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Five Conversations A Lady Should Not Start

Posted by on September 19, 2015
 It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more important, is to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
This forms the very crux of my post today. Often enough, out of excitement, the need to make conversation or the reasoning that silence is a grave and awkward situation, people tend to say the wrong things at the wrong times. At other times though, people are truly just unaware of the fact that as far as etiquette, courtesy and tact go, some conversations should not be entertained. Here are five conversations a lady should not start and is not obliged to participate in.
1. Asking a dating couple if or when they’ll get married: it is awkward and intrusive to ask a couple when they will be ‘tying the knot.’ It is not in your place to probe answers out of them, even if jokingly. The details of this are best revealed by the couple themselves as it is a personal and private matter until otherwise made public. In some cases, there might be a complicated situation around their relationship, so bringing the question up does not help at all. If you are not told, take no offence in the fact that you will hear about their wedding (or otherwise) from them at a later time, when you get an invite or not or on social media like most people do these days

2. Asking a married couple when they’ll have a baby: if the above is intrusive, this takes intrusive several notches higher. The underlying unspoken questions come to mind and considering that this blog is about etiquette, I will not venture into stating what these unspoken questions are. Again, this is a private matter between the couple and the couple alone. It is against social etiquette to ask about this

I know that in some cultures or circles, generally speaking, people ask these questions all the time, maybe especially with people they know or are close to. It has somehow become normal. This however does not make it right. If this line of conversation is going to ensue, let it come from the party it concerns. It is worse still when you have just met these people. The recipients of such questions/questioning are not obliged to indulge the person asking if they do not want to.

3. Complimenting a single person in a group: did you know that it is not proper to compliment just one person when that person is in the midst of a group of people? If you have nothing to compliment the other people about, it is best to wait till you can be alone with the person you do want to compliment. It is inconsiderate and insensitive to compliment or notice just one person when there are other people present

4. Making controversial topics conversation starters: again, in a situation where someone feels the need to break the ice, etiquette would rather you go for the monotonous and predictable analysis of the weather. To discuss politics, religious preferences, human rights, past relationships, etc., is to create a probable and unnecessary uproar. Beyond conversation starters, controversial topics should be left alone based on the location, event, previous line of conversation, etc. For example, there should definitely be no banter at a formal dining occasion

5. Making ‘heartbreak’ known: I think this is self-explanatory. Ladies, please get it together. I know it can be difficult, but a conversation about technology should not become a conversation about the last job your ‘Ex’ had with a tech company. An analysis of a book among friends should not be turned into a conversation about how your ‘Ex’ influenced you into being an ardent reader. Everything should not end up in tears, too much information and emotional exposure.

Have a great weekend, but be careful what conversations you start and participate in as you have fun!

3 Responses to Five Conversations A Lady Should Not Start

  1. Fejiro

    Love this post!

  2. Fejiro

    Lovely post! Mi likey!

  3. Chioma

    This is a very instructive piece. Keep it up!

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