On Etiquette, Friends and Confrontation
Do you remember my recent post on The Etiquette of Mobile Phones? Well in that post I mentioned an old friend of mine whom I took to tea- who would occasionally take phone calls during our tea. In the post I asked the question – how do you tell a good friend that something they are doing bothers you?
I am certainly not the person to answer that question as I am somewhat of a chicken when it comes to confrontation (OK not somewhat- I am a chicken). You see I am very afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, angering them or getting into an argument. So instead of confronting the issue I just don’t do or say anything at all.
Well I did not have to worry about confronting my tea room friend because she actually read my blog and confronted me! Thankfully she is a kind person with a sense of humor otherwise there might have been a fracas.
That afternoon we actually met for tea and caught up. She explained to me her side of the story (she has to accept calls for work and be on call at all times) and I explained to her mine (when I am with someone that frequently looks at their phone I feel as though they would rather be somewhere else). She said she understood my pet peeve and I apologized for not bringing it up to her immediately. In the end we had a lovely afternoon over steaming cups of tea and an awful lot of cake.
Later that night I began to think about the subject of friendship, etiquette and confrontation. While it was temporarily more comfortable and convenient to say nothing at all and complain about my friend’s behavior in my head, in the long run it would have been more sound if I had confronted the problem head on. After all, letting something so trivial get in the way of a friendship is ridiculous to say the least.
So my etiquette question this week is being turned to you. What do you do when you are bothered by an etiquette issue from someone close to you? Do you ignore it and hope that it goes away? Or do you confront it head on? What is your stance on etiquette, friends and confrontation?
The Vincennes and Sèvres porcelain objects pictured above date back to 1753. They can be found at the Getty Center in Los Angeles...
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