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Show Notes

In this special episode of Manners and Other Matters, your host, Louise Percy, introduces a brand new segment called Ask Louise, where she answers listener questions about social etiquette. This episode covers a range of topics that many of us encounter in our daily lives, providing practical advice to navigate these tricky situations with grace and confidence.

Declining Invitations Politely

Louise starts by addressing the common dilemma of how to politely decline an invitation without hurting someone’s feelings. She emphasizes the importance of replying to invitations promptly, whether through an RSVP or a simple text. Honest communication is key; instead of making polite excuses, it’s better to be straightforward about your availability. Louise also underscores the significance of tone in sensitive situations, suggesting that some declines are best communicated over the phone to convey sincerity.

Handling Unsolicited Advice

Next, Louise tackles the issue of handling unsolicited advice. She advises balancing gratitude with boundaries, always assuming the advice is given with good intentions. If the advice feels out of place, responding with a simple “Thank you, I appreciate your concern” and suggesting a later discussion can maintain the relationship while setting clear boundaries. Louise notes that face-to-face or voice communication is often more effective for sensitive matters, as it preserves the nuances lost in text-based conversations.

Discussing Sensitive Topics

Louise then moves on to discussing how to handle sensitive topics without making anyone uncomfortable. She highlights the importance of consideration for others’ feelings in group situations. Whether it’s a one-on-one conversation or a group setting, clear and compassionate communication is crucial to navigate awkward subjects without escalating tensions.

Phone Etiquette at Dinner Parties

The episode also delves into the etiquette of using phones at dinner parties. Louise explains that while it’s sometimes necessary to have your phone available, it’s best to inform the host in advance if you’re expecting an important call. Keeping the phone on silent and out of sight, like under a napkin on your lap, shows respect for the host and other guests.

Social Media Etiquette

Another common query Louise addresses is how to respond if a friend posts something embarrassing about you on social media. She advises seeking consent before posting content that could embarrass others, underscoring the rule that if you wouldn’t like something shared about you, don’t share it about someone else. Checking with friends before posting photos or details ensures everyone feels respected and comfortable.

Including Everyone in Conversations

Louise also offers advice on how to make everyone feel included in group conversations. She suggests using body language and eye contact to draw newcomers into the conversation, making them feel welcome. Introducing people by name and engaging them with inclusive questions can help foster a friendly and inclusive atmosphere.

Being a Good House Guest and Host

Lastly, Louise discusses the do’s and don’ts for being a good house guest and host. She shares her own practices, like asking about dietary requirements and bringing thoughtful gifts such as champagne or chocolates. For hosts, she recommends providing comfortable accommodations and clear instructions for household nuances. The key, Louise notes, is to be considerate and communicative, ensuring both guests and hosts feel valued and respected.


Louise wraps up the episode by encouraging listeners to leave reviews and send in more questions for future segments. She highlights the importance of conversation, kindness, and respect in all social interactions.
Join us for this enlightening episode filled with practical advice and heartfelt insights from Louise Percy. Don’t forget to subscribe, leave a review, and share your thoughts and questions for the next Ask Louise segment!

Contact Louise for Coaching:

If you need assistance with conversation, confidence, or etiquette, Louise offers personalized coaching sessions both in-person and online.


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