Any frequenter of today’s social scene knows that a seemingly calm, pleasant event can be quickly marred by one person who has no sense of etiquette or couth. Unless you’re smart enough to avoid said person and that person’s problem, it becomes your problem. But Cincy Chic has got you covered. We’re going to highlight five of the most heinous situations we hope you’ll never get your pretty little self into (or involved in).
1. Family Feud
One of the surest ways to go down with the ship of someone else’s problem is being two angry people’s go between, whether these people are your family, friends or co-workers. Going back and forth relaying messages and spouting your opinion on the matter will only make it incredibly worse for you. It’s easy to make this mistake because the angry parties will sometimes beg you to tell Johnny that he or she isn’t speaking to him again until he apologizes, etc. Also, if you do let your view on the tiff be known, it’s very possible to have both parties angry at you. The solution? Stand firm in the face of their begging and stay out of it. This is key for your happiness, and their eventual reconciliation. You see, if you refuse to be the messenger girl, they’ll be forced to deal with each other, and as a result, the problem.
2. The Breakup
We all are blessed (or not-so-blessed) at some point with a friend who gives “Sex and the City” character Samantha Jones a run for her money; whose exploits, though entertaining at times, are very capable of creating definite headache for you. For example, your real life slutty-but-lovable friend has just finished with one of her latest conquests, and she wants to cut ties with the lackluster beau, but she wants you to do it. She might say, “Oh, he’ll take it better from you,” or “I just want to make a clean break.” And maybe you “Dear Johning” him will help her. But it won’t do anything for you. First of all, it’s very possible this man could get angry with you, begging the phrase “don’t kill the messenger.” Or, he could want to cry on your shoulder, which is equally undesirable. In other words, you’re cleaning up her mess, which brings us to the second point: once you’ve broken up with one of her undesirables, you’re going to become her official breakup girl. And you don’t want that. Instead, tell her to grab a mop and start taking care of those tears herself.
3. Fight Night
Another social situation to never be a part of is a fight. That sounds very Jerry Springer; nonetheless, it is possible to inadvertently get involved in a physical altercation. Maybe it’s Christmastime and your husband is ready to brawl with another man for trying to cut in front of him (true story) or your friend gets pushed in a club and she pushes back. Whatever the reason, becoming involved or instigating violence yourself is never a good idea. Take a step back from the situation and take a deep breath before you jump in and act. Those few seconds could make all the difference between safely walking away and getting stuck in the back of a police car.
4. Religion and Politics
Debate can be vicious. Unless you love to argue, extensive conversations debating one position over another is not the most pleasurable situation to find yourself in. Especially when the conversation in question concerns either religion or politics. Regardless of whether you know someone or not or whether your conversation partner is your mother, best friend or significant other, the easiest way to miff someone and completely ruin a dinner party or major holiday is bringing up one of these touchy subjects. A friend you’ve known for years may not be the person you thought she was if she supports a political candidate you absolutely abhor, or vice versa. In this case, the best mode of action is to go military and follow a strict “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Doing so will leave your relationships (and table talk) intact.
5. Together or Separate?
A final social situation best avoided is that of becoming the bill doormat. This could happen several ways. Maybe you got a big promotion at work and cash flow to match, while your posse (and their careers) was left in the dust. So you pick up the check a couple of times, but it gets to the point where they’ve become used to you paying for dinner and/or drinks. Or maybe your boyfriend is out of a job so you pick up the slack. It feels fabulous to be so generous every now and then, but there comes a point, as with all things, when it becomes too much, and that’s when your repeated generosity becomes a social situation demanding recourse. What to do? You don’t want to seem stingy, but your pocketbook’s feeling the heat. In both instances, sit down with the offending individuals and calmly explain that you feel like an overdrawn money tree rather than that person’s friend or significant other. Most likely they have no idea you feel this way, and if these individuals care about you, they’ll see the error of their ways and return the favor.