Halloween makes us think of spooky stories...and what's more spooky (well, to us) than some scary stories of bad manners?
We're not just talking about a mere faux pas here and there. We're only human, after all! No - we're talking about WORST CASE SCENARIOS!
That means something different for everyone, we know, but here are a few of our top Worst Case Manners Scenarios - and how to handle them with ease!
Forgetting someone's name in a social situation. You could try re-introducing yourself, join a conversation and perk up your ears in case someone says the name, or unobtrusively ask an understanding friend. But what if you're trying to make introductions and suddenly forget the name? Horrors! Smile, look that person in the eye, and say, "Please tell me your name." No need to apologize! Keep it simple and straightforward.
Extreme tardiness. Everyone is late sometimes, but what if you're really late for something really important, like a wedding, party (especially if you're the guest of honor), high-powered meeting, or first date? For parties, always call ahead so the host can plan accordingly. Some things—like meetings or doctor's appointments—may need to be rescheduled, so call ahead for those, too. For weddings and similar events, remember it's not all about you, and arrive as quietly as possible.
Awkward houseguests. First of all, if you're going to visit someone, read our tips first. If you're the host and having a hard time keeping everyone entertained, offer a few choices for activities and ask for their input. Suggest a walk around the block or a drive into town to get sedentary guests off the couch. If diet is a challenge, you can again offer a few menu choices and solicit their opinion. Sometimes all you need to do is offer a choice to get the ball rolling.
Undertipping and realizing later. First, check out our tipping guide. If you undertip at a local establishment you frequent regularly, feel free to make it up next time. If you're traveling on the road and won't be going back, you can always mail a hand-written note (with compliments of their service included) to the hotel or restaurant. And try to keep the good service industry karma going by tipping well at the next place.
Miscommunication. What if you say something to a friend and later realize that your innocent, throwaway comment could have been taken completely the wrong way? What if he or she is mortally offended or wondering what on earth is wrong with you? It's a horrible feeling to have, but remember: miscommunication can be solved with communication. Call your friend and explain yourself, and be prepared to apologize. True friends will understand, and know you'll return the favor next time they misspeak!
No need to make Halloween scarier than it is. Let trick-or-treaters enjoy the chills and thrills and you can leave spooky tales of awkward etiquette far behind!