So I find the second part of this question much more difficult. And
Speaker 2: how do you handle other people?
Speaker 1: Yes, particularly someone who's doing something that you start to read as
Speaker 1: maybe dangerous, both to themselves, but also maybe to you or to the people around you, them, all of us.
Speaker 2: And what you have just brought up to me is the balance here. Is that what you think is dangerous And there are some things right now that are dangerous. But people just aren't
Speaker 2: sure of how dangerous they are,
Speaker 2: how bad it is. They're not recognizing how often they're making other mistakes, so it might not feel like there's a lot of mistakes to be making out there. There are different levels that we find ourselves at with this. And I think that whenever I am looking at a situation where
Speaker 2: someone is doing something that either I wouldn't do for myself or that I don't want to engage with so like that, you know, sneeze into the hand and then, you know, knowing that you're probably going to have to shake that hand in a couple minutes or that the person is going to try
Speaker 2: and I'm gonna tell myself it's okay for me to say no right now. It's okay for me to say, actually, I'm social distancing, actually, right now, I'm not shaking hands or I'm trying very hard not to, quite frankly, the age that we're in and the severity of what we're dealing with allows people to disengage so easily.
Speaker 2: And I know that this listener wrote in a little bit before things got to the level that they have now where we're really everyone's in the zone. If I understand when someone says I don't want to shake a hand,
Speaker 2: what would you do? Dan, if the person said, Oh, come on and reach their hand out
Speaker 1: I think you stick to your boundaries and I think that permission to say no is so important and you can always be firm but polite. You don't have to accuse them. I can't believe you'd ask that of me or you should know better or
Speaker 1: I can't believe you don't take this seriously. The questioning of someone else's integrity or intelligence is something that's really hard to get over, whereas essentially, for going a social courtesy is something that is repairable in a relationship. So absolutely, you want to do the first you want to really try to avoid that, that other sort of more more insulting approach. But
Speaker 1: you've got to be able to set your boundaries and limits. I like the permission to do it in the moment, I think, for sort of best practices. And this was where this question kind of drove my thinking early on,
Speaker 1: particularly as times are changing and evolving so rapidly that setting parameters for interactions right off the bat in the beginning is, I think, a really good idea. So that ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure pardon the really old adage. But that in this particular environment is
Speaker 1: sort of apt,
Speaker 1: saying ahead of time when you meet someone or when you encounter someone.
Speaker 1: Hi, good to see you. I'm really taking seriously this 6 ft social distancing thing right now, but it's such a pleasure to see you hand over the heart. Slight nod of the head. Whatever is your greeting at the moment. But setting those boundaries and those those limits that make you comfortable for interaction early on are going to be really important. It's going to be different in all kinds of different situations
Speaker 1: for different people. Lizzie and I are talking a lot about people who have a lot of choice about when and how they interact. There are people that are providing essential services right now that they don't have a choice, don't get to make those choices. And I want to tip my hat to the people that are doing that work in these climates. And
Speaker 1: it's one of the reasons we're spending so much time on these topics because they're going to come up in ways that we can't anticipate. But it's really important that we're really thinking about how we handle them. Well,
Speaker 2: there are certainly going to be many adjustments that we make both to our own behavior and to how we interact with perceive, receive other people's behavior.
Speaker 2: Um, in the coming weeks and months, and it's going to be really interesting to see where it plays out already. Dan and I are hearing people ask us about topics like,
Speaker 2: How am I handling a canceled wedding? How are we dealing with work at home environments and teleconferencing in and what's appropriate on a teleconference four months ago? It seems to be differently appropriate now, because we're all living in the same space is how we handle who gets the quiet space in a home for a call or for study time or something like that. There's all kinds of stuff.
Speaker 2: We are going to have to think about and make adjustments for and be ready for. And the more that we can all think I can
Speaker 2: and I will with a positive attitude,
Speaker 2: the better we will ride this. I can't say storm because it's not a storm, but ride this virus out together and the more we can be better agents in our communities, helping and doing our part.
Speaker 1: So please keep your questions, comments and particularly your feedback coming. We really count on you. You are
Speaker 1: seeing and experiencing so much out there, and we will all benefit from a richer, fuller conversation.
Speaker 1: So keep it up. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing what you have to say with the rest of the awesome etiquette audience.
Speaker 2: But no matter
Speaker 1: how swiftly the doctor must work,
Speaker 1: there is one thing he never disregards hands, which are free from germs.
Speaker 1: Before a doctor begins an operation, he scrubs his hands over and over not just for seconds,
Speaker 1: but for a long, careful minute.
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 today. We hear from Tammy,
Speaker 2: Dear Lizzie and Dan. I would like to share an etiquette salute for the best neighbor I've ever had. Back in 2014, I was one of the first few buyers in a renovated older building turned condo.
Speaker 2: The very next owner ended up being my neighbor Jill. One. L
Speaker 2: and I won the neighbor lottery While we didn't become super close friends, we did become great neighbors, kindly collecting each other's mail when the other traveled cat sitting fashion interventions
Speaker 2: Does this top work with the skirt and excitedly sharing the joy of our home improvements or furniture purchases? She even loaned me refrigerator space when my fridge suddenly died.
Speaker 2: When I started dating the man I eventually married, she told me how delighted she was to hear our laughter in halls and through the walls, not complaining of the noise. Rather true joy in knowing I was happy. After our wedding, I sold my condo, hopefully getting her a good new neighbor,
Speaker 2: and as I was moving out, she left me a kind note detailing all these great points of our relationship. saying how much she appreciated having me for a neighbor.
Speaker 2: It was the sweetest gesture that really put a flourish on a relationship that was perfect in its simplicity because it was built on consideration, respect and honesty. Here's a salute to Jill and all the wonderful neighbors out there. May we meet them and may we be them? Tammy. Oh, crowd.
Speaker 2: I did not mean to start crying when I read it. I didn't think I was gonna blood at the first and last parts of the show.
Speaker 2: That was really lovely, as I don't know if it's like the single girl who lives in a house and has a neighbor who's like that who, like, is connecting in me right now, but like it's a good, that's a good That's a good that is a friendship. It's a type of friendship, man. Any time you can call on someone and says this outfit okay and trust the answer, that's a friendship.
Speaker 2: Sorry, I won't qualify someone else's relationship.
Speaker 1: No.
Speaker 2: Could you cut in so I can stop talking? I don't want
Speaker 1: to. I love your response to this salute. I think that it is a really sweet salute and I sort of noted that distinction between we became really good neighbors, not the best of friends, and
Speaker 1: I sort of had a similar thought. I was like, This is a kind of friendship And also, I think it's nice to to recognize how special
Speaker 1: a relationship can be that doesn't necessarily need to involve
Speaker 1: whatever you call a friendship, the long phone calls into the middle of the night or something. But that mutual respect that consideration that care for each other can really can really define a relationship, even if it's one that's got a bit of a distance to it.
Speaker 2: Tammy, thank you so much for the salute.
Speaker 2: Thank you for listening. We want to encourage everyone to be safe and healthy out there to do your part. Remember, once again to think I can, and I will.
Speaker 2: We are really hoping that you and your families and your loved ones and your friends are staying safe and helping to spread the message of staying safe right now.
Speaker 1: Thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on patreon. Now more than ever,
Speaker 1: please connect with us. Share this show with friends, family and co workers. You can send us your next question feedback or salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can reach us by phone where you can leave us a voicemail or a text at 802858 kind That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: on Twitter. We are at Emily Post Inst
Speaker 1: on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute, then on Facebook. We are Awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 2: Please consider becoming a sustaining member. This show could truly use your support more than ever right now. And we greatly appreciate all of our sustaining members. You can learn more by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on
Speaker 1: iTunes or your
Speaker 2: favorite podcast app. And please consider leaving us a review. It helps our show ranking.
Speaker 2: Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Dowd. Thanks, Christian Bridget.
Speaker 2: Mm,
Speaker 2: yeah,