The Best Etiquette Rule In 2022 Might Surprise You
Or: How to survive as you gather and gather and gather this season.
It’s the season of Big Dinners. We’re right in the middle of it. There’s a good chance you’re feeling emotionally done with it all.
Historically, I have mostly hated a dinner party. I find them terrifying. It’s difficult not to take on the burden of everyone else’s happiness. But that’s only part of it; there’s also the important layer of everyone thinking that I, specifically, am charming, interesting, funny, and worthwhile to be around. I end up wanting so badly to be liked that I come off as unlikeable — seeming non-present while I’m thinking about ways to make the conversation fun, or ways to ensure that everyone has all the hummus they want at any given moment.
These self-imposed rules of How To Be At A Gathering are so stressful, that I often just don’t go. Until recently, that is; when I realized that these rules are bogus. No one else really needs me to follow them! So I posted on Instagram about this (in my typical second-person), and NOT EVERYONE WAS HAVING IT. My Instagram posts are rarely controversial (I am kind of cowardly and don’t post my spiciest opinions), so I felt surprised by and interested in the backlash. In case you missed the post (and don’t want to click through Instagram), here are the slides.