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Etiquette Q&A: Correcting Irritating Behavior

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015

“How do I properly correct someone’s irritating behavior.”


Since one man’s trash is another man’s treasure in this subjective world of ours, I will take the liberty of supplanting your “irritating behavior” with the slightly more objective “lack of etiquette.”


Firstly, social graces be damned if safety is at imminent risk. Secondly, behaviour other than that which threatens the safety of yourself or others, shall be addressed without an audience, and directly to the offender. Pull the slob aside, is what I’m saying here. Do not condescend.


There are caveats and exceptions here, enough to fill a book or even library of books. For instance, is the offender of a higher social class than yourself? Directly, as in your boss? Are we bearing witness to a case of wanton barbarism or sad ignorance? Is the offender simply acting incorrectly in our context, and correctly in his own?

In India, it is considered polite to belch while at the table. The Inuit people of Canada consider it proper to fart after a meal. Too, feel free to slurp yer noodles in most parts of Asia. It’s moral relativism in the trenches of everyday life, see?

All this said, circulating through the news is the tale of how The frigging Queen of England Elizabeth II corrected, rather publicly, the table manners of race car driver, Lewis Hamilton. Note: iffy table manners rarely involve the threat of impending doom.


I suppose that rank does have its privileges.


Please send your etiquette based queries to me via tweet or DM @iamkap

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Born in Brooklyn New York, Kaplowitz quickly ran away with the circus and somehow landed as a chef in the Chicago and Baltimore areas. He is a published author of poetry and prose, as well as a well seasoned podcaster and radio guy. Among his hobbies Kap counts writing bios of himself in the third person, casino trips, and walking his Dachshund, Ruby Vondella. Please follow him on Twitter @iamkap to be alerted as to his frequent Thrift Store purchases.

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