Have you ever been asked a question that made your stomach “sink” or made your face turn red (with anger or embarrassment)? Let’s make sure that we are careful and thoughtful before we blurt out a comment or question so we are not guilty of conversation blunders. Here are a few questions/comments that Etiquette Factory readers have experienced and listed as “Etiquette Blunders”:
- You look tired.
- Oh wow, your baby is small/big for their age.
- How do you live in this city (town)?
- How much did you pay for that?
- Is this your mother? (never assume relationships, NEVER!)
- Why aren’t you married yet?
- How can you send your children to that school?
- How old are you?
- Are those all your kids? Don’t you know how that happens?
- Are you all going to have children?
- “Don’t take this the wrong way, but....”
- What happened? (seeing a scratch, bruise, bandage, etc. Not supposed to ask)
- Aren’t you so glad you finally had a girl?
- Did you play basketball? (because of height)
- I think you have.....(trying to diagnose a medical condition)
- Have you had him tested/evaluated?
- Oh my goodness! I didn’t recognize you. How much weight have you gained?
- You look just like.....
- When are you expecting?
- Do you work? (assuming that staying home is not work)
- Wow, you’ve changed.
- Do you own or rent?
As you can see, there are many things that we can say or ask that even though we might have good intentions, can sound hurtful or inconsiderate. Let’s be careful that we keep our conversations positive and upbeat and only ask questions and make comments that reflect highly on the other person.
Have a great month,
a.k.a. Mary Manners