Dedicated Etiquette Thread

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shelob
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Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by shelob »

In the Social Skills MMG, there seemed to be quite some interest in a dedicated etiquette thread. The search function didn’t reveal any so I’m starting it.

To start the discussion:

A book that was recommended by Ego (actually Mrs. Ego) is “Emily Post“, for free on Project Gutenberg: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14314. Is there interest in reading it together?

Chenda recommended youtuber Jamila Musayeva. Here’s her channel: https://www.youtube.com/@JamilaMusayeva

Personally, I intend to take a table manners class mid-term, because I don’t have any and I don’t like the way it’s limiting my optionality/access.
What are your reasons for being interested in etiquette?

AxelHeyst
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by AxelHeyst »

It's fun to surprise people who have put me in the 'dirtbag' box. This goes along with showing up sharply dressed, when people are used to me as the scruffy looking nerf herder.

chenda
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by chenda »

I hope you find Jamila useful, I found her videos to be very good.

I've studied this when travelling to other cultures like Islamic countries, as it obviously makes the travel experience much easier and enjoyable.

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Ego
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by Ego »

Some low hanging fruit:

Do not arrive early.

Never arrive empty handed to a party. If you can, ask ahead of time what you can bring. If they say noting, arrive with something.

If you are hosting, ask guests if they would like you to take their coats and purses.

Wait until everyone at the table has been served (or served themselves) before beginning to eat.

When you invite people to your home for drinks, provide coasters or napkins to put under their drinks.

If you are invited for drinks, use the provided coasters or napkins.

If finger foods have tongs or tooth picks nearby, use them to pickup the food.

If you are hosting and a person has an empty glass, fill it and let them know that they are welcome to help themselves (if they are).

If you are attending a party and are with a group, be sure to ask everyone in the group if they would like a refill if you are getting one yourself.

If your guests do not know one another, introduce them with interesting tidbits about their lives. Extra points for planning ahead and thinking of common interests they may share.

Ask the host if you can help, especially with clearing and cleaning up.

If you want to really stand out, send a handwritten thank you note after a party.

Henry
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by Henry »

A few from personal experience:

Don't be the first one to drop the f-bomb;

Make sure your socks don't have holes in them in case you are asked to take your shoes off.

Don't say that only fat people and people who want to kill their wives like taking cruises especially to a fat person or a person you suspect wants to kill their wife with their wife present;

If someone is recently widowed, don't ask if that is a good thing;

If someone discloses that they have cancer, don't ask how long they have;

Don't insult an entire people group even if you are a member of it;

Don't say you don't understand why people remarry unless you know for certain no one is on their second marriage;

Don't brag about once seeing a microcephalic dwarf until you know for certain no one is related to one or is friends with one;

Don't insult the entire fanbase of a sports franchise until you know...

If you are going to do drugs beforehand, don't do those that completely suppress your appetite. It looks like you don't like the food;

ertyu
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by ertyu »

Henry wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:26 pm
Don't be the first one to drop the f-bomb;
This is a joke but this isn't a half-bad one. It can be generalized as so: 1. observe how others behave. what sorts of things they say and what sorts of things they don't. 2. Behave like them.

** if it's just one douche dropping f-bombs and no one else does, don't be like him. Many groups have that one asshole that people barely tolerate because confronting him/her is too awkward socially; identify that asshole and exclude him/her from the advice above

Henry
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by Henry »

It't not a joke. I always remind myself as it applies to all tables. Boardroom, dining room, restaurant, communion. In a pure social setting, I think the addendum is don't drop the f-bomb until the host/hostess drops the f-bomb. Even if the cast of Goodfellas is there, if the host/hostess is not swearing, don't do it. If you are the host/hostess and you are disposed to swearing, stop if no one else is going along. If you are in a one on one situation, and you want to test the waters, say "effing" not "fucking" and see how the other responds. That's not to say I don't like to play a good game of "How fast to douche" in which I see how quickly I can get people to start swearing. Language is the most important aspect of social engagement. You might hold your fork too low, you might rip a pre-party fart in front of the door bell cam, you might go in for a hug the wrong way, you might get busted staring at a nice ass a second too long, That stuff is forgivable/forgettable and often unavoidable. But saying the wrong thing can be fatal.

I will also add this one. Never embarrass the host. I learned this in a church setting. They have an office in the situation that creates a necessary power structure. So if they say something that is flat out wrong, or you disagree with them, don't correct them. You will ruin the dynamic and the other guests will resent you.

chenda
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by chenda »

Henry wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 5:46 am
will also add this one. Never embarrass the host. I learned this in a church setting. They have an office in the situation that creates a necessary power structure. So if they say something that is flat out wrong, or you disagree with them, don't correct them. You will ruin the dynamic and the other guests will resent you.
I think it's important to correct wrongness or challenge opinions, at least in many settings like a workplace. Doing so tactfully with minimal embarrassment is probably a useful skill in itself.

In many situations not doing so could lead to problems or could even be dangerous. As an extreme example, airline crashes have occurred due to a first officer's reluctance to challenge a Captain's mistake.

Henry
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by Henry »

One off social setting, I let it go. Battles turn to wars and then desert is ruined over some bullshit difference of opinion.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

To me it depends on the consequences. People who have to correct every fact no matter how unimportant are irritating.

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Ego
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by Ego »

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 7:50 am
To me it depends on the consequences. People who have to correct every fact no matter how unimportant are irritating.
Agreed.

It is tempting to become FI so that one no longer needs to follow silly rules. Freedom from.

The alternative is to use FI as a launchpad to bigger, more interesting things. Things that makes one feel alive. In that case the person must be highly functional in the world where these rules matter. In fact, the act of being launched propels us toward unfamiliar territory where rules of thumb can be very helpful. Freedom to.

Setting oneself up to want/need as little as possible from the world is the opposite approach to living than setting oneself up to want/need as much as possible from it. From the outside they often appear the same. They are very different.

80% of the arguments here on the forum are the result of those striving toward the former and latter disagreeing about that fundamental issue.

Frita
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by Frita »

Some field notes: Get to know people, organizations, and group cultures slowly. Observe. Reflect. Ask questions. Seek advice from a trusted and knowledgeable source without connection to get a gut check, share experience with similar situations, and support. Beware that what is initially observed is unlikely to be the reality. Learn what you can. Be prepared to set boundaries, right-size your involvement, and walk away if necessary.

ffj
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by ffj »

If you are the host of anything, your job is to make everybody comfortable and relaxed, and this includes forgoing needless social class rules that are designed to alienate. You should also pay attention to generational differences and accommodate the elders amongst us. There is an ebb and flow as well as a balance to every social gathering and a good host pays attention to the big picture.

As a guest one needs to learn how to read the room. And know basic etiquette rules roughly for the area of the world you are located. And ask if not sure, as this shows consideration on your part. Even within countries, I'll use the Southern United States as an example, there are unwritten rules you would benefit from knowing and following.

Personally I find informal gatherings the most fun where everybody is relaxed and free to speak their mind. Bonus if there is an activity involved. If I never attend another formal dinner/banquet/party again then that's a win for me.

theanimal
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by theanimal »

Brush your teeth

Be agreeable. Unless they are close friends or close family, I am not going to stake battle lines on their opinion. No matter how extreme and how much I disagree. Especially if they are doing me a favor or are in the process of helping me.

ETA:Note that that doesn't mean you have to agree with their position. And you can even mention things that contradict it. It means more like just saying "yeah" in response and not getting into arguments
Last edited by theanimal on Wed Jan 11, 2023 11:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Keep in mind that etiquette may vary significantly among different cultures. Making eye contact during a strong hand shake, without placing your other arm in the appropriate position, would be quite disrespectful in South Korea depending on the context of your relationship. Slurping noodles and broth in some Asian cultures is actually a sign of respect, but would be considered poor form in the US.
chenda wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 6:38 am
I think it's important to correct wrongness or challenge opinions, at least in many settings like a workplace. Doing so tactfully with minimal embarrassment is probably a useful skill in itself.

In many situations not doing so could lead to problems or could even be dangerous. As an extreme example, airline crashes have occurred due to a first officer's reluctance to challenge a Captain's mistake.
The example above is actually from Korean airlines, and resulted from etiquette regarding communication.

chenda
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by chenda »

Western Red Cedar wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 11:12 am
The example above is actually from Korean airlines, and resulted from etiquette regarding communication.
Yes there's been a number of accidents and incidents like that over the years. Asian airlines have been particularly prone to it due to the culture of saving face and rigid hierarchies.

theanimal
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by theanimal »

Etiquette works best when paired with knowledge of one's environment and situation. As such, the norms work best when applied to the appropriate environment and situation. That takes some awareness and judgment.
Someone in an emergency in a cockpit/on a mountain/hostile situation/whatever should not necessarily conduct their behavior by norms for social gatherings and other non life or death moments.
---

Don't be the first one to bring up politics.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Lots of good advice here. I'm surprised that nobody has yet mentioned the top entry for 21st century social etiquette, which would be "Put your effing cell phone away!"

In recent years I've been too semi-terrified-because-conflict-avoidant to attempt to mix friends of highly differing political affiliations at same gathering, so I wish the rule of not talking about politics or religion at the dinner table could be reinstated.

The faux pas I find myself having the hardest time ignoring is the use of a toothpick at the table. However, as ffj noted, exhibiting my discomfort with this behavior would be worse offense, so I attempt to ignore.

In alignment with Ego's list, try to think of something true and complimentary to say about a home or similar environment you have been invited to for the first time. If/when you retire to the facilities ("May I make use of your facilities?" was what I was trained to say as a child, as opposed to "I have to pee!" or even, "Where is the bathroom?") in the company of another woman, you may also choose to use this as an opportunity to say something true and complimentary about her dress or appearance towards establishing greater intimacy. Keep your comment appropriate to the style she is projecting. "I love your bag! Where did you get it?" is usually pretty safe.

It's usually best practice to not offer gender specific compliments in reference to babies or children, such as "what a pretty girl!". "What a happy little person!" or observations of signs of advanced development will likely be better accepted.

Frita
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by Frita »

Another thing to keep in mind in is the wearing of shoes in the house. When extending an invitation, we always say, “We are a shoes-off household.” This gives others the opportunity to choose the socks they want to wear, bring slippers, or beg off the invite. Our arctic entry has a place to sit and footwear storage trays. We also clean weekly with tidies PRN. We sometimes do need to repeat this statement as someone forgets to remove them. On rare occasions there is a discussion regarding our practice (no biggie) or arguing (less pleasant). When going to others’ homes, we follow their guidelines (no biggie).

ertyu
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Re: Dedicated Etiquette Thread

Post by ertyu »

Add: if you want people to not wear shoes in your house, have slippers for them. Even "clean" floors will dirty feet and socks

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