If you bring up astrology and it isn’t met enthusiastically, should you change the topic?
and other matters of etiquette
Last week, The Cut published an etiquette guide that I would argue was designed more to stir the spot in our group chats than to be revisited as a definitive guide. They offered rules for relationships, dinner parties, tipping, texting, work, and parenting.
Some, like “On a date, all individuals present should gently and politely compete to pay the entire bill,” are tried and true, and others, like “Don’t post RIPs for celebrities” and “Never send an Edible Arrangement” seem designed to get under a certain kind of person’s skin. Rather than dwelling on the validity of the passive-aggressive ones, here are a few I’m doubling down on.
If someone mispronounces a word but you knew what they meant, move along.
There is no superiority in having heard a word pronounced correctly that someone else has only read on the page. Move along, indeed.
If you bring up astrology and it isn’t met enthusiastically, change the topic.
No one should monopolize the conversation, especially if it’s a topic that’s not getting any traction, but I’d also remind the author of this rule not to yuck anyone else’s yum. Astrology isn’t for everyone, but neither is finance and god knows we’ve heard enough about the latter at dinner parties.
Listening is not the time for you to silently rehearse what you want to say next.
I’m guilty of this one, and I’m glad it made the list. We’re programmed to find solutions and our brains often jump out for a head start. Active listening takes practice, but it helps you hear what’s actually being said rather than the story you’re telling yourself about what’s being said.
At any party, offer to bring down a bag of trash on your way out.
Being a good guest is just as important as being a good host. I would add always offer to do some dishes, and never arrive empty-handed.
Text-message amnesty is granted after 72 hours.
I’m actually going to push back on this. The idea here is that we all miss texts from time to time or make a note to respond and then get distracted, but I don’t buy it. If you want to respond, you’ll respond in the moment. If it’s not that important to you, you won’t. When picking back up the conversation for another reason, I agree that it is not required to acknowledge the previous thread that died an ignoble death, but we must also abolish the outright lie, “Sorry, just seeing this!”
If you like something your friend is doing, promote it online.
As the peddler of this publication, I couldn’t agree more. Your friends are putting their hearts into amazing art and fundraising and social justice projects. Take it from someone who knows, we remember every comment and share.
I am not schooled in astrology. Were someone to bring it up, I’d encourage a brief tutorial about it’s origins as an historical artifact but don’t use the word “artifact”.
Spot on, especially the active listener one!