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.

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Awesome Etiquette: Is Saying Sir Or Ma'am Outdated?

Sep 9, 2016

Were you raised to address your elders by using "Sir" or "Ma'am?" The idea of calling an acquaintance or loved one by these monikers may seem old-fashioned or even feel out of place in certain regions of the United States.

Awesome Etiquette: Does A Host Always Have To Serve A Meal?

Sep 2, 2016
shironosov / istock

A close friend is having some work done on his home and needs to vacate for a day or two while the work is being finished. You've extended the invitation for him to stay at your home, and are happy to offer, but are left wondering if you are responsible for dinner.

Awesome Etiquette: Dealing With Library Anxiety

Aug 26, 2016
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Libraries can be tricky places to navigate. That’s why librarians are there, to help make sense of the literary maze. However, some people have library anxiety and worry about asking a librarian for help.

If you’re a librarian, how can you make sure you’re approachable and able to offer help to people in a non-patronizing way?

Awesome Etiquette: Small Weddings

Aug 19, 2016
AbelBrata / iStock

If a couple chooses to have a small wedding that is just a brief civil ceremony, is there any special etiquette that goes with this type of event?

How do you let people know about the wedding and the celebration afterwards? Additionally, how can you direct people to make gifts of money towards a honeymoon fund instead of getting physical presents that aren’t needed?

Awesome Etiquette: Splitting Your Time When Visiting Friends

Aug 16, 2016
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As we get older and move away from our friends, often we only get the chance to see them for a few days a year.

If you’ve recently made a new friend who lives in the same area as an old friend you rarely see, what is the best way to spend your time when you make the yearly trek to visit your old friend? Should you not tell your new friend that you’ll be town or should you take a few hours away from the time with your old friend to see the new friend?   

Awesome Etiquette: Should Everyone Buy A Round When Out With Friends?

Aug 7, 2016
Niksolay Tsuguliev / iStock

It’s great to go out with friends to catch up and socialize. If people are getting drinks during these group hangouts, often people will take turns buying rounds.

Awesome Etiquette: Contacting An Ex's Family

Jul 29, 2016
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After a break-up, it's often tough to navigate the potentially rough waters in between you and your ex. And if you were once close with your ex's family, that can add another layer of doubt about how or if you should stay in contact.

Awesome Etiquette: The Ebb And Flow Of Gift Giving

Jul 22, 2016
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Friendships, like any relationship, grow and change over time. Gift giving might be a part of how people celebrate birthdays and holidays in some friendships, but over time that can change as well.

What happens when a friendship grows more distant and you don’t want to keep giving gifts, but the other person continues to send them? Is there a tactful way to tell them they don’t need to keep sending gifts and make sure they know you still value their friendship?

Awesome Etiquette: When Should A Waiter Clear The Table?

Jul 15, 2016
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There’s often debate about the etiquette to follow when eating out at a restaurant, both for diners and servers.

One hotly debated question has to do with when a server should remove empty plates from the table. Is it better to remove plates as diners finish eating, or should they wait to clear the table after everyone has finished their meal?

Awesome Etiquette: Asking For One-On-One Time From Friends In Relationships

Jul 10, 2016

If you're single, sometimes it feels like your friends in relationships only want to hang out when their partner is out of town or unavailable. It can feel like a petty complaint, but feeling like you're only a backup plan is no fun. How can you talk to your friends about hanging out one-on-one without sound like you're complaining about their partner?

Awesome Etiquette: Discussing The Rental Market

Jul 3, 2016
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Inevitably, when you move into a new place friends or family will ask about how much you're paying for rent. What may seem like a benign question to some (especially in competitive rental markets,) can often put the person answering in the uncomfortable position of divulging very personal information about their finances.

Awesome Etiquette: Asking Guests To Respect Your Pet's Space

Jun 26, 2016
Dmytro Skorobogatov / iStock

All pets, like their owners, have distinct personalities. Some are friendly with everyone they meet and others seem to barely tolerate their owners. If you have a pet that isn't great with strangers, how can you make sure that the animal is respected and visitors understand how to treat your pet.

David Freund / iStock

Weddings are exciting not only for the people getting married but for the friends and family of the couple. Sometimes though, it can be difficult to talk about friends and family about anything but the wedding. How can you move on to other conversations and make it not always about you and the wedding?

Awesome Etiquette: To Shake Or Not To Shake When Saying Goodbye

Jun 12, 2016

When greeting someone new in a business setting, it feels instinctual to stand if you are seated and shake his or her hand. That distinction gets murky if you already know the person but don't see them often.

Awesome Etiquette: Asking People Not To Give Gifts

Jun 3, 2016
Leks Laputin / iStock

People often assume that you should bring a gift to a child's birthday party. But what if, as the parent, you don't want to keep accruing stuff in your home? How can you ask people to not give physical things for your child's birthday?  

Awesome Etiquette: When Someone Forgets Your Name

May 29, 2016

It can be difficult to remember the names and faces of everyone you meet, especially if you just meet someone for a few minutes at a party. What's the most graceful way to handle running into an acquaintance when the person doesn't remember you?

Awesome Etiquette: Friends With Kids

May 21, 2016

Often there is a point in life when many of your friends are married and have children. If you also have kids this can be great and allow you to continue to spend time with your friends. But if you don't have kids, it can sometimes be difficult to keep those friendships strong. 

Awesome Etiquette: Paying Your Share On A Family Trip

May 14, 2016
Leonardo Patrizi / iStock

What's the best way to communicate a desire to pay your own way to family or friends when traveling?

Awesome Etiquette: Fielding Painful Questions

May 6, 2016

We've all been asked difficult or painful questions, some more painful than others. What is the best way to shut down these inquiries quickly and politely?

Awesome Etiquette: Balancing Personal Time And Co-Worker Relations

Apr 30, 2016
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Lunch can be a great time to relax and recharge in the middle of the work day. While some people enjoy getting lunch with coworkers, others might prefer to use the time to do their own thing. How can they politely convey that desire to their peers?