DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve an expensive good friend who suffered a stroke as a youngster, which left her with weak point on one facet of her physique.
She is now in her 40s and has an exquisite husband and a beautiful daughter. She is an avid volunteer and artist.
Whereas she was out in public with me not too long ago, a girl approached my good friend and requested if she might lay fingers on her and pray for her.
I’m positive the girl meant no offense, however this embarrassed and upset my good friend. She later instructed me that this has occurred to her on a number of events, and she or he isn’t fairly positive what to say to those folks.
GENTLE READER: Recently, Miss Manners finds herself having to warning folks to think about one other’s intent earlier than overreacting. (She began to say “earlier than reacting,” however lately, the 2 are sometimes synonymous.)
However affords of being grabbed by a stranger, for no matter purpose, don’t require a fastidiously crafted response. An emphatic “No!” — whereas transferring away, if mandatory — is each acceptable and sensible.
To acknowledge the stranger’s benign intent, your good friend might add “thanks” after she has reached a secure distance.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: As I waited for the (very late) bus in the present day, I approached the one different particular person on the cease and requested if he knew whether or not this bus normally runs late. I thanked him for his enter and returned to the bench.
Quickly thereafter, he sat down and started speaking. His insights had been attention-grabbing, however he talked at me, to not or with me. After 20 minutes, I used to be exhausted; after 40, I actually needed to scream (sure, actually).
It seems that he and I reside in the identical small house advanced, and I’m positive to run into him once more.
Is there ever a well mannered approach to say to somebody, roughly, “You’re a beautiful particular person, and I don’t wish to harm your emotions — actually, I’m telling you this as a result of I feel you’re inadvertently harming your self socially. You’re an attention-grabbing particular person, however you maintain forth fairly than have interaction the opposite particular person in dialog”?
I feel he’s very lonely. He’s in his late 70s, and he moved right here a number of years in the past to be close to some kinfolk. I’m guessing that he is aware of few different native folks. However he’s not going to make associates with this strategy.
I understand that etiquette forbids unsolicited criticism, however I assume I’m asking for permission to share this within the occasion I transfer away — that’s, if he could be spared the embarrassment of seeing me once more. As a result of I feel he’s harming himself, socially.
GENTLE READER: There’s not a well mannered approach to specific that sentiment. And as your aim is to spend much less time with him, fairly than extra, Miss Manners fails to see the necessity.
Discover, or make, a pause in his lecture, after which excuse your self, saying that you just actually should reply this electronic mail or end this chapter. Or you may think about shopping for your method out by hailing a taxi.
Please ship your inquiries to Miss Manners at her web site, www.missmanners.com; to her electronic mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; or by means of postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas Metropolis, MO 64106.