Open Thread

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This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.


  1. Michelle

    Hello! Social etiquette question: if a man offers a woman his arm, it’s always polite to take it, and says something about the man. I’m curious what the manner in which the woman takes his arm says about the woman, if anything. There’s the oft-seen linking of the man’s arm from behind/below, but sometimes the woman simply rests her hand on the back of the man’s hand or forearm without linking. Is it dependent on familiarity? What is the difference? Thank you.

    • Jody

      To me, it depends on why the assistance is being offered. If we’re walking down the street, it’s easier for me to take his arm from behind/below. If the gentleman is helping me up/down a step, or over an obstacle, I find it’s easier to take his arm from above.

    • Elizabeth

      I actually don’t agree that you must take the offered arm to be polite. What if you don’t need it, or would prefer not to touch the man to which the arm is attached. A simple “no thank you” is also polite.

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