1. As your voters indicate, the third choice is really the only one which follows the essential cardinal rule of etiquette – do not offend or embarrass anyone publicly. This is a great question for your blog. It is a tough one and really is most effectively handled on a case by case basis, keeping in mind of course respect for everyone involved.

    • Allison

      I do not believe by confronting someone you are automatically offending or embarrassing them. Some people just need to be told directly that what they are doing or saying is inappropoiate, otherwise they don’t get it when you sugar coat it.

  2. I believe that if it is a Holiday gathering, and not just, let’s say, an informal barbeque, I believe that the “boorish” person should NOT be confronted. People are always on edge during the holidays and you wouldn’t want to start a big confrontation at a holiday gathering. This will make people feel MORE uncomfortable than the boorish person is making them. I feel that it would be appropriate to wait for the offending person to take a breath, THEN interrupt quickly, loudly and say, “Oh, I hate to interrupt, I apologize, but I don’t want to forget to say this!” This way, everyone will be relieved and the offending person won’t be insulted because you HAVE apologized for interrupting, plus gave the reason that you interrupted because you didn’t want to forget…

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