Miss Manners: Can I refuse handshakes due to somebody’s politics?


Expensive Miss Manners: I educate at a small faculty the place, earlier than covid, I might repeatedly meet potential college students and their mother and father in my workplace on campus. Sometimes these mother and father are distinguished in politics, and given the deep rifts in our political tradition as of late, I ponder how I ought to deal with a father or mother whose positions are abhorrent to me.

I might welcome the coed simply as I might welcome anybody, and I might greet the father or mother distantly however politely, since whereas on campus I attempt to be nonpolitical. But when that father or mother have been to increase a hand, can I — and may I — refuse to take it, maybe with a well mannered “I can’t shake your hand?”

If it might make you’re feeling virtuous to take action — and offered you don’t state the rationale, however moderately enable it to be thought that there’s some bodily cause making it troublesome so that you can shake arms. In different phrases, so long as you don’t intrude your politics into the scenario, embarrassing, if not infuriating, your pupil in addition to the mother and father.

You might be free to oppose these individuals and their views within the political area. However to insult them personally is to set a typical of incivility and to compromise your dedication, as a professor, to settling variations by means of debate and never insults.

Expensive Miss Manners: I grew up being advised that one ought to at all times ask, “What can I deliver?” when invited for dinner. If the reply is “Simply your self” (probably the most well mannered response, I used to be advised), at all times deliver one thing anyway, corresponding to a pleasant bottle of wine.

After I host dinners, I by no means count on anybody to deliver something. (Between you and me, I choose in the event that they don’t, as I’ve acquired the meal deliberate. Though, in the event that they do, I thank them.) However I’ve one pal who invitations me to dinner, then responds to my “What can I deliver?” with an in depth, prolonged procuring listing: Convey this particular wine, bread from this sure bakery, this actual salad (with a linked recipe), and many others.

That appears high-quality if it’s a potluck dinner, however is it actually okay to ask somebody to deliver $70 of liquor and groceries, and ship them on a scavenger hunt, when inviting them over?

What’s one of the best reply to “What can I deliver?”

How about not asking the query? With all due respect to your upbringing, Miss Manners believes that it’s time to cease this much-abused follow.

Expensive Miss Manners: A pal of a few years has returned a number of birthday or “simply because” presents I’ve given her.

She returns the gadgets a number of months after she receives them, telling me she has no use for them or she doesn’t take care of the colour. I put loads of thought into these presents and I stay on a hard and fast earnings. I really feel shamed when she does this and don’t say something again.

Please inform me what, if something, to say to her. I’ve stopped giving her presents after the final one she returned.

However you have got already solved the issue. Miss Manners agrees that individuals who don’t admire getting presents shouldn’t be subjected to receiving them.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday by means of Saturday on You’ll be able to ship inquiries to Miss Manners at her web site, You may as well observe her @RealMissManners.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button