From the category archives:

Everyday

Q: I visit my boyfriend’s home regularly. His roommate who is also his sister believes that it is necessary for me to greet her first 100% of the time.  It is my belief that as the ‘hostess’ or owner of the home she should make the first move as far as greeting is concerned.  Who […]

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Q: My brother and his family come to visit every summer and leave their stuff everywhere.  How do I keep them from making a mess? A: You might be tempted to suggest a nearby hotel; instead, lay down a few rules early on.  It’s OK to set expectations for guests—including family!— so call your brother […]

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Q: An acquaintance constantly tells me I look tired, even on days when I feel great.  It’s hard not to feel offended.  Is it OK to let her know I don’t appreciate her opinion? A: If you can’t ignore her, try a little humor.  It’s possible that she’s just clueless, so take the high road […]

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Q: I couldn’t attend a friend’s birthday party, but I sent a gift.  After I called to make sure she’d gotten it, she thanked me via Facebook.  Is this now an acceptable way to acknowledge a present? A: A hand-written thank-you note is still the best option whenever you’ve received a gift.  While a Facebook […]

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Q: When I told a friend about my new job, she said, ‘Wow you must be making the big bucks now.’  Is nothing private anymore?  How should I respond? A: Use humor or evasion to deflect this nosy query.  You might make a light joke, like “Not enough to pay Kaleigh’s next tuition bill!”  Or, […]

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Q: The woman next to me at work sneezes in sets of two, through-out the day.  When is the appropriate time to say “God bless you”?  Do I have to say it with every sneeze? A: A single blessing to a serial sneezer is plenty.  Saying “God bless you” or “gesundheit” is a time-honored courtesy, but […]

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Q: I’ve grown accustomed to handing over my cell phone when I want to show a photo to a friend, but sometimes people take the opportunity to scroll through my whole album—and some of those shots are pretty personal.  How can I politely prevcnt photo snooping? A: You can discourage prying eyes by using your phone’s settings […]

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Q: The neighborhood garbage is collected once a week.  Each household is allowed one can, but we seem to generate more trash than our neighbors do.  Is it OK to put our excess in a neighbor’s half-empty can? B: Ask first.  Don’t assume your neighbor “won’t mind,” especially if you pay for trash pick-up and removal.  […]

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Q: A woman I know often uses group text-messages to send invitations—and I end up getting tons of replies from people I don’t know.  Help! A: A short text (sent just to her) with a nice request should quash the e-flurry.  You can’t lose with a clear, straight-forward text: “Not sure if you realize it, but […]

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Q: My friend constantly reapplies her lipstick at the table when we’re out for a meal.  How can I clue her in to the fact that this is impolite? A: Her habit may annoy you, but it’s just as rude to impose your rules on your friend.  When you’re out to eat with friends or […]

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