Awesome Etiquette

Sunday at 10:40 a.m. on VPR
  • Hosted by Lizzie Post, Daniel Post Senning

Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning of the Emily Post Institute answer your questions about etiquette. From the most traditional to the unexpectedly modern the Posts tackle etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect, and honesty.

Below are the versions of Awesome Etiquette that broadcast on VPR. To hear fuller length discussions on these topics, subscribe to the full podcast.

Awesome Etiquette is proud to be recorded at VPR.

Ways to Connect

Awesome Etiquette: Bossy Gossip

Feb 16, 2018
If a co-worker can't take a hint that you prefer not to gossip about the boss, you might need to be more direct.
Chip Studio / iStock

Got a co-worker who's always complaining about the boss and tries to include you in the chatter? One listener does, and wants to know how to back away. Attempting to cut these negative conversations short and walk away just hasn't worked. So, when a confrere can't take a hint, you'll need to slowly escalate your response.

Awesome Etiquette: Familiar Strangers On A Train

Feb 9, 2018
istock

If you have a morning commute via bus or train into work, you might use that down time as a chance to catch up on a book or to listen in to your favorite podcast. But what happens when, each morning, a co-worker who takes the same public transportation, would rather chat during your whole commute?

Awesome Etiquette: Offering Financial Support For A Funeral

Feb 2, 2018
From picking up the tab for flowers to a simple monetary donation, there are many ways to offer finanacial support when a friend loses a loved one.
FotoDuets / iStock

Offering financial assistance to a friend or family member after the death of a loved one is a tradition for some people. The reason for this is to help defray costs associated with the person's death. A listener - unfamiliar with this custom - asked how to do this if you're unable to attend a funeral and offer a contribution in person.

Awesome Etiquette: For Crying Out Loud, Get Up And Say Hello!

Jan 26, 2018
There's nothing wrong with relaxing on the couch but, when a guest arrives,  always be sure to get up to say hello.
Serenethos / iStock

You finally have some highly coveted down-time on the couch when, all of a sudden, a friend of your spouse arrives and you're faced with the decision of staying horizontal or getting up to say hello.

Awesome Etiquette: I Love You But, Sorry, That's My Food

Jan 17, 2018
Regardless of your relationship, always ask before taking food from someone else's plate.
Rawpixel LTD / iStock

No matter how long you've been with your spouse or partner, there's still a protocol for sharing food.

Awesome Etiquette: Offering Assistance To People With Disabilities

Jan 12, 2018
If you're uncertain whether or not a person with a disability needs assistance, just ask. This allows the person to either accept or decline your offer.
Rapid Eye / iStock

What is the protocol for offering assistance to people with disabilities? That question comes from a listener who noticed a wheelchair user having difficulty navigating onto a sidewalk. Our listener’s first instinct was to provide help but didn’t want to be presumptuous and assume assistance was wanted or needed. At The Emily Post Institute, we've talked about the best approach for this situation with those who have disabilities and the organizations that support them.

Awesome Etiquette: Please Return Your Seat To The Upright Position

Jan 5, 2018
If at all possible, it's best not to recline your airplane seat to avoid encroaching on the space of the passenger behind you.
Away IGI / iStock

We recently fielded a question about something many of us have struggled with when flying. A listener shared that, while traveling recently, he reclined his airplane seat just a bit in order to relieve some back pain. The passenger behind him was not too happy about this and proceeded to bump the chair and extend a leg on the armrest. So what is proper etiquette for reclining on a plane?   

Awesome Etiquette: When To Stop Saying 'Happy New Year'

Dec 28, 2017
mxtama / iStock

For how long do you continue to say "Happy New Year!" when greeting someone? After the first week of January? Anytime before March?

Awesome Etiquette: Attending The 'Preferred' Party

Dec 22, 2017
Accepting one invitation while declining another is often a difficult choice, especially when feelings might be hurt.
Windal2 / iStock

A listener writes:  Each year, a friend invites me and my husband to his New Year's party. This year, we're expecting his invitation but haven't been contacted yet. Meanwhile, another friend, who also knows my first friend, invited us to her New Year's celebration. I prefer to attend the usual party that I'm assuming we'll be invited to, but don't want to hurt feelings when sending regrets to the one I was, technically, invited to first. How do I decline without explaining where I expect to be going?

Awesome Etiquette: The Rules Of Regifting

Dec 15, 2017
If you must regift, be certain that the person will truly appreciate the item and the original giver won't be offended if this practice is uncovered.
Dmitrii Guzhanin / iStock

Regifting can be very tempting but there are lots of negatives that go along with it. Friends and family spend money and put time into choosing a gift only to get hurt should they find out it's been passed on to someone else. Regifting is not paying forward and we advise against this practice; however, we do have some suggestions if you must regift. 

Awesome Etiquette: Booing The Ref Respectfully

Dec 8, 2017
When booing the referee after a bad call at a sporting event, be sure to refrain from being obnoxious or making vicious comments.
Adam Kaz / iStock

With both of us being big sports fans, we were recently asked if it's okay to boo the referee or the other team while at a game. Is it all in good fun and part of the atmosphere or best to abstain altogether?

Awesome Etiquette: Hush Up Back There

Dec 1, 2017
Enlist the help of the theater manager when other audience members are a little too loud.
Helen Tosh / iStock

You've got season tickets to the theater, the seats are perfect, and you're looking forward to all of the performances. What's not to love? The new, noisy couple sitting behind you who also has season tickets, that's what.

Awesome Etiquette: How To Show Your Gratitude

Nov 22, 2017
A supportive friend has stepped up and helped with childcare when you needed it most. What are some good ways to show your appreciation?
Patrick Heagney / iStock

A dear friend has provided you with childcare as you recover from an injury. How do you respond in kind when you can't reciprocate with the same favor and she won't accept money?

Awesome Etiquette: No Drama

Nov 17, 2017
When someone tries to create drama by engaging you in negative conversation,  it's best to just say no.
mheim3011 / iStock

Got that person in your life who always seems to be creating drama out of nothing and then tries to incite a response from you? You know the type; they ask how you feel about something personal or controversial, prodding you for a dramatic reply. Engaging in negative chatter like this is a dangerous trap to fall in, but there are ways to side-step the drama.   

Awesome Etiquette: Turn Off That Camera, Please

Nov 10, 2017
Video chatting can be fun and useful, but remember to be respectful of those around you who might not want to be caught on camera.
svariophoto / iStock

Video chatting through FaceTime, Skype and other apps has become a popular form of communication. But what about those around you who may not feel comfortable being on camera or in the conversation? As electronic devices become more deeply embedded in our lives, we find ourselves faced with more concerns about e-etiquette. 

Awesome Etiquette: Look, I Really Gotta Go

Nov 3, 2017
Alerting others in your dinner party that you need to leave by a certain time will allow you to opt out if the evening drags on.
ozlemonal / iStock

You've been out to a delightful dinner with friends. The meal was delicious and the conversation was enjoyable. Now it's time pay the bill and hit the road. But wait, one of your friends decides to order coffee. Do you stick around for more chit-chat or bolt out the door?

Awesome Etiquette: The Wedding Gift Obligation

Oct 27, 2017
Sending a wedding gift when you can't attend the big day is still encouraged in most situations.
Julia Sudnitskaya / iStock

We often find ourselves grappling with age-old etiquette that suggests sending a wedding gift even when you can't attend the event. Some might find this tradition unrealistic to uphold, but generally, we think it still holds true.

Awesome Etiquette: Double Booked Dilemma

Oct 20, 2017
Canceling one commitment to attend a different event is not usually a good practice; however, sometimes there are exceptions.
luxizeng / iStock

This week's question asks about a calendar conflict caused by two events booked on the same night. The first, a night out with friends; the second, a birthday dinner for a family member. What to do and which to cancel?  

Awesome Etiquette: Supportive Yet Sensitive

Oct 13, 2017
One way of offering support to friends during a difficult time is to simply be there for them and provide normalcy.
vadimguzhva / iStock

Offering support is an essential part of friendship, but it can also be tricky when the situation is personal and sensitive.  For instance, we heard from a couple who were close with another couple that was having difficulty conceiving. Their question: is it okay to ask about fertility progress since these friends shared this information in the first place?

Awesome Etiquette: An Uncomfortable Link

Oct 6, 2017
An invitation to a website of personal interest should not be included in a business-related e-mail message.
JuSun / iStock

A listener recently asked advice on how to reply to a work-related e-mail from a very nice client. Even though the message was related to business, it also included an invitation to receive a link for religious material. Working in a public sector job where separation exists between church and state, the recipient was unsure how to respond and felt it inappropriate to engage the request.

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