Episode 306 - Who Are You?
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to the Awesome Etiquette podcast, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we take your questions on: looking at the camera during zoom calls, baby nickname preferences, family members who take photos of your home, and being tall at the theater. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about masks at a wedding. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript segment on self-assessment.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy that's old fashioned.
Speaker 1: Watch how
Speaker 2: busy post and damn posts and act as host and hostess.
Speaker 2: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really Friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and welcome toe Awesome etiquette, where we
Speaker 2: explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show, we take your questions on looking at the camera during Zoom calls, baby nickname Preferences, family members who take photos of your home and being tall at the theater
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about mask style at a wedding.
Speaker 1: All that plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on self assessment.
Speaker 2: All that coming up
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post and
Speaker 2: I'm Dan Post. Sending
Speaker 1: and welcome to the show Today s so good to be here. It really is. It really, really is the parts of my week where we get to connector definitely and like work on something together that's a lot of fun. There's a there's a lot of working alone.
Speaker 2: Yes, there is
Speaker 1: because, you know, because I've admitted it to you plenty during this lovely different time of pandemic that we're all living in, that there's there's a lot of not working and working towards working a lot of procrastinate. Cleaning some back In the beginning, there was simple craft baking Thio. I don't know what you're talking
Speaker 2: about. This has never happened to me. I've never fell prey to chores around the house when I could be processing emails. Really?
Speaker 1: No, it's true. I've been struggling writing and the writing is, um,
Speaker 1: coming. I had have, like, fits and spurts where it's like you have, like, a good day or you get a lot of good research done and then you feel really compelled to write like and push it forward. So there's been work that's happened, but and there's been a lot of thought. There's been a lot of observing. There's been a lot of talking to people, which you could probably count. I remember Dan even even sending me a NA article with a famous writer who was talking about how they there's like months of like what feels like not working that leads up to the actual work. I felt very not alone when I when I read that when you told me about that. But it's come time that I kick my own little fanny and I have actually signed up to go do a writer's retreat in the form of going down to our our family property on Martha's Vineyard. My parents are going to be down there, so it's kind of like a straight shot, you know, like my house to theirs across the ferry. You don't get to get out on the ferry. Um, it's like, you know. Yeah, I know. I'm like, Oh, boy, Hot ferry. 45 minutes in the car. Who get ready? Sunny? Um, but yeah, no headed down. I figure I'm going to be down there with the woman, my mother, who has written this book for the past two editions, and I am going to be down there with my parents, and I'm hoping that the that just that, like feeling of parent child. Get your homework done, girl. You know what I mean? Eso I'm loving
Speaker 2: everything that I mean
Speaker 1: sure of course you are because you and I are so permissive with each other. It's like we really understand, like where life gets in the way where our work gets in the way of our other work. And so there are some times where I'm like, man, I just I need Dan to like to, like, expect more of me or something like that. What I expect is you to
Speaker 2: get out of
Speaker 1: Dodge, turn your
Speaker 2: poor parents vacation into a writing retreat.
Speaker 1: It's awful. I'm so glad that they are welcoming this rather than dreading it. My mom, I have not once heard my mother say You can't drag me out of retirement. She has. She's been, like, very understanding of of what it's like to sit and try and do this book. And like we said, we have to do it from scratch this time. And so it's a It is a big task, but I have been encouraged by this stuff we've created so far, and I do feel like ah, week and a half of being in a place that that, like this, can really be my only focus, you know, and to have someone who's been there before going through it. To be around while I'm working on that is going to
Speaker 2: be beneficial. And
Speaker 2: I hear you and I know that from your perspective. You think a lot about organizing your work. You have to. You have to be structured about it, their deadlines things or do at certain times. You have to break up a project that big in order to get to the end successfully. But I'm also thinking
Speaker 1: about to move mountains. Yeah, no,
Speaker 2: but there's some other issues, too, that we've talked about and acknowledged. But I get to say them on air now where I think it's difficult to write about relationships and human interaction when you're not having a lot of, um, a lot of the inspirational moments that lead to good writing or thoughts that build on thoughts. Just they just aren't happening because the environments that inspire them aren't happening. And I think there's
Speaker 2: nothing but good that can come from just changing location, changing some sceneries and people around you. It's not gonna replace all of that interaction, but I definitely think there will be some new little touch points of inspiration. There's gonna be some stuff that comes up.
Speaker 1: Yeah. No, I think I think you're right. And I for me also, I'm excited about the change of scenery, um, and and feeling like it's a pretty safe change of scenery. But I am looking forward to it because it also means when I come back that I'll have a deeper connection with the voice of this book, and I'm hoping a greater sense of accomplishment with it to spur me forward. I remember during higher etiquette, um, the writing process where I mean, there was that was a short time line to get a book written like I gave myself six months and that that ended up being like for for, well, more like, 4.5 months of research and a month and a half of writing. And I know I can't do that with this particular book, but I remember that similar feeling of I know I've got to actually get the writing done. I know I've got to actually start working on the writing and it feeling like I took way longer than I should have to get to the writing, and yet it was still okay. It still came out. Well, it was enough time, but you know what I mean. So I know that there's this kind of emotional ride that you go through as you try to work on a project this big and I mean it Z 120,000 words, you know, 400
Speaker 2: 32 pages, but who's counting?
Speaker 1: But who's counting? And but it is, uh, you are right that I do try to get organized about it. I try to kind of tackle it with some kind of plan in mind that that helps me get through it. But I'm excited for this. I'm really excited for this. E Have
Speaker 2: one assignment for you while you're vineyard. Please. And you happen to be writing the 20th edition of this book. Um, you have to go to Fuller Street in Edgar Town. You have to look at the flower garden and breathe deeply and just feel the spirit of your great great grandmother. And then I want you to take a walk to the end of the road beach like she used
Speaker 1: Thio Street bending
Speaker 2: afternoon there, come back and in the early evening you have to walk to downtown Edgar Town and get an ice cream like Emily would have done and feel your great great grandmother. Let that inspire you.
Speaker 1: I am. I am definitely wanting to be a good, good citizen and a good visitor. So if if we feel like it's a good idea to go get ice cream, I definitely will. If not, we might get delivery to the house of ice cream and favored toppings and cones E. Uh, but we'll see what happens. I definitely will go by Emily's house and take a picture of the garden and go stop by full of Street Beach, though those air fun, fun childhood memories on that strip of the island. So But before I take off and and hit the road, we've got questions in a show to do right? We do.
Speaker 2: Let's get to it.
Speaker 2: Awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can also leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just remember to use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled Camera Courtesy for Zoom. Hi, both of you. I love your show. I've recommended it to so many people, Thank you very much. Thank you for inspiring consideration, respect and honesty. Always. I have a zoom etiquette question for you. Well, we're now all using Zoom and other online video platforms constantly for work in lieu of in person meetings and will be doing so for likely many more months to come. I'm struggling with an issue of etiquette on these meetings.
Speaker 1: I have a colleague who doesn't look at her camera, went on these video meetings and instead continues to read and reply to emails. Or she looks at her phone the entire time. It's completely soul destroying when either myself or another colleague is talking or giving a presentation to the team, and she's not even pretending to be engaged with the call. I find this to be incredibly rude. If we were all in a meeting in person. One wouldn't do this. So why is it acceptable view? Zoom, Mind you, she is someone who looks at her phone constantly in meetings in person.
Speaker 1: I wonder if there is a way for the subject to be addressed to the team in general, so she doesn't feel it's pointed at her. I want to bring up zoom etiquette or even meeting etiquette to my boss for her to relay to the team. But I don't know if I'm being too sensitive. Help. I just sat through yet another meeting were not once did she look at the camera or even pretend to be listening to anyone, instead just typing away on her computer or her phone. And it was a small meeting of seven people where her presence was very much warranted. Thank you so much. Any helper guidance would be gratefully received. Zoom etiquette Question. Mark O zoom etiquette. Oh, zoom etiquette. I think that
Speaker 2: we can start off by saying, thank you so much for recommending this show. We really appreciate it.
Speaker 1: Yes, no, that's a good. That's a good place to start. That's a good place to start. But as far As the
Speaker 2: question goes, the other place I want to start is I want to affirm, sort of very simply, and I don't wanna overdo it. This is definitely rude. Behavior was rude when it was happening in person. It's rude now that it's happening virtually in person. At its worst, it communicates a superior attitude
Speaker 2: at its best. It communicates and oblivious attitude that I don't understand how I'm being seen or how this might be preserved in somewhere in between. You have disconnected, uninterested, um, it zits, not the way any professional wants to be perceived. And they might think of themselves as busy as multitasking, as efficient. It just doesn't come across that way. I understand how annoying and frustrating it could be. Even hurtful. That's the definition of rude behavior. It's emotionally. It creates an emotional negative impact on someone, and that's you. That's what you're experiencing in this moment, if you wanna help, if you want to engage this situation, there's two routes you can go. You can obviously talk to the boss or the superior. You can also talk to your colleague or your co worker if you're going to go. The talk to your colleague or coworker route, which many people prefer to do. Many people would prefer tohave an issue like this raised, um, by someone they know and directly, rather than hear about it from the chain of command. And
Speaker 2: not everyone's gonna be capable of delivering that message or hearing it. But if you can, and if they can, that's oftentimes the easiest route to go in the best route for everyone.
Speaker 2: There are some ways you could do it wrong, and we don't usually give wrong samples.
Speaker 1: I was gonna
Speaker 2: go, but this is the place where I think we could give the obvious
Speaker 1: thing. This is also one of those funny spaces where it's like as Dan just said, like, it's not always received. Well, it's not always delivered well, but our advice is to still try for it like, you know, I know that that can sound kind of like guys. What do you think in here? But at the same time, we we are aware that people tend to prefer to hear something directly and privately. I think the temptation here is to call out Let's give a sample named Sheri to call out Sherry in the moment and or to kind of do it in that I don't want to say passive because it feels too aggressive to be passive. But where you're like, Oh, I'm sorry, Cherie. Are you Are you frozen or are you not? Are you Are you lost or something? You know where you're trying to call out, that you can clearly see that she's not paying attention. But rather than saying, Hey, Sherri, pay attention, which also I don't think you should do. It's kind of like you're trying Thio wake her up to the fact that she doesn't look like she's paying attention. And I'm I'm honestly not sure that that's the route to go here, either. I don't think it serves the purpose. Um, I like some of the other suggestions Dan's going to give over over that kind of route, but, you know, push down any urge. I think, to really embarrass someone in the moment, push down any urge to kind of
Speaker 1: Dan. What would be the word for when? For when you are kind of trying to, like, nudge someone towards figuring it out? Well, you don't want
Speaker 2: to come across as controlling. You don't wanna come across as a sort of critical in a way that's embarrassing or shaming. You also don't want to give voice to your annoyance, which is another sort of potential emotional issue that sometimes creeps in. It's the response becomes Maura about letting someone know something negative than it does about then it. Then it is about making someone, and I really like this language that you just used Lizzie of making them aware of something they might not be aware of, are hoping toe call their attention to something that they would self correct if they were looking at it that way. Like
Speaker 1: that's the speed that horse to water. But that's
Speaker 2: this. The spirit you want to get to that point where you're you're you're letting them make good choices, but without coming across as controlling. As you point out, this is tricky ground toe walk. Usually you wanna have some sort of existing relationship with someone to pull it off. Some sense for how they receive feedback or criticism, even just the opportunity, because you want to do it privately or discreetly. It's likely to be someone that you see in private or can have private conversations with. And if that's not the kind of person we're talking about, then
Speaker 2: it starts to become an option to situation, which is that there is someone with the authority to address this kind of behavior, someone who does have the authority to set expectations for the team, and you can definitely get that person involved.
Speaker 1: I have a suggested kind of tiered approach to this one that I tend to really gravitate towards. Dan, tell me what you think of it. I first Okay, Cool. I first actually like to go to management and say, I've noticed and you know, you can either say some people or you can directly address you know, the people or person that that is doing it. But say I've noticed this person or these people or people in general aren't paying attention during zoom calls. It's starting to be distracting during the call. I think they're missing information or you can't tell if they actually are receiving it. It's pretty obvious they're doing emailing. They're doing other things. They're checking their phone blatantly, and you can see it all. Can we do a group thing on zoom etiquette just to see if we can nudge it. And, you know, whatever resource is you need, hopefully we have some providing that you can use. Um, but you know that you could pull that together, do a little, you know, five minutes, 10 minutes at the next staff meeting, or even something that everybody needs to watch by the end of the week. That kind of a thing. Um I think that would be a good way to start. And then if behavior doesn't change, then address somebody directly. But it's kind of like that idea of first set set the ground rules. We do expect you to be looking at your camera and be looking at the other participants during the call. We do expect your phone to be down unless you are getting information off of it for the meeting. Specifically, we do expect to this, I think, kind of getting the buy in from management for setting up the parameters and the expectations of zoom meetings as a company gives some then framework toe work against. If someone's not participating in that way,
Speaker 2: I think that is a reasonable place to start. I don't think you're always going to start with the management, um, question, even if it's a non personal, even if you're not saying I'm having an issue with this particular person that I wanna have you helped me resolve, I think, asking that question broadly of Have the expectations been set? Is there a policy somewhere? Did we ever do guidelines for virtual meetings when we moved to remote working? I think knowing that kind of groundwork, what
Speaker 2: the lay of the land is that you're standing on is so important is an absolute first step. And if those air a bunch of question marks, if there aren't a bunch of clear answers, I think asking your supervisor is absolutely where I would start.
Speaker 1: What are the
Speaker 2: expectations were on these meetings? Maybe it's that we've got to be on them so much. You really are given some latitude. It's okay if you do other work while you're on these meetings, maybe to get, uh, compromise, where we demand sort of full attention and participation, you need to have sent on agenda beforehand that identifies this as an important meeting or of limited duration or addressing certain items that everyone agrees are important and they're gonna be present for And eso There might be some prep work to do ahead of time, absolutely. And with different problems. Those answers are gonna be easier, harder to get to. There's gonna be more or less gray area around them. This is a pretty clear one in that the behavior itself from an etiquette perspective is so destructive that it doesn't help relationships. It doesn't help communication.
Speaker 2: The way that you respond. If you don't get any action either from a colleague or from the support structure at your work is for me the third tier of action also, which is where you say to yourself, How does this really impact me and what do I have control over in the situation and often times, I think the final take away is if you don't have
Speaker 2: the supervisory authority over this person, you do the positive steps that you can. You talk to the person if you can. You talk thio your manager, which you definitely can. You have different types of conversations depending on the choices you make. And then the final thing you do is remind yourself what the standards of behavior that you're gonna hold yourself accountable to are and why you do it and that you don't let this become an excuse for similar behaviors yourself and that you don't set up a permission structure for yourself where you do similar things. But you take those moments and you learn from them as best you can so that you're on your best behavior. Moving forward
Speaker 1: Zoom etiquette. We hope this helps, and we hope this makes those zoom meetings a lot more productive.
Speaker 1: For instance, you'll be working in an office. Well, don't forget. The golden rule works there. Just a zit does anywhere else.
Speaker 1: Treat others as you want to be treated
Speaker 1: first. Of course.
Speaker 1: No, your job. Enjoy it, but also enjoy the people that you're working with. Be considerate of them and be considered of your employer. Remember those simple rules of office etiquette
Speaker 1: and you will get along in the business world. Mhm.
Speaker 1: Our next
Speaker 2: question is titled Not that nickname. Good Afternoon. I'm due next month with my second child. Congratulations. My husband and I realized the name we've chosen
Speaker 1: could lend
Speaker 2: itself to a particular nickname that we don't like. It's not an objectively offensive nickname and certainly not worth choosing a different name over. We just happened to not like it. Can you suggest some politely discouraging response is we can use if someone uses that nickname with our child. Thank you. Anonymous.
Speaker 1: Anonymous. This happens to a lot of parents. I I feel like I won't name names. Uh, but I don't know if people very thio to people very, very close to me that do not want their Children to either have nicknames at all for their name or toe. Have nicknames, certain nicknames. And so what one parent did was any time someone called her daughter a particular nickname, she would say,
Speaker 1: Oh, we call her blank blank or blank, but never blank. And it was just like, straight up. You know, it's kind of like that. You can call me whiz. You could call me Mrs Post, but don't call me hey or hey, you or something like that. You know what I mean? And it follows that kind of cadence where it's like, you know, you can call me Betsy. You can call me Beth. You can't call me Liz like on dso get playful with it. Get something that feels right. Coming. Coming in. your words, but that could be 11 way to kind of quickly nip that in the bud. You can also spread spread things via word of mouth in the family and among friends especially.
Speaker 2: I like the spread word. Don't be afraid to just tell people that we're not a big fan of nickname X, Y and Z and would really appreciate it if that wasn't what people picked up that that's gonna deal with a lot of stuff right off the bat. I also I love the good humor of that first construct you offer. And
Speaker 1: what I also love about
Speaker 2: it, though, is that it's so functional. It's saying, Listen, I'm not uptight about this. You can call me this. You call me this. There's
Speaker 1: all these things you
Speaker 2: can call me. It's just this one that I don't like, and that's really what you're trying to communicate. So it's I I really like That wasn't on my list of short script. That's why we call you the Master,
Speaker 2: Um minor, much more earnest. And I think the advice that I was really trying to get to was just let people know and be be persistent about it. It's okay to say it again if it starts to happen or if someone's for gotten. It's really okay. Really. We prefer not to call her X, y or Z.
Speaker 1: I like that. Really. We prefer not to call her this or really we prefer not to call them this. You can
Speaker 2: look back to it with a little bit more seriousness. And that's most people are going to respect that. I come from the house of incredible nicknames. Pooch is known for her nicknames. I am soon ity The shooting, the new Selling the on and it goes on Aria, Um, you
Speaker 1: still you still to sell, right? Isn't Musil
Speaker 2: Bussell? Uh their variations on variations are used to say Iggy a lot. So we g And then it was Aria Starry A And then it became our star. And then it became EGY star. So she's the G star now. Or are start of the max or maximum capacity pooches in the background Now giving me some of the other, uh, nicknames are awesome. They could be so much fun, and I like keeping that spirit in it. And if there's one that you don't like you let people know and you still keep that fun spirit in it.
Speaker 1: Yeah, absolutely anonymous. We hope that this helps and congratulations on your baby.
Speaker 1: There's a lot to think and talk about on the subject of manners and many good reasons to ask our manners. Important. This question is titled Picture Perfect.
Speaker 1: Hi, I have a question regarding my future mother in law. My fiance and I lived together in our house that we bought a couple of years ago. His mother loves taking pictures. She takes pictures of our belongings and decoration every time she visits. She also asks us to send her pictures when we decorate for the holidays. This past Christmas, I told her not to post the pictures on social media, but in reality, I don't want her to take pictures of our house. The taking and sharing of pictures of our house makes me very uncomfortable. We recently bought new furniture, and she's visiting soon, so I think it's the perfect opportunity to tell her how I feel. But how can I tell her nicely not to take the picture? She's very sensitive, and I know my fiance won't tell her. Thank you, Carla Oh, Carla, that's a tough one. It is a
Speaker 2: tough one. This question really got me thinking. And the train of thought that started to develop for me was how personal and private our home spaces feel. Tow us. And it's that that sense of privacy and having the ability toe set boundaries around our homes, the places that we live, the spaces we occupy
Speaker 2: as our most intimate, comfortable Selves is a real question. And we live in a world where lines around privacy or blurring. Lizzie and I have been having a running conversation for, I think, going on a year, plus now around questions of propriety, whether or not it's okay, toe, look up the value of someone's home or under what circumstances and situations that's okay. Or isn't um, It used to be something that was considered very personal, very private information, and now it's available publicly with a very simple Google search. The question of picture taking is another question where privacy and ideas around privacy have shifted a lot, and we thought a lot about pictures of people and how we treat pictures of people as, um as part of their image, something that they should have some control over in certain contexts. And in some ways I
Speaker 2: feeling like and Lizzie, This is something we've discussed, like I would want to be thinking of your home and pictures of the space that you live in in a similar way. I'm wanting to think of it is a private space
Speaker 1: you already dio. I mean, I'll just jump right in, cousin say that we already do. In many ways, we get this question on the basis of I had a friend visit and they took pictures of, like, everything in my house and posted it online like, Oh, what a fun party. Had a great time. It's so and so's And I felt like my entire life was exposed. What do I do? How do I ask them to take those pictures down? But there are things about Carlos situation that makes this extra, I think delicate one. The person. Yeah, the person who's taking the pictures is very close. Um, this is someone who's who's probably feels on. You could debate about whether rightly or wrongly, a little more intimately entitled to your world. They This is this person's mother, their their son or daughter. His mother, their son, lives in this house on DSO. Those those things can often make people jump barriers that they otherwise wouldn't in other people's homes. We also have the notation that this mother in law is very sensitive, and we already know that the fiance isn't the one who will be dealing with it. Because this is this is a dynamic Carla understands within her family. It makes it harder because it makes it harder it does on.
Speaker 2: There's even one more thing I'd add to that list that and I was picking up on every point that you made. As I read, this question also is that, um, I think the mother in law's intentions might be very good. She might be genuinely enthusiastic. She might love sharing. She might be so proud of her son and his new fiancee. I mean, it's the good feeling on the side of the mother in law. Could be a really strong, good feeling also, which makes another potential for awkwardness.
Speaker 1: Yeah, So what do we dio?
Speaker 1: I think you have to talk
Speaker 2: to her. I think so, too, which is so often our answer and the way I want to make it. A better answer is to say I really want you to think ahead of time about what your boundaries are and what matters to you. What is it about this? Is it the sharing on social media? Is that the thing that makes it feel just to public? Maybe it could really be about that if it's about the way the act itself feels. If her taking the pictures feels like unexamined nation or some sort of investigation of your life that you don't want, then you're gonna have to make a bigger ask. And I think you really want to be clear with yourself. What would make you comfortable here? What? What it is that you're you're looking for to get out of the situation so you can ask for it very clearly.
Speaker 1: I think you also have to add to that list
Speaker 1: the types of pictures that are okay to take because you are a family and she is visiting, and often families take photos of gatherings and good times together. And so that might be something Thio also just put out there of like, you know, when we do a group family photo. I'm I am so right on board with that. But I'd rather not have photos of individual objects or rooms, you know, taken. It does make me feel uncomfortable. And I think that's a good way to kind of parse out the difference. You don't want someone reacting. Oh, so I guess I can't take any pictures. You know, it's like find the reality of the of of
Speaker 2: the space, knowing where your line in lets you paint a clear picture of what isn't okay, But also what is okay and being ready for that line toe to shift or move a little bit or to say to yourself, No, this is this is a hard line for May. I would definitely talk to your fiance ahead of time, even if they're not gonna be the one talking to the future mother in law. I think that just having them know how you feel on where you stand is really important.
Speaker 2: And I would also say that you mentioned the new furniture being an opportunity. If that's the way that feels, I would use that as the opportunity to raise the topic. Oh, we just got some new furniture I'm I'm feeling a little bit
Speaker 2: if he about how much we paid for it or let it are getting that out in the public.
Speaker 1: You could
Speaker 2: talk about it like that. If that's the thought.
Speaker 1: Whatever is the truth. Whatever is the truth, whatever is the
Speaker 2: truth. But you're doing exactly what I often recommend, which is look for that little moment of change that lets you raise something that's been an ongoing issue but lets you raise it in a way that's pertinent and current.
Speaker 1: Carla. We hope this advice helps and that it allows for visits with your mother in law to be truly enjoyable and relaxing.
Speaker 1: E don't know, Bill. Maybe there's a reason made. There's a lot of things we don't know anything about. Maybe they need things like cameras and film books and paper and tin and fat and old stuff in this and that.
Speaker 1: Well, we just don't understand why
Speaker 1: may I don't believe it.
Speaker 1: Photographic interpretation. What sort of a war is that?
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: our next
Speaker 2: question comes from the before times. It's titled
Speaker 1: Too
Speaker 2: tall at the theater.
Speaker 2: Dear Lizzie and Dan. I
Speaker 1: have a
Speaker 2: question about theater etiquette. One of The reasons I live in New York is so I can see a lot of plays. I usually see plays alone and do my best to be a considerate and respectful audience member. I unwrapped laws inches before the play starts. Thank you. I make sure my electron ICS are turned off basic minimums. I like that as well, and
Speaker 1: I sit as still as I
Speaker 2: can throughout the performance. So the people behind me will be able to find and maintain a view of the performance without having to shift themselves. That's a subtlety I appreciate,
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: guess. What? I'm
Speaker 2: struggling with his honesty, other people's honesty. A few years ago, before a show started, the woman behind me loudly complained, Of course, I'm sitting behind the tallest person in the whole theater.
Speaker 2: Last year, a patron behind me also loudly vented about me blocking her view and then tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to slouch down a bit.
Speaker 2: I'm 5 11. I
Speaker 1: know that's
Speaker 2: tall to some, but I've definitely never been the tallest person in the theater. And often the leg room is so limited an older theaters that I actually can't slouch down I think the behavior would still be rude if I were 65 But in both these cases in raked auditoriums, I'm pretty sure I wasn't really blocking that much of the action.
Speaker 2: I understand their disappointment and not being able to see. I've been in that situation, and I know it's frustrating. It's also part of the risk we take when we purchased tickets to things. My question is this. How do I respond in these situations? Both when the person behind me is speaking loudly about me, but not to me. And when the person is speaking directly to me, thank you, Owen.
Speaker 1: Oh, and thank you so much for writing in with this question. Dan, There's a couple things I got to get off my chest right away. Number 155 11 is a very average height. We're not talking about someone who is like like they said 65 or 67 or even six to this is like this is very in the category of average in my brain. I could I could be wrong, but I am surprised that you're getting complaints like, Oh, of course, I'm behind the tallest person. And secondly, I get frustrated by this because this is, um it's so interesting to me that people are so willing to be openly disparaging about something that someone has absolutely no control over. You know, it's like you don't really get to choose how tall you grow and to sit there and make complaints behind someone. It's It's as bad as any other trait that you might pick out about them and choose to identify and complain about like that. It's not OK in any way, shape or form. The other thing that gets me that's kind of in addition to this and your dad. And I'm certainly a daughter. So I know that I have been been the benefit, benefit, benefit or benefactor off this, uh, benefit ER of this.
Speaker 1: And that is when someone picks their kids up and puts them on shoulders so that they can then see and you're in a crowd and you there's like to me. It's like such a debate between whether that's a really great thing to Dio or between whether that's really like not that appropriate thing to Dio, you know, and it's like it's so depends on the circumstance that you're in and the type of crowd, the type of show. But there are so many little versions of this. I feel like I have a lot of tall friends, and I hear them say things like, Oh, you know, I always try and find a spot on the edge so that people aren't upset with me like things like that that that's their whole concert Going theatergoing experience is like, Oh, I can't I can't be anywhere where I might, you know, block other people. And it's both a very thoughtful, thoughtful way for someone who is tall to be operating. And it also makes me really sad because I don't like you should get to enjoy a center, you know, a center Sita's well like anyway. Okay, thank you for allowing me, like, two minutes a minute and a half of like, total. Just what's going on here? Why does this have to be so hard? Well, it's it's not a
Speaker 2: bad place to start from to think broadly about it, and to me, the scenario that you paint of someone who's aware of the fact that they might block other people and takes that into account in terms of where they stand during a concert, or even how they purchased tickets. You just don't know someone might do that 95% of the time. But they love this particular performance or this particular evening, And that's the night they get a seat down front and
Speaker 1: the birthday anniversary something special. Which
Speaker 2: brings me back to your first point, which is that it is incredibly rude to be making comments about something that someone can't change that the the kid on the shoulders. That's the kind of thing you might find some kind of compromise between people of the show. Oh, this is their favorite song, or I just wanted to see for a little while they missed the entirety of the rest of the show. But we won't be here.
Speaker 1: Are those air those
Speaker 2: air reasonable discussions that can happen between people, which I think start toe, lead us up to the answer to the first question, which is the person speaking directly to you?
Speaker 2: And I think your options air really clear. You answer in a considerate, respectful and honest way because they're speaking directly to you, even if what they're saying. Eyes. Ah hint. Rude or is completely offensive. You hold yourself accountable to those higher standards. That's what we do on this show. You respond something along the lines of I'll do the best I can. But there's not much I can dio,
Speaker 2: and that's that's enough. That tells somebody I've heard you. I acknowledge your concerns, and this is pretty much what it's gonna be if it continues to escalate or deteriorate from there. That's what ushers and theater managers or for
Speaker 1: I feel like in that category to like giving a sympathetic Oh, I know. I'm so glad that the seats air staggered. Hopefully, that'll help a little bit, you know, like like kind of a Dan always teaches me to do lean in, lean into the situation a bit and offer the sympathy of Oh, I know worst lottery luck. But I'll do my best to, you know, lean or create some space so that you can see through, you know, to the stage something like that, I think, is a way of just being in it with the person and also showing that you are,
Speaker 1: I wouldn't say immediately ready, but maybe outwardly ready to forgive them for making such a callous comment without really thinking about the fact that you have ears like, you know,
Speaker 2: the option of talking to an usher if the problem persists or gets worse is definitely there. That's one of the nice things about these spaces. The other thought that I had is that the usher might be the first step in responding to those rude comments continuing that aren't directed to you, that if they are continuing as if you don't have ears and it makes it impossible for you to enjoy the show, I was wondering about offering to get someone in Usher to see if they could find a different seat for that person, and that requires a much more measured engagement. Ah, lot of self control because essentially you'd be interjecting into what someone is thinking of is a private conversation, even though they've included you in it by talking about you where you can hear them, that when you enter that space, you wanna be aware that you're now transgressing a little bit also. And if you're gonna enter that space and offer toe, help them remove themselves from the situation they're complaining about, I you you want to be really careful about that. But it's It's something that I was thinking I could genuinely offer someone if they seemed really out of sorts and it was really a problem. And I wasn't gonna move anywhere,
Speaker 2: you know, I could I could offer to call on Usher. They might be able to find you another seat. And that might just be enough to either engage that person to solve the problem or remind them of the situation they're in and who else is involved.
Speaker 1: And you're right because you want to be delicate with the delivery because said with any kind of with it that could really come across is like, Whoa, you know, um, kind of in the same category would be to say something like, Oh, I'm terribly sorry. Could you please keep it down? I'm trying to hear the show, and that's that. You know, when someone that's the like when someone speaking about you and you would like them to stop and you're in this theater space where it's often appropriate to ask someone to please be quiet. Um, I think that that that could be another way to go, but again, dicey territory. Your delivery. You got to be really, really good to execute thes
Speaker 1: Oh, and I hope that we have offered you a couple different avenues. Both when someone is speaking about you loudly enough so that you can hear and when someone is speaking directly to you mostly, I hope that more people start to realize that comment. Hang on someone's height and and how that height is affecting their ability to see a show really isn't appropriate, because I'm I'm just hoping that you have fewer instances where this
Speaker 2: is what you experience at the theater, and I've got to chime in and say Thank you so much for being a patron of the arts. I hope that we're all out there enjoying plays again soon.
Speaker 2: Thank you, Miss Bradley. Do you know some things you can do to help make your room
Speaker 1: a quiet place for work?
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers and more questions. Toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 can also find us on social media. On Twitter, we're at Emily Post Inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were 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.
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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 we hear from Jessica about episode 304 and the topic of asking for gifts instead of gift cards at your baby shower.
Speaker 1: Hi,
Speaker 2: Lizzie and Dan. I just listened to Episode three or four and have a suggestion for the listener who wrote in about getting gift cards for her baby shower. I can completely relate about forgetting to use gift cards. I have some in a drawer that are embarrassingly old. However, I will say that in the case of a baby shower and pending arrival of a new baby, I personally found it helpful to have a couple of them around for after Henry made his arrival. Baby gear is so expensive and complicated. Sometimes you don't always know if the things you've registered for will end up being used. In our case. We were told not to register for or purchase newborn size clothing. And then Henry ended up being a little peanut when he was born and wearing that size for almost three
Speaker 1: months. Uh huh. So it could be
Speaker 2: helpful for this listener toe. Have a gift Carter to in her back pocket just to help with those unexpected purchases that may come up post baby, might I suggest setting a time reminder somehow in her phone or calendar, maybe block off a half hour of time 13 or six months after the baby is born and set it up so your phone will notify you of that task that way. You can still have helped with some items later on, and hopefully remember to use your gift cards. You can even use them for practical items like diapers, diaper pace, baby food or formula etcetera. Just a thought I know. With a new baby, it could be difficult to remember to do anything, let alone online shop when you're not a fan. But just from my personal experience of having a few unexpected purchases post baby, it might also be something to consider. Thanks and hope you're all staying well. Jessica
Speaker 1: Jessica. That's excellent feedback and a really great way to get organized about handling the idea, handling kind of the balance of the idea. Even though it might not be something that you think you initially want, it could be beneficial. And then here's a way to actually remind yourself to use these things. I think that's great. What a
Speaker 2: reminder of the unexpected nature of being a new
Speaker 1: parent. Thank you for sending this in Jessica and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com, or leave us A. Voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 spells out kind. It's time for our post script segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette. And Dan, I don't even want to announce what it is. I want to turn it over to you right away. This is like your thing. This was
Speaker 2: a postscript that I started thinking about as soon as I listened to the final version of the Post script. That was the interview with the host of the call Your Girlfriend podcast,
Speaker 1: and you and I have
Speaker 2: spent ah long time on the phone with them, and
Speaker 1: we actually ended up getting
Speaker 2: a lot of that conversation into the vital edit of the interview. And one thing that really struck me was how much time and and I mean not to spend looking at themselves and reflecting on who they were and trying to find a way toe, bring their visions of themselves in line with the way they actually responded in relationships, actually treated each other as friends and made choices about their relationship
Speaker 1: the work that we're all supposed to be doing all the time to be good people. Yes. And it could be such
Speaker 2: a huge, um, surprise or shock to the system to discover that the ways that we think about ourselves aren't the ways that other people see us, and it doesn't need to be so shocking. It can be something that's kind of fun. It can be something that you can play with a little bit.
Speaker 1: You mean it's something that we could get curious about. Hey, that
Speaker 2: that spirit of curiosity and investigation might, um, serve you really well in life.
Speaker 1: Oh, really? Is that how you're experiencing me now? Uh, I am glad for this informational feedback exactly. And the place
Speaker 2: that we you and I have a real framework for thinking about This is the work that used to happen at the Emily Post Institute around image consulting. The business etiquette material that we teach that centered around concepts of personal brand or image and attire oftentimes have to do with bringing into alignment the way that we see ourselves, or the way we
Speaker 2: imagine ourselves being in the near future and the way other people actually see us, and closing that gap is a really important thing to do is why people work with PR professionals, public relations professionals or image consultant because that external I can be so valuable. In fact, it is critically important. So I thought we would do a really simple image exercise right here on the podcast. We'll give It is a little homework assignment, will do a follow up homework assignment next week. And then on the third postscript two weeks down the line, we'll talk a little bit about doing this assignment, how it worked for us, what we discovered, what we didn't. I thought I would challenge you and me to do it just a little bit as well.
Speaker 1: Okay, I'm getting the sense that this is going to be a super short postscript segment that then is gonna like carry on later. Yes, because it could be this. This this This could be
Speaker 2: the shortest of short postscript decided
Speaker 1: I could talk about
Speaker 2: this for an hour, but the basics of it are I want to challenge everyone who's listening right now to describe themselves using three words or short descriptive phrases. So
Speaker 1: and that's it just three words. Three words. The assignment. There's like It's not like 123 It's like, This is the assignment. Just one. Check the box three words to describe
Speaker 2: yourself. Absolutely. If if you If you really want toe pump it up, get the A plus extra credit work, right the three words down and put a date on it. So you remember when it was you did it? E got it. I got it. How would you describe yourself in three words? Because
Speaker 1: I've got my words ready? Yes. Here we go. Complex Nuff said, Whoa! I think that's it. I'm going one
Speaker 2: word and then I'm going to get a little sassy
Speaker 1: with it. Yeah, yeah, Yes, Exactly. Complex. And I mean, you could do enough said, I mean, if you wanted to make a little less sassy, but I'm a fan of apostrophes, but complex
Speaker 2: Enough said so. I'm gonna I'm gonna help you out for your second thing. I'm going to say rule
Speaker 1: breaker. Wait, I'm complex. I didn't need help. Okay, so, breaker, rule breaker. Okay. Okay.
Speaker 2: And then what would be the third thing? Complex rule breaker.
Speaker 1: Oh, you're you're trying, Thio, you're you're trying to label me complex rule breaker and I don't know, it's a
Speaker 2: hard exercise, and actually, I'm not going to force you to come up with your next to right now. I think complex is a great one. I've been doing this exercise with a lot of groups for a long time, and you're the first person that's ever describe themselves as complex.
Speaker 1: Oh my gosh, it's like the like. I mean, there's been a theme and therapy eso You've done some
Speaker 2: self exploration and this is
Speaker 1: e believe one of my therapist always said, like I wouldn't expect you to choose a guy who wasn't complex because your complex like I was like, Oh, e could see something's going on now.
Speaker 2: Okay, so we're already getting into it. This is the thing that I like so much about this exercise. It's incredibly simple. It's a really easy assignment to give. It's a really hard assignment to do well,
Speaker 2: Toe actually describe yourself to really think honestly about who you are, how you present and to not launch into an elaborate story and to not imagine the future self that you're trying to be. But make an attempt to describe yourself as you are is a hard thing to do. It requires looking at yourself honestly. And as you say, you start instantly like you start to think about the therapy and when you really look at yourself, this
Speaker 1: is a
Speaker 2: challenging assignment.
Speaker 1: But it's it's not just when you really look, it's like, Is it Is it who I present as? Or is it who I have my internal monologue running in my head? Because, I mean, we joke all the time, not joke all the time. But, you know, it's like, um, we we laugh about on the show often how we can all be sitting there in the moment and the ungracious thoughts going through our head, you know, and we're all working hard. And so much of the theme of the show is about, uh, not just having those ungracious thoughts or the first thought be the thought that we say out loud, but that we think about our time, our place, our situation. And I would say that that version that comes out that might be either more tempered or that chooses to approach something in a different way. Um is a presented version of ourselves. And so which which version do I have to sign? Some words to? Maybe that's and now we know why I chose Complex. Absolutely. It's a great question on I'm gonna I mean, we all do this. This is a complex where we all have those voices in our head and then the people that we put out there to the world. So who are we? Who are we self assessing
Speaker 2: the totality, all
Speaker 1: of man. I know six words because six words and it's got to be three. And I'll tell you if in that
Speaker 2: investigation one of the things I discovered about myself is that I think of myself as a glowing, warm, generous person. But I treat people like a cold, distant sort of curmudgeon. That may be one of the ways I would describe myself is like a vivid fantasy life, and that's that's like part of the reality I have to acknowledge in my description. Um, I think most people imagine those two sides of themselves having a relationship being in some kind of harmony. Uh, but But no, you're right. In some ways, it's it's closing the distance between that version of ourselves that we understand and the version of ourselves that other people perceive. That is one of the goals if we're sort of jump ahead. Once our homeworks completed that, that we might look too. But in the moment of doing it, I would say, Hold yourself accountable, describe yourself as honestly and as accurately as you can, and the difficulty here is reducing it down. The example I always give when I'm standing in front of a room. Usually it's good for a laugh because you've tried to deliver it with a little self depreciating tone. I'm smart, I'm funny. I'm good looking.
Speaker 1: That sounded confident. That didn't sound depreciating. Well, the thing is, you got a sort of
Speaker 2: wink a little bit when you do it, because that's also the old Saturday Night Live joke
Speaker 1: I'm with. You know I'm with you now. The one thing that that the kind of added added challenge that I'm going to give to your three words is, um, don't think you have to fall into the trap of making them challenging or negative things about yourself. Um, I like the fact that Dan two of that, you know, I'm smart I'm good looking or two of the things that were examples there. Um, you know, when when Dan was filling out my two, I wanted to say the word sweetheart, but I also didn't want to put that I was like, No, everyone's going to think I think of myself as a sweetheart and, like, dance like Lizzie Post. You have such a sweetheart all the time to me. And like, be confident in the good traits that you have some of the better aspects. Be confident in saying them out loud as you as you think about putting them into this list of three of three, just three things. Eso. As you said, this is gonna be the longest short postscript ever. It really is
Speaker 2: such a rich topic. And I really hope that people out there will challenge themselves and give it a try. Really think about who you are and do your best. Write it down for extra credit and we'll touch base next week for a little reflection and our next assignment.
Speaker 1: So that means don't forget, send it to us as your feedback.
Speaker 1: We like to end our show on a
Speaker 2: 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
Speaker 1: we have
Speaker 2: a salute from Hunter,
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. This is a shout out for my friend Cindy, who has been hosting a few small gatherings on her porch over the last few weeks. Before each event, she's made a point of setting some ground rules, so everyone knows what to expect. Things like we'll be hanging out outside. But if you need to use the bathroom, please use the one by the front door and use the disinfecting wipes in the canister on the counter to wipe off whatever you touch. Or please plan to bring and wear a mask. And remember to stay 6 ft away from folks who aren't members of your household, or we'll have bottles of soda and water, and you can help yourself. But please bring your own snacks, since it's hard to share those safely. Mentioning these things ahead of time makes visits so much more comfortable. It's easier to wear your own mask if you know other people will be wearing them to, and it feels safer to visit with other people who are also being cautious. She's doing a beautiful job of helping us, to say both connected and safe while navigating the new etiquette the current situation demands. I hope lots of folks will follow her example. Thanks for everything you do, Hunter Hunter, And thank you
Speaker 2: for sharing this salute with us. That is such a great example. I I almost want toe tuck it up with our sustaining member question about masks and think about how well you can operate in new environments and how much it shows about you. So thank you for sharing this
Speaker 1: example, right?
Speaker 1: Right.
Speaker 1: And thank you all for listening. Thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you, especially to everyone who supports us on patryan. Please
Speaker 2: connect with us and share the show with friends, family and co workers. However, you like to share podcasts, we really count on you spreading the word. You can send us your next question feedback or salute by email toe Awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 on Twitter, we're at Emily Post. Inst on Instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were Awesome Etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Please, please, please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting patryan dot com slash awesome etiquette. You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Spotify or your favorite podcast app, and please consider leaving us a review. It helps the show's ranking, which means other people will find awesome etiquette to
Speaker 2: our show is edited by Chris Albertine and a system produced by Brigitte
Speaker 1: Dowd. Thanks for Bridget,
Speaker 1: right?