Episode 387 - Invitation Expenses
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 we take your questions on asking people to adjust their face masks, asking someone to pay you back for a ticket to an event you invited them to, whom to address gifts to at a baby shower and how to handle a meat conversation as a vegetarian. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about responding to others’ well-meaning comments about a child’s diagnosis. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on etiquette in regards to, diversity, equity and inclusion.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned
Speaker 2: watch act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 2: Mm hmm.
Speaker 2: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 2: On today's show, we take your questions on asking people to adjust their face masks, asking someone to pay you back for a ticket to an event. You invited them to
Speaker 2: who to address gifts to at a baby shower and how to handle a meat conversation as a vegetarian
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about responding to others. Well meaning comments about your child's diagnosis plus
Speaker 2: your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on etiquette in regards to diversity equity and inclusion. All that's 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
Speaker 2: and I'm
Speaker 1: pretty sure I'm lizzie post these days. I gotta say dan as we're in the middle of winter and it's dark and cold
Speaker 1: and don't get me wrong, I love the snow. I'm a big, big fan of the snow. I'm realizing that like the only times I've been leaving my house is to like walk my neighbor's dog. And um, like, I mean I called you on a monday and was like, I need to tap out for a monday. Like I'm not, I'm not ready even though I'm wanting things to do. Like I was in no focused zone to get anything done
Speaker 1: and it's, it does right now are our lives at least my life up here in Vermont you tell me if you're feeling the same thing on the hill, feels very like
Speaker 1: confined and routine, like I'm like, well another day I'm gonna get up, I'm gonna do a little yoga and then I'm gonna talk to dan and we're going to get some work done and then I'm gonna make a little lunch and get some more work done and walk the dog and make some dinner and
Speaker 1: go for a walk on the treadmill and then we get up and do it again tomorrow. It's actually really not a bad life or schedule at all.
Speaker 2: It's
Speaker 1: feeling, I'm feeling it cause I'm feeling that stir craziness of, of winter and, and a little bit of pandemic stir craziness too, I'm sure, but I'm curious like, what are your europe on the mountain? We joked the other day that you hadn't actually left the house in six days. What are you doing to try to break some of this is we're realizing just how confined we've made ourselves.
Speaker 2: We're feeling it to and I were talking about it just two nights ago saying, all right,
Speaker 2: we just need to leave the house and take a walk. So you watch the girls and make me take a walk and I'll watch the girls and make you take a walk and that's good, that was a good start. But I think we were both feeling it and I actually ended up turning to pooch and say, you know, I wanna, I wanna take you out to lunch
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 2: the favorite lunch spot for us as a spot called Willow wands and Montpellier and we have a number of favorite spots, but this one is so far my favorite spot. That, that's my favorite spot that it kind of elevates it to like one of our favorite places and
Speaker 1: it's
Speaker 2: just so good. It's a lunch spot. They're only open for a couple hours. They
Speaker 2: take orders and serve food out a window on Main Street in Montpellier and the menu shifts
Speaker 2: weekly, there are three major dishes that gets served through the week. So you could theoretically, if you worked in Montpellier lean on willow wands for three lunches a week,
Speaker 2: I make a special trip of it. It's so much fun. The experience of Willow ones a little bit is one of meeting other people that love will Owens because it's
Speaker 1: particularly spicy. Yes, so it
Speaker 2: draws a very dedicated and enthusiastic crowd and
Speaker 1: so what you're saying is you had social connection over something that like wasn't based at home,
Speaker 2: I talk to strangers and we were laughing and smiling and I think it was a little unexpected on a really cold day when you're all kind of huddled up on the street waiting for your food. But
Speaker 2: we're all in such good spirits because that food was going to be hot and spicy and
Speaker 2: it's busy. The food sells out every day. You have to, you have to kind of time, it, it's a little bit of a risk or a gamble for me because I'm never early. I'm always a little late for lunch and oftentimes, oh no, there's only one of the meals left or
Speaker 2: it's happened more than once where it's
Speaker 1: been closed down.
Speaker 2: So you get the word on the street a little bit about how willow wands is functioning, whether you're consistently able to show up at one or whether it needs to be closer to noon and then there's also a break that happens in the winter when the owners
Speaker 2: go on a vacation and will Owens closes down for a month and that's really tough.
Speaker 1: But it can be helpful if you share that. You think of it more than any other month and like you might not have gone in a month and that's the month that you think of it every week.
Speaker 2: Right? The forbidden fruit is much sweeter. Yes, totally. Anyway. To the, to the strangers whose faces I didn't all see but who shared a laugh with me and I know we were all smiling. I so appreciated the experience and the interaction on a cold winter day because like you say, we, we needed it up here and it felt really good.
Speaker 1: I love that. I love how whether you're in a big city or a small town or even a rural town that there is always some spot whether it's a spot people all go and and look out at some beautiful scenery or it's a restaurant or a cafe.
Speaker 1: Sometimes even a gas station becomes the favorite place. But there are these places that people just love and I love, I love that you got the experience of sharing how much you love will along with other people and and got that like community experience and
Speaker 1: montpelier of like yeah and we all love it. Like I'm not alone on the mountain thinking this,
Speaker 2: there was another person sitting in there
Speaker 2: house out in the woods somewhere. Craving willow wands and they came and now we're together.
Speaker 1: I love it. I love it will keep getting those walks in.
Speaker 1: I'm going to keep trying to get my walks in and and see see the friends, I feel good and safe seeing and hopefully we're gonna weather this this winter and serge well
Speaker 2: the days are getting longer.
Speaker 1: They are, they actually are well in these longer days that we've got. We should probably fit in some questions.
Speaker 2: We probably should. Let's do it.
Speaker 2: Mm hmm,
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette at the Emily post dot com. 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 on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette. Just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled mask manners. Hello lizzie and dan, is there a polite way to request someone readjust their face mask? For example, if it slipped off their nose and they continue to talk without fixing it. I know some masks don't fit everyone's face properly and slips can't happen.
Speaker 1: And I've also noticed some people are quick to readjust while others don't attempt this.
Speaker 1: Do you have any sample scripts to share for these moments? Thank you, anonymous, anonymous. Thank
Speaker 2: you for the question. And it is fortunate for you that you have the master of sample scripts, lizzie post here to help out with this.
Speaker 1: I see what you've done there and toss it right on over.
Speaker 1: I feel like this is one where I feel like you kind of get one try with someone before you have to start switching over to your own own measures to care for yourself. It's just so depends on the situation. I remember
Speaker 1: being like at a home depot and there was a family at the paint section next to me and the the dad's mask. Just continually was falling down his face and he wasn't, shouldn't say continually, it just fell down his face and he didn't pick it up and, and it was noticeable. You know, like the, the kids all had their masks on and they were fitted over there, knows the mom or the wife or the girlfriend had mask on and it was fitted over her nose and
Speaker 1: dad was just like hanging down, you could even see some of his lip and
Speaker 1: I knew better than in that moment to ask him to please raise his mask up. The clerk he was working with wasn't asking and I did the only thing I could do which was moved myself a little bit further away
Speaker 1: and I think that
Speaker 1: if you're in a situation where you're comfortable enough with the person, then I think it's fine. Like, oops, your mask slipped down. Do you mind pulling it up?
Speaker 1: And it is a question that you're asking? They might say, yeah, I kinda do mind, I'm, you know, having trouble breathing or I just want to take this darn thing off, like give me a minute and you could, you could get a reaction like that,
Speaker 1: but I think that if you push too hard, I think you're gonna start to feel like the masked police, which is like not something any of us want to feel like even if we're annoyed that someone else's mask behavior isn't matching the safety protocol that we've learned, but I find myself more in that zone of
Speaker 1: if one asks with someone that I know well and can care about and can move through little hiccups and moments with isn't working, then I'm, I'm gonna also just move myself back a little bit and do what I can do because it's, it's so hard. I mean, how many times are you going to ask them in a conversation if it keeps happening, you know,
Speaker 1: dan, what do you think?
Speaker 2: I think that your sample script is excellent. And one of the reasons I was, I was kicking it over to you is that I read oops, your mask slipped down. Do you mind pulling it up? And to me the both the groups with the many os and the question mark at the end were
Speaker 2: examples within the sample script of the application of the advice that I want to give, which was the way that you framed it at the start that it's a question that it's something that you're asking of someone and that's so important that you're not telling them to do something
Speaker 2: that it really is something that you're requesting unless you're the person with the authorities protocol that your business requires or the school requires that isn't being followed. And and then you know that that's your role and that's your job and that's what you're supposed to be doing,
Speaker 2: if it's not in that arena, if it's if it's just between two people who are interacting with neither has the authority to actually dictate what the other is doing, then it is a request or a reminder and you want to approach it as something that is going to be up to them. So the old
Speaker 2: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar approach, I think is also important that
Speaker 2: to me that, oops along with the question mark at the end indicated an awareness of tone
Speaker 2: that if you're feeling disapproval or irritation and those
Speaker 2: emotions come through in either your tone or in the words that you choose,
Speaker 2: I think that could work against
Speaker 2: the outcome that you're looking for, which is the person hearing you and taking it as a gentle reminder and a request and
Speaker 2: making the correction. That should be easy. I also like your reminder that they may or may not do it and I say that should be easy because you're not sure, someone might be having difficulty breathing, someone's mask might be broken in a way that you don't notice
Speaker 1: that
Speaker 2: someone might be vaccinated and double boosted and the mask requirement really doesn't apply to them and they're doing it as an extra precaution to be extra polite and
Speaker 2: they're just not that worried about it. So they're not going to do it. There's so many versions of it.
Speaker 1: I like the range you've got there, that's a that's a good range
Speaker 2: and I think having those in your mind,
Speaker 2: I think can help keep that tone of irritation, disapproval or even disappointment out of your voice and help you deliver that,
Speaker 2: would you mind putting your your mask back up? It makes me more comfortable in a way that someone can hear it and do it for you.
Speaker 1: He calls me the master of sample scripts, but really damn post sending has a lot of awesome sample scripts as well and that was one of them. I was going to bring up the question of, do you even need the oops, your mask slipped down? I love the way that you just phrase that of would you mind pulling your mask up?
Speaker 1: It looks like it's slipped down or something like that. Make me more comfortable. That to me sounded just as gentle and of a friendly request as you know, as anything could.
Speaker 1: So I feel like whether you do that kind of like, oops, this just happened moment or if you lean into it with just the simple question of would you mind pulling your mask up? It looks like it slipped.
Speaker 1: I think that it's, it's the asking that I think is so, so much more important than the telling your your mask clip, pull it up doesn't sound as nice to me as the would you mind or could you,
Speaker 2: I've got one other very etiquette e component
Speaker 1: to bring up this part of
Speaker 2: the sample
Speaker 1: script
Speaker 2: never underestimate the power of a little excuse me or pardon me
Speaker 2: to get someone's attention to just put everybody in a frame of mind of
Speaker 2: courtesy and civility and decency that when you're asking for someone's attention, when you're asking for some understanding about interrupting them or approaching them as a stranger, I think that can go a long way towards priming someone to hear you and once again, hopefully get you the outcomes that you're looking for, which is the important part of this
Speaker 1: anonymous. Thank you so much for this now classic Covid consideration question and we certainly hope that we won't be dealing with masks for too much longer. But until then,
Speaker 2: yes, even during an ordinary conversation, saliva and chris particles escape our mouth and easily reach others to inhale them as they breathe.
Speaker 2: Mhm,
Speaker 2: just remember how breath becomes visible on a cold day,
Speaker 2: how then with so many germs surrounding us, can we avoid having colds all the time?
Speaker 2: Mhm
Speaker 2: Our next question is about ticket trouble. Hi lizzie and dan, I'm hoping you can provide some clarity on an etiquette situation. I found myself in several times recently,
Speaker 2: if I buy two tickets to an event and invite a friend to come, is it okay to ask them to pay me back for the ticket or am I expected to pay because I invited them. Thanks for your help. I love listening to the show every monday listener in colorado.
Speaker 1: So I think
Speaker 1: dan and I have two different answers to this question. So I'm not sure if I'm looking at the notes, right?
Speaker 1: I think that that the way to handle this situation listener in colorado is by
Speaker 1: stating what you'd like in the invitation. So if you're really looking for someone to buy this extra ticket from you, maybe you're trying too offhand the ticket, you know, as opposed to wanting to invite a friend so that you've got someone coming with you to this event and it's really you treating them. I think stating that in the invitation is worth it.
Speaker 1: I might say to a friend, Hey, I've got two tickets. I'm looking to offload one. Would you want to buy it for me or from me, excuse me and go on Friday night together.
Speaker 1: That sets me up as the person responding knowing, okay, this person has two tickets. So especially if it's like a sold out show or something and I can't just get my own at the door. That's nice. I, I could get in on that
Speaker 1: and I know what they're looking for from me.
Speaker 1: And if you were to it instead as a, as a real invitation where you're treating the person, excuse me.
Speaker 1: I think that that's something you want to make clear as well. Hey, I've got two tickets to this sold out event or this event on friday night and I would love to treat you if you want to come with me, I've been, you know whether or not that's like
Speaker 1: I've been looking for a friend to go and no one's available. Do you want to come, which I don't think it's the way to go because then you're telling them like you're not my first ask and some people get touchy about that other people don't. It's kind of that's kind of a funny one, but but I think setting it up as either the treat or the
Speaker 1: I'm looking for someone to buy this ticket off of me is a better
Speaker 1: way to handle it then. Hey, do you want to go to this concert friday night?
Speaker 1: Oh by the way, could you pay me back or Oh by the way, it's actually my treat. And remember that my treat thing can make some people uncomfortable too. So I think it kind of goes both ways that asking first and being really clear with that ask is important.
Speaker 2: I don't think you and I are a disagreement at all.
Speaker 1: Okay.
Speaker 2: No, I I think that the the thought that I have was I want to broaden the look at the question just a little bit. I think that you can get away with what you're talking about
Speaker 2: and it absolutely is about how you make that invitation. I think the etiquette point is if
Speaker 1: you just invite
Speaker 1: get away with, get away with it. I thought I had a pretty good answer. I'm getting away with stuff with my answer.
Speaker 2: I put it this way, I think that there, I think that it's slightly awkward to already have the ticket, invite someone to go and then have to tag on to the invitation and I'm expecting you to pay for the ticket
Speaker 2: or vice versa it to say I've got this ticket. I'm looking for someone to buy it from me and I want you to go with me like those two.
Speaker 1: Um, it was
Speaker 2: like a sample script where I, I paired those two things in either order and felt really good and at ease about it and I think that you're
Speaker 2: in good shape in terms of how you issue that invitation. I can think of a lot of scenarios where you'd be in that
Speaker 2: I wouldn't call it predicament you'd be in that situation, you would
Speaker 2: have gotten the tickets because yeah, you know, it's going to sell out instantaneously or you had an opportunity to get the tickets that you didn't expect. So you grabbed a couple and,
Speaker 2: and then, and then you end up in that situation if I've got two tickets and once for me, but I also don't want to just gift this one to someone and invite them to come with me. I really like to get paid back for it. I think ideally you would talk to someone ahead of time before you purchased the ticket on their behalf that
Speaker 2: when I read the
Speaker 2: question and heard this has happened several times recently.
Speaker 2: I was thinking to myself, I think that I wouldn't plan it as a way that I would invite people. I don't think I'd buy extra tickets and then ask them to come and pay.
Speaker 2: I would find it easier myself to check in ahead of time and say such and such a show is happening. I'm planning to get tickets. Would you have any interest in me getting one for you? They cost X, Y or Z amount or they might be hard to get. I could pick up a couple if you wanted one, they cost this much
Speaker 2: and then you're letting someone know
Speaker 2: that you're
Speaker 2: willing to do it and you're willing to put the money up for it. But you would also have an expectation of being paid back and they have an opportunity to weigh in before you're taking action. That's it's heading down that road.
Speaker 2: It would be easier for me to make the offer that way ahead of time than already holding the ticket.
Speaker 1: But there are lots of times where you don't, I mean as you said at the beginning, like there are times where you don't know you haven't planned ahead and thought of someone that you'd like to bring or who might want to come to reach out to ahead of time or you just
Speaker 1: find out about the show. Someone texts you a link and you're like, oh whoa, I gotta jump on that quick.
Speaker 1: Like I could see there being a number of situations where listener in colorado, like, like you said, could wind up with the two tickets without having an advanced plan of who to ask and to get their buy in from the, from the early beginning before the tickets are even purchased
Speaker 2: lizzie Post. I don't think that we are a disagreement about this question at all.
Speaker 1: When
Speaker 2: I hear your approach, I think to myself, it's checking all the etiquette boxes, the really, it's about how you issue an invitation that sets up someone else's expectations. And I can think of all kinds of scenarios where you might have an extra ticket and
Speaker 2: the important part is communicating to someone that yeah, you would like to get paid back for it, but you would also really like them to come with you and you've got the tickets available. And
Speaker 2: there are very good chances that there are plenty of situations where people would love to get that ticket, go to the show with you and pay you back for it. So
Speaker 2: there has to be a way to navigate that, that that lets everyone have all the information they need. I think it's a an etiquette check
Speaker 1: mark,
Speaker 2: the place where I start to get just and you know me, I have like discomfort with little things. Sometimes
Speaker 1: when
Speaker 2: I was thinking about sample scripts I got this far with, with the idea of,
Speaker 2: of how you would set up that invitation. I said, hey, I've got a second ticket to X, Y, Z. And I'm looking for someone who might want to take it off my hands. And then the part that I had a hard time with was saying, and go with me,
Speaker 1: like combining the two together wasn't an easy script for, you know,
Speaker 2: it's much easier for me to offer to sell someone an extra ticket and then it's their ticket and they can choose what they want to do with it. And
Speaker 2: I know it's not like this for everyone. It feels just a hint coercive to me to then pair and you got to go with me to get this ticket that I've got, that I'm offering you.
Speaker 1: Okay, So maybe you don't always have to pair it with the go with you. But I'm hearing, I'm hearing you, do you have it? So what I'm curious like what, what strategy are you coming up with to tackle this one? This
Speaker 2: won't always work. It's the ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure. And I'm thinking
Speaker 2: just wouldn't it be easier? And
Speaker 2: I'm asking it of myself
Speaker 1: to
Speaker 2: call ahead of time and say, hey, I'm going to be purchasing tickets to this show.
Speaker 2: Are you interested in going, would you like me to get you one? They cost this much. So you're still offering to do the work. You're still essentially inviting them to go with you clawing them into happening and that you're willing to do the work to get the tickets and get you there, but you're also giving them the option to
Speaker 2: weigh in on the decision to include them or not. And
Speaker 2: I know you can always say no if you don't want the ticket and want to go with someone. But there's something about engaging after the tickets already been purchased. That to me feels like there's already a choice that's been made that I wasn't a part of.
Speaker 2: So I wanted, if I could do that ahead of time, I just, it's an easier feeling for me, although there's nothing etiquette wrong with the way you're talking about doing that invitation.
Speaker 1: I appreciate that
Speaker 2: reassurance I do.
Speaker 1: And also one of the things that I'm looking back at the question seeing is that
Speaker 1: listener in colorado is saying that this has happened to them several times recently.
Speaker 1: And so it might be worth saying, boy, I want to change up the order of operations that I have for doing this so that I'm not left in this awkward situation more often and your version definitely does that. It's, it's sort of more preemptive as and and you can't always do that. Sometimes you've gotten a ticket with somebody or with the intent of taking them out and they have to cancel on you. And you know, you don't want to be out that 35 5100 and 5300 bucks, whatever it is.
Speaker 1: Um, I was recently looking at tickets to a turnpike troubadours concert at Red rocks in colorado and like I was out, I couldn't do it, I couldn't do the plane ticket plus the ticket itself. Like it wasn't gonna happen. But it
Speaker 1: it's one of those things where you could try changing your M. O. For how you're approaching buying tickets to events and that might save you the conversation that you're having frequently and not enjoying as much
Speaker 1: or the struggle of coming up with how how to ask for someone
Speaker 2: to pay for a ticket you've
Speaker 1: already got. And I do, I like that, that plan ahead strategy of yours.
Speaker 2: I've got one other avenue that
Speaker 2: you're somewhat wimp cousin would probably likely to take in these situations
Speaker 1: just
Speaker 2: to avoid the conversation in general. If I could afford it, I would probably issue the invitation and give the ticket away
Speaker 1: to me. That's the
Speaker 2: easy, the easy answer here as you just invite them. I've got an extra ticket. Do you want to go with me? And
Speaker 1: absolutely,
Speaker 2: they say yes and who knows there's a good chance that if we operate in that world of really good etiquette that's a reciprocated invitation and it might not be the next month, but that you're now someone that's treated them to something and
Speaker 2: who knows, maybe down the line, they're the ones who have access to an extra ticket to the symphony or whatever it is and they turn around and invite you,
Speaker 1: I like that spirit because I like that spirit when, when possible and when you can and when it feels good treat it makes it so easy listener in colorado. We certainly hope that these two different strategies can help you manage all these awesome events that you are getting to go to with your friends.
Speaker 2: So you learn to share with others.
Speaker 2: You'll like it. Your friends will like you too.
Speaker 1: Our next question is to colon baby not yet born question mark.
Speaker 1: Hello and thank you for the always enjoyable and informative podcast. I have a question regarding the addressing of baby shower gifts when attending a shower. Should gifts be addressed on the gift tag to both of the expecting parents
Speaker 1: only the mother, mothers, if it's a female only shower
Speaker 1: to the baby. Either by name. If the parents have made this information public or to quote baby last name
Speaker 1: best Jourdan
Speaker 2: Jourdan. Thank you so much for the question. I extra appreciate it because I don't think we've ever got this question before. At least. I don't remember having got this question before.
Speaker 2: To me, the answer is pretty simple. You're going to address the gift to the person who's going to be opening it. I wouldn't worry about making the gift to the unborn baby even though they're ultimately going to benefit from it. The gift is really for the parent or parents who are going to be open it whoever they may be. So
Speaker 2: if they're going to be together, I would definitely do it for both of them. If it's just going to be one of the parents,
Speaker 2: I think you're in good shape just labeling the gift for the parent that's going to be opening at that particular day.
Speaker 1: Okay. So it's now my turn to say, I think your answer from an etiquette perspective is totally right and I would probably myself address it to baby last name because I think of it more as for the baby, but that depends on what it is, right? Like if it's a breast pump off the registry list, probably gonna address that to mom
Speaker 1: if it's maybe toys. I don't know, I could go either way because I could, I could, I can totally see it being also all three. Like I could see you doing the parents or the parents as well as baby last name.
Speaker 1: Um, I like totally get the feeling of these things are to help set the, these gifts are specifically to help set the parents up even though the baby might be wearing that cute little
Speaker 1: tom brady onesie that I know I know Dan has stashed away somewhere in his house right now. Anticipating.
Speaker 1: Oh, that one. Yes, there's that one too. I forgot about the one I made. But no, I, I could see it really going either way and I don't think anyone is going to be terribly offended no matter what you do. I think this is one of those situations where more important than the tag in the addresses, the, you know, responding to the party invite showing up with that gift. Like
Speaker 1: being engaged in the
Speaker 1: games if there are games or you know, just the event in itself is gonna be way more important on the etiquette list. But I think you could do any version all three. You might switch it up based on the friend or the present that you're giving.
Speaker 1: But no matter what, I think it's just awesome that you're supporting some new parents in your life,
Speaker 2: Jordan. Thank you so much for a new question.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about meat talk.
Speaker 2: Hi lizzie and dan, thank you so much for your podcast and all the great information you provide. I found you about a year ago and have been hooked ever since.
Speaker 2: I have a question about how to respond when people start talking about meat.
Speaker 2: I've been a vegetarian for 10 years and choose to be one for ethical reasons.
Speaker 2: I often find myself in conversations with people where they start talking about the best way to cook a turkey or recommending the best burger they've ever had.
Speaker 2: It happens surprisingly often with people I'm just acquaintances with who don't know I'm a vegetarian for example, coworkers, mothers of my kids, friends, etcetera.
Speaker 2: It's especially common around the holidays.
Speaker 2: I'm never sure how to respond in these situations. I obviously don't want to say, hmm, that sounds great, but I also don't want to shame them, which is what it kind of feels like. If I say I'm vegetarian, I usually end up not saying anything which also feels kind of rude.
Speaker 2: Any suggestions on how to respond sincerely awkward vegetarian lizzie, post any thoughts on this one
Speaker 1: dan, I can't imagine why you said this one my way.
Speaker 1: I think that I am and I must admit I'm a little bit of a different vegetarian in this category as I tend to be a lot more flexible around eating meat and things like that. And I also,
Speaker 1: I loved eating meat when I did eat it regularly and so it's very easy to say, oh, this was my favorite burger. I mean I love a chickpea burger now that I don't really eat meat, but this used to be my favorite thing and if that's accessible for you, that might be something that you could do. You say you've been a vegetarian for 10 years, I don't, I don't know how old you are,
Speaker 1: that might be something that's accessible.
Speaker 1: But I,
Speaker 1: I think dan, there has to be a way to be able to engage these conversations with this category of people, these acquaintances who you are going to be seeing. Again, this isn't just the person in the grocery store line that you're chatting with at random, but they're not people close enough to you to know that you actually don't engage with the thing they're talking about at all
Speaker 1: and I feel like there's gotta be a way to communicate that without feeling like you are somehow shaming them or elevating yourself. And and that I do understand, I was really surprised when I ate a more strict vegetarian diet,
Speaker 1: how many people almost seemed offended at the fact that I didn't eat meat or that they felt very judged
Speaker 1: by me,
Speaker 1: even though I wasn't saying anything to judge them. There's like this, oh, you're somehow better than me, that you've given that thing up and been able to stick to that.
Speaker 1: And I really would love to deflate that.
Speaker 1: I mean you might have reasons that make you feel better about enjoying this, but that doesn't have to mean that you automatically look at other people as somehow below you. And I just I wish more people could feel that when this particular conversation comes up,
Speaker 1: but I think that it is fine to let someone know that you're a vegetarian.
Speaker 1: I agree with you. I don't think you need to say things like that sounds great in order to participate in the conversation or let them know that this isn't a conversation you can really participate in. Sometimes I try to do things where
Speaker 1: I say something positive about the thing, the person is expressing so much love and admiration for,
Speaker 1: but then let them know, I don't personally do that, so I might say like, oh my gosh, I know a lot of people have said that burger is fantastic. I'm a vegetarian. So for me it's a chickpea burger that is just like the ultimate. Like I know a lot of people make them out of
Speaker 1: black beans and mushrooms and things like that, but for me it's the crispy on the outside, soft and light on the inside chickpea burger that does it
Speaker 1: finding ways to talk about your vegetarian version of something that you love just as much as this. Omnivore loves the meat thing that they're talking about,
Speaker 1: I think can be a way to, to bring a little bit of equality back into that conversation and not just have a doorstop of, oh, well I'm a vegetarian, so I wouldn't know about that.
Speaker 2: I like the approach that uses this as an opportunity to talk about what you do like, and I was thinking about the ways that you can share that
Speaker 2: and be less likely to bring the thing that you're talking about, where people feel like it's a comment on their choices. And I think that you're saying you're sort of natural sample scripts, accomplish a lot of those things. It's really about the enthusiasm for the thing that you enjoy doing, sharing it with a similar spirit
Speaker 2: that the people who are sharing what they enjoy
Speaker 2: are sharing with each other and I think you can have some awareness, some self awareness that no,
Speaker 2: the thing that you're talking about the casserole, the whatever it is, isn't
Speaker 2: quite the same shared tradition that maybe the meat eaters are talking about when they're talking about how to achieve X, Y or Z, or
Speaker 1: how to Spajic, aka thanksgiving turkey.
Speaker 2: I was so trying to do it without actually getting into gross meet talk, but I appreciate your going there, my vegetarian
Speaker 1: friends. Oh my goodness! No, that was way more aware of. Oh, dan, excellent points. You're a good
Speaker 2: conversationalist.
Speaker 2: And I think there is a natural place where that conversation has a whole cultural context and you don't want to insist that people talk about your vegetarian casserole, the same way that they're talking about
Speaker 2: the shared experience that's common for them. And I think there is a certain amount of self awareness to that that you you participate and you contribute and you make your contribution, but you're not
Speaker 2: demanding that everyone jump on board and make that the center of the conversation either. I think there's a balance to strike and a harmony that you can find in that place.
Speaker 2: I also like the idea of
Speaker 2: maybe and you can tell me how you think about this lizzie post not making a declaration about your choice or what you are like,
Speaker 2: I'm a vegetarian, maybe it's just that you keep it about the meal that they're talking about because they didn't enter the conversation saying I'm a meat eater.
Speaker 1: So
Speaker 2: so it's that you're responding in kind and and and proportionally to to what's going on and that might be a natural way to share a little bit about yourself.
Speaker 2: There might be a follow up question, oh, do you not
Speaker 2: do a ham? No, we're a vegetarian household and we go this route and then
Speaker 2: now you've you've shared that bit of yourself and hopefully you've shared it in a way where they have expressed some interest and some curiosity because of a natural conversation that happened
Speaker 1: totally. I I think you could probably find ways for the tone to work in either space. You know, whether you're actually saying, oh
Speaker 1: I'm a vegetarian, so I haven't tried that, but I love this or whether you're saying, oh, you know what I really love is this? I think, I think both could actually get you there, but I like the idea of
Speaker 1: finding the tonal difference between your,
Speaker 1: oh I'm a vegetarian, so I haven't had that or I can't eat that or I don't eat that versus your,
Speaker 1: I'm a vegetarian and I love this and I think there is a, there's a, there's a tonal difference between them and finding your own in the conversations that you have all
Speaker 1: be something you have to explore and and get comfortable with and and figuring out what works with your voice and and how you say things, but I think you could probably safely go either route and I think dan's route, if you're having a hard time with the tone ends up really just eliminating the need for it. You know, you you just you're not even making those declarative statements
Speaker 2: awkward vegetarian. We hope that our answer helps and that you feel less awkward moving forward. Talking about your vegetarian diet
Speaker 1: and who knows, maybe some people will try some of those dishes that you're excited about.
Speaker 2: It is really interesting and amazing to know how you can prepare your meals in an appetizing and pleasing manner. There's an old saying in a true one that what is pleasing to the eye is bound to be pleasing to the appetite.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us your updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette Emily Post dot com Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: Or please reach us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily post inst that's I. N. S. T.
Speaker 1: On instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: If you enjoy awesome etiquette, please consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this 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 2: and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover and today we have feedback from Stephanie on our wedding etiquette book,
Speaker 2: Hi lizzie and dan. I recently got engaged after over a decade of dating my significant other.
Speaker 1: Congratulations.
Speaker 2: Part of the reason for waiting so long
Speaker 2: is that I was always terrified of planning a wedding.
Speaker 2: Thinking about it seems so overwhelming, stressful and awful.
Speaker 2: One of the first things I did after getting engaged was to buy your wedding etiquette book and read it cover to cover. It has made me feel so much better prepared and more confident about planning a wedding.
Speaker 2: The tools that I've learned from the book, like the three CS consideration, communication and compromise along with the incredible consideration, respect, honesty, framework that I've learned from the podcast have been so helpful.
Speaker 2: I've already used these frameworks to navigate difficult situations when planning my wedding like feuding divorced family members, Covid vaccinations, deciding whether people should be in the bridal party and accommodating guests with varying levels of mobility.
Speaker 2: All of these things would have been so overwhelming and scary without your advice guiding me through it,
Speaker 2: I wanted to send this note to say thank you for your excellent advice and frameworks and for allowing this Future Bride to be excited about marriage instead of terrified of planning such a huge event.
Speaker 2: Thankfully a far less anxious bride to be
Speaker 1: a far less anxious bride to be. I am so glad this book is having the impact on you that it is. I, as you've heard me mention on this show, I've actually recently reread some of this book and the very first section had me at Hello, basically it was it was I feel you on it. Like it was this book was mainly written by my mother and my sister
Speaker 1: with me sort of being added in further into the process and it it has that feel of of really supportive like best friend, older sister, cool on awesome mom. Like somebody like that leading you along the way and
Speaker 1: I've got to say I too feel that when I read it and I really appreciate that it was able to get you
Speaker 1: to that space of feeling really confident about planning your wedding
Speaker 2: Lizzy. I remember when you went back and reread that wedding book and
Speaker 2: your pleasure at what was out there with your and our name on It was so genuine that I'm not at all surprised by this feedback and I really hope that the book continues to serve as an incredible resource for lots of people out there. Far less anxious bride to be. Thank you so much for the feedback
Speaker 1: and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text to 802858 K. I N. D. That's 802858546
Speaker 2: three.
Speaker 1: It's time for a post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going to talk about etiquette in regards to diversity equity and inclusion. This post script was inspired by a question that came in from listener Bill. And so you're going to hear a very Q and a style to the post script. Here's the question,
Speaker 1: what are some ways a cis white male can better apply the principles of etiquette when it comes to diversity equity and inclusion issues, especially when engaging with a diverse group of people. Thank you. Bill
Speaker 1: dan, as a cis white male, do you have any thoughts?
Speaker 2: I have so many thoughts, it's hard to organize them into a coherent answer for a question like this for such a short question. This is such an important question. And
Speaker 2: I want to start off by thanking Bill for submitting it and also acknowledging that yes as a cis white male, I have a perspective and a thought about this question and
Speaker 2: I think it's really important to acknowledge the perspective that I'm coming from when I start the answer, because
Speaker 2: while I am definitely an etiquette expert and I feel very comfortable talking about etiquette, I'm not an expert on diversity equity and inclusion issues, although I've
Speaker 2: in my personal life, spent a lot of time thinking about these issues and they impact me very directly. Like they impact all of us very directly. And
Speaker 2: when I think about the ways my perspectives on questions of diversity equity and inclusion have changed over the last couple of years,
Speaker 2: Mhm
Speaker 2: really reminds me about
Speaker 2: what
Speaker 2: different places people come from when they're thinking about these issues and that there are issues that mean a great deal to people and that we
Speaker 2: do come from such different places, that
Speaker 2: it's really important to acknowledge where we're coming from as we even begin to talk about them.
Speaker 2: So I guess that's my first, my first big picture thought for Bill and for everybody, is that remembering that your perspective is unique and it's valid, but that it's also not the perspective that everybody shares
Speaker 2: can be a really great place to jump off from, because it puts us in a place of taking care with each other and really recognizing that
Speaker 2: our perspectives are our own and that
Speaker 2: the ways that we interact with other people
Speaker 2: are really going to depend upon where we're coming from, and that the ways those things are received by other people is going to depend on where they're coming from, and that's the big challenge that we're talking about with
Speaker 2: cross cultural engagement or engagement that happens across any of
Speaker 2: of the lines that define people's identities and experiences of themselves
Speaker 1: dan. I feel like that while this this question can feel so very big and the the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion is a very big topic that some of the smallest and I don't want to call them smallest, but they can sound small pieces of etiquette, like minor things
Speaker 1: can actually have a big impact and be really great tools of etiquette as you explore conversations and
Speaker 1: allow yourself to be more aware of the people around you and and also your impact on them and you hear us talk about that a lot in etiquette, that awareness of of your impact on others or your experience, that it can be different from others. But
Speaker 1: I love in the show notes for this question, the bullet that we have that is listen, listen again,
Speaker 1: acknowledge your perspective, good, good listening skills of looking someone in the eye, following along with them, waiting until they're truly finished to speak. Not always just throwing out your perspective as soon as they're done, but exploring their perspective,
Speaker 1: good conversational skills can actually be a really, really great
Speaker 1: foundational starting point for making sure that when you're engaging can help you make sure that when you are engaging with a diverse group of people that you're you're utilizing that consideration respect and honesty through some of these. These I don't again, I don't want to call them littler but I do think of them as smaller etiquette tools like having good listening skills, that sort of thing
Speaker 2: lizzie post. I think that you've keyed on what I would think of as maybe the most important manner when it comes to this question and that's that manner of listening. I kept returning to it myself when I tried to get really specific like what can you do as a cis white male and
Speaker 2: inherent in the way the question is asked is the idea that male cis white. These are all privileged categories. These are all categories where
Speaker 2: there is an assumption of power that comes from the traits that we're talking about that define that identity. And there are manners that are specific to people with certain backgrounds, cultures and expectations. So focusing on the manners I think is a really
Speaker 2: important way to get those fundamental principles of consideration, respect and honesty that
Speaker 2: really do work for everyone
Speaker 2: and getting them applied in a way that everybody can recognize them and feel them. And
Speaker 2: so I think in Bill's question is an awareness that etiquette is important that
Speaker 2: treating everyone with that consideration and that respect and that sincerity
Speaker 2: and dare I say kindness because we also tiptoe up to that as a principle on this show is the goal, but that the way we achieve that varies and it varies all the time And we talk about that in our cross cultural or international etiquette that
Speaker 2: your manner shift depending on the context or the situation that you're operating in and
Speaker 2: the context or situation that this question is operating in is as a cis white male and
Speaker 2: keying on the manner of listening and really cultivating that in yourself I think is one of the most powerful things that you can possibly do
Speaker 2: so bravo. I think that's a good one.
Speaker 2: I think there's some other manners that come into play here and the one that I think of is also
Speaker 2: related to that listening skill, but it's the flip side of it and it's commenting on difference or acknowledging difference that we see around us in the world.
Speaker 2: And when you're assist white male commenting on difference that's inherently a fraught or potentially a fraught comment.
Speaker 2: And starting off from a place of acknowledging the perspective that you're operating from and that what you're expressing is your opinion isn't necessarily something that's universally
Speaker 2: agreed upon.
Speaker 2: Is that another or experience. There's another way to show that awareness to get your
Speaker 2: manners antenna out in a way that really demonstrates your consideration respect and honesty
Speaker 1: along with those one action that we can take that is always a good action to take. But I think
Speaker 1: can be a better action when we've done the listening and not done because you're never really finished, but when we have actually taken the time to be listening to others and being aware of others is to think before we speak
Speaker 1: and I do think that allowing ourselves and having patience in our world to take the time to think before we say things, it might help us to not say things that trigger other people or that come across in a way or even are dismissive of other people
Speaker 1: and it is amazing how much, again the listening and being aware of others, but also just thinking before we speak, allowing ourselves the time
Speaker 1: to engage in conversation in a way that feels
Speaker 1: full of intention as opposed to just off the handle or the first thing we think of
Speaker 1: can make a really big difference in your communicating, especially in more diverse environments
Speaker 2: lizzie, I like hearing you talk about this topic and I like hearing you say things like make a big difference because I don't think that anything will fix it, there is no right answer, there is no right course of action.
Speaker 2: But by engaging in certain ways, I think we give ourselves a better chance, we give ourselves a better shot and
Speaker 2: really cultivating an awareness of others, cultivating an awareness of ourselves,
Speaker 2: it's all just going to give us more of a chance and in some ways that's what I really want to encourage the most, that
Speaker 2: there is no perfect answer but that we can we can all get better and we can all engage and that
Speaker 2: it's risky. But it's also what's required of us in many ways. If we're all going to get along. And
Speaker 2: I think really both thinking about what you can do yourself but then also and your return to to listening and stopping to think keep reminding me of this, keep getting information from the world around you. Also, it's not always about expressing your opinion and projecting yourself into the world, but um so so much can be gained and so so much can be gained in relationships from absorbing from learning from listening from taking in information from other people as well. And in this particular context, in this particular question.
Speaker 2: I think that's that's really the best manner that that you can cultivate in yourself
Speaker 1: well. And I think too that leaving room for change, we we talk all the time about how those principles are universal. They cross cultural boundaries, they cross time, you know, they stay with us
Speaker 1: but that our our manners are things that we expect to change. And I think I think that allowing room for change is so important. You know in Emily's Day
Speaker 1: people said Sir Ma'am and miss to address other people that they didn't know their name or just even if they knew the name as a sign of respect unquestionably it's the way to go and do it
Speaker 1: through listening and being aware of others. We just did a survey monkey study or survey Excuse me here at Emily Post where we learned that there are a lot of people who really don't care about using these terms. And there are people who actually really care about using these terms. And there are some people who really wish these terms would go away.
Speaker 1: That is not
Speaker 1: 100%. That's not everybody thinking the same thing. And that came about because people were willing to speak up from their own perspective and they were willing to listen and be aware of others and try to find solutions grounded in those principles that could then move us to a place that makes sense for us today. We're hoping our answer in the 20th edition does make sense and works for today,
Speaker 1: but I love looking at those manners as a place for change and and some of the manners like our listening skills and thinking before we speak. Those are manners that probably do stand the test of time. But being open to change and being willing to recognize that our manners and the way we show courtesy can change over time and the way that that courtesy can be more inclusive will require change. I think being open to all of that is also another thing that everyone can be doing to help move forward in a way that's going to
Speaker 1: I have a word world that really does feel more inclusive.
Speaker 2: I could go on and on and on about this question. I'm thinking about all of the particular manners that are in the 20th edition. Everything from how not to comment on someone's name, how important it is to pronounce people's names correctly. How
Speaker 2: important it is to avoid language that is
Speaker 2: unintentionally destructive or categorizes people in ways that that are are are dismissive or belittling.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 2: The the examples of all of the ways that are particular manners have changed in response to these kinds of questions and the kind of listening that you're talking about are so number. We could never answer them in one question. And that's true. I think that continuing to return to the idea of really learning and listening and being aware of others
Speaker 2: is the fundamental place that we want to be to pick up on all those little changes as they happen as they continue to happen and as they continue to happen in ways that we do and don't anticipate.
Speaker 2: Bill, thank you so much for opening this discussion and I really look forward to continuing and hope that you will follow up with us again in the future.
Speaker 2: What was it after all that made these people do the things they did?
Speaker 2: Was it a lack of understanding?
Speaker 2: Was their attitude picked up from their prejudiced parents
Speaker 2: or was it simply a matter of going along with the attitude of the group?
Speaker 2: What is prejudice
Speaker 2: and why does it exist?
Speaker 2: What do you think?
Speaker 2: Mhm
Speaker 2: mm hmm.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 2: Mm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm.
Speaker 2: 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 have a salute from anonymous.
Speaker 1: Hi all I have a quick winter related salute.
Speaker 1: We had a crazy storm in Juneau this week followed by rain. It made the streets and sidewalks. So I see that schools and stores were closed for several days. I still had to get to work so I walked but it was treacherous. I was sliding all over the place and my 20 minute walk took an hour.
Speaker 1: I knew I needed some ice cleats but the stores weren't open. Luckily a coworker had an extra pair and she lent hers to me. It made my walk the next morning much less scary. So shout out to Shelly for the ice cleats slip and slide no more.
Speaker 2: Okay. We lost one of her cleats on a walk the other day and I had to go retrace the walk because they are so helpful. I can't imagine this is a really nice salute and I hope that you truly are slipping sliding no more.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for this salute
Speaker 2: and thank you for listening. Thank
Speaker 1: you to everybody who sent us something for the show and who supports us on Patreon,
Speaker 2: please do connect with us and share the show with friends, family and coworkers. However you like to share podcasts,
Speaker 1: you can send us questions, feedback and salutes by email to awesome etiquette. Emily Post dot com by phone. You can leave us a message or a text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: on twitter. We're at Emily Post on instagram, we're at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute, please
Speaker 2: consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting Patreon 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 our show ranking which helps more people find awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Our show is edited by Kris Albertine, an assistant produced by Bridget Dowd. Thanks chris and Bridget. Bridget.
Speaker 1: Mhm