etiquette

Geek Etiquette: Female Role Models

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!

A Katniss Barbie doll is available for pre-order today, which makes me pretty excited. This tough girl is family-oriented, not fixated on beauty, and extremely brave. The Barbie is not dressed in her flaming red dress or anything cutesy–it features her arena outfit with a loose braid and no makeup.

The doll and the success of the Hunger Games has made me wonder: are we getting stronger, more well-rounded female role models? Are girls “playing pretend” as Katniss instead of a princess waiting to be rescued? And is Katniss, a character in a very violent book/movie series, a good role model? Or is it teaching girls that violence is an acceptable response?

I’d like to open this up to all of you: What are your thoughts on society’s current female role models, fictional or not? Who is your female role model? And if you have kids, who do you steer them towards?

Geek Etiquette: Tips from Comic Artists

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!

At Emerald City Comicon, I asked my favorite web comic artists to share an etiquette tip. The results were… well… just watch:

You’re welcome/I’m sorry.

Geek Etiquette: Convention Etiquette

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!

Emerald City Comicon, Norwescon, PAX East, and tons of other conventions are just around the corner. Are you ready? Here are some tips to make sure you have a safe and fun time without pissing anyone else off.

  • Get Some Sleep. Conventions often turn into an all day/all night adventure, which means you should stockpile your sleeping hours the few days before the convention. Try to get at least 8 hours, and eat well and exercise while you’re at it. You’ll feel better about those convention nachos and 10 hours on your feet if you’re prepared.
  • Drink Plenty of Water. Water will keep you feeling full, hydrated, less sluggish, and less hungover. It will prevent you from getting sick. It will make you popular when your friends don’t have any. Always make sure you have some on  hand! Water can be expensive and rare at conventions, so bring your own bottle or mark all of the water fountains on your convention map.
  • Wear Deodorant. Let’s get real for a moment. Geeks have gotten a bad rap for being smelly. Geeks aren’t smelly. Thousands of people stuck in one room that are on their feet all day and seeing really cool things that make them sweat with excitement are smelly. Including me. Wear deodorant. You may even consider picking up a tiny travel version to keep in your bag. Alternatively, don’t wear too much perfume/cologne. A lot of people have allergies.
  • Bring a Bag/Backpack. You’re going to be bringing a lot of stuff with you, and probably collecting even more at the con. Bring a sturdy bag/backpack/purse with you that you’re comfortable holding for a while. You may consider bringing a smaller portable bag to fill up once your main bag is full.
  • Bring Antibacterial Gel. Conventions, like airports, are a breeding ground for germs. If you’re at a convention where you’re touching the same thing as everyone else (think of the game controllers at PAX…), antibac gel is a must. You can find travel sizes at any drugstore, or you can pick up a nice-smelling one from Bath and Body Works.
  • Bring A Charger. Your phone/camera/DS/iPad WILL die. Be prepared with a charger or extra battery.
  • Bring Something to Keep You Busy. If you’re planning on trying out the newest game, attending that sweet panel, or shaking the hand of your favorite celebrity, you’re looking at waiting in line. Bring something like a book, Kindle, DS, or even a card game to keep you busy in line. If you bring a game that plays more than one or two people, you may even make friends with those who are in line with you!
  • Dress Appropriately. Make sure you’re comfortable at all times. This is no time for high heels. Wear comfortable shoes you can walk/stand in and dress in layers. I’d recommend a fun, geeky tank top or t-shirt with a sweater/sweatshirt/light jacket in case it gets cold. Cosplay is great if you want to get a lot of photos taken, but you may want to be prepared with a comfortable outfit to change into in case you get uncomfortable or want to go incognito for a bit. If you’re at the convention as Press or plan on talking more seriously with a celeb or convention representative, don’t cosplay. As awesome as you are, people may not take you as seriously. I’d recommend picking one day to do cosplay, and spend your other days wandering around in normal apparel.
  • Know how to talk to the celebs. Celebs are people too. Seriously! If you’re meeting a celeb, feel free to introduce yourself, tell them what you like about their work, and then allow them to move on to the next person. You will probably not end up their best friend, and probably won’t be able to take them out for drinks after. Whatever you do, avoid acting like a stalker. I once met Nicholas Brendan at a con and told him that his character on Buffy reminded me so much of my husband (then fiance), that it felt like I was engaged to him. Although I meant to tell a funny story, the stalker alarms were definitely going off. Learn from my mistake.
  • Take Plenty of Pictures! These pictures will end up being your Facebook profile pics for the next year. Take tons of them! Everyone at the con wants sweet pics, and most people will be willing to take a pic for you. Don’t be afraid to ask! If you take a great picture of someone else, ask them for their email address so you can pass it off to them later. If you see an adorable child in cosplay, make sure you ask their parents’ permission before taking their pic. You don’t want to be the creepy person photographing children.
  • Children First. This convention may be their first foray into geek culture. Let them have a good time! If they can’t see, let them go in front of you so they can. If the DC booth only has one free comic left, let the kid have it. They’ll be learning about con behavior based on how they’re treated; help create a generation of thoughtful attendees.
  • Set a Spending Limit. Comicons can be a scary place for your wallet. There will be limited edition art, sweet t-shirts, books and more to purchase. Decide before you attend how much you want to spend, and keep an eye on that limit. Some people just take out that much in cash, and will only use that at the con.
  • It’s Free Stuff, Not the Antidote. I’ve been pushed away and practically run over for free stuff at cons. I’ve heard of children getting toys ripped out of their hands. GUYS. STOP IT. It may seem cool in the moment, but what are you going to do with that tiny plastic tank or that XXL branded t-shirt once you get home? Assess the free stuff being handed out practically and only take what you’ll actually use.
  • WWWWD? If all else fails, remember the words of the wise Wil Wheaton: Don’t be a dick.

Do you have any tips I missed? Leave them in the comments!

What conventions will you be at? I’ll be premiering Job Hunters at Emerald City Comicon this Sunday, April 1st. Check out our panel in room 2AB at 2pm!

The next week, I’ll be speaking on some panels at Norwescon. Find me at “Gaming and Community,” “How to Sell Yourself,” “Privacy in the Age of the Internet,” and “New Media DIY: Video.”

Geek Etiquette: Host/Hostess Gifts

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!


You’ve been invited to a small dinner party with a couple people you’re close with, but you don’t hang out with all the time. Do you bring a host/hostess gift with you? If so, what?

Emily Post states:

A gift for your host or hostess is a lovely way to thank them for their hospitality and is always appreciated. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive; simply consider the nature of the occasion and local custom when making your choice. In some parts of the country, a hostess gift is considered obligatory, while in other places a gift is brought only on special occasions. If it’s the first time you’re visiting someone’s home, then it’s a very nice gesture to bring a small gift.

If you’re still unsure if your occasion calls for a gift, take a look at Emily Post’s tips.

So you’ve decided to bring a gift. What do you bring? I often go for a drink or cupcakes, because those go over well with my group of friends, they’re things the host can enjoy with everyone that day or save for later, and it doesn’t potentially compete with what they wanted to serve. If you’re looking for something a bit more unique than your average bottle of wine or bouquet of flowers, I recommend these items:

  • Gamer Wine. A bottle of this wine will make you look like the coolest guest around. The wine’s actually tasty and the names, “Noob”, “Stunlock”, and “Gamer Widow”, appeal to your host’s interests. If your hosts don’t drink, bring a bottle of a fancier or craft soda, or some sparkling juice.
  • Unique Candy. A small candy gift is a sweet and inexpensive way to thank your host for the invite. Even better if it’s something they haven’t heard of before!
  • Games. A nice card game,  inexpensive board game, or expansion of their favorite game can be a great way to say “we should get together again soon to play this.” Get them a favorite of your own, or check out Board Game Geek for suggestions and reviews.
  • Kitchen Gadgets. If you’re staying for a while or are looking for a larger gift, a fun kitchen gadget or apron can make a great gift. Think Geek has a lot of fun suggestions!

Basically, bring something inexpensive but thoughtful. If you love something, a host/hostess gift is a great way to introduce that item to your friend.

Do you bring gifts when visiting others? If so, what do you usually bring?

Geek Etiquette: Do You Game Too Much?

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!

 

The release of Mass Effect 3 this past week has prompted tons of “you won’t see me for a week” comments on social networks. It’s always fun to hole up and play a game straight through if you can, but does it effect your relationships with your partner, friends, or family? What about other online obsessions? Do you spend hours on reddit or pinterest every night?

I asked all of you on Twitter to let me know how you play video games–do you look for moderation or play it in one sitting? Most folks responded that they want to play for as long as possible. If this is just an occasional thing (when new games come out or you’re having a LAN party) those living with you should be able to support you. You’ve been looking forward to this moment, and as long as you let people know what’s about to happen, you should be ok. Majin72 says: “I give them fair warning that I’m going into straight gamer mode. Any complaints will be dutifully ignored.” When Mr. Geek got Skyrim, I was prepared for him to get sucked in, and I let him spend a Saturday playing the game. I made him a nice meal that was easy for him to eat while gaming, and checked up on him to see if he needed any snacks/beverages throughout the day. By letting him spend the day gaming, he was able to see that I was supportive, he was able to get a lot of gaming out of his system, and I was able to have a quiet day to myself to run errands.

Of course, if your partner or friend acts like this every day and begins avoiding obligations or activities IRL to play games, you may need to chat with them and encourage them to set up a schedule for their gaming. Or you can check out the blog My Partner is a Gamer and learn a bit about the games they’re playing (and commiserate with other gamer widows/widowers).

But what if everyone in the house wants to play the hot new game, and you only have one console, desktop, or sweet monitor? Scheduling time is a must. It can be as casual as staggering things you need to do that day so one of you can be on the system/computer while the other one’s gone, or as official as a calendar set out with hours marked off for each person. OhAmy alternates nights when she has to share a game. The beauty of playing the same game with others is you can talk about the story, the strategy, and how things are going with someone who’s going through the same thing. I’d even encourage the non-gamers in the house to check out the game that’s got your partner so enthralled, maybe you’ll surprise yourself and enjoy it!

Are you guilty of spending too much time gaming or online? How do you keep your relationships strong? Let us know in the comments!

Geek Etiquette: Driving

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!

When I ask people what etiquette topic I should cover next, one issue comes up more than any others: driving. It may not be geeky, but it’s at the top of Seattle geeks’ minds: we know how we should behave, yet everyone is guilty of committing some driver etiquette no-nos. Just the other day, I encountered people cutting me off, tailing me, merging over multiple lanes without a turn signal, not stopping at stop lights, stopping in the middle of the road, putting their car into reverse suddenly, driving too fast, and driving too slow. It’s a miracle my car and I made it home in one piece!

Emily Post has some great advice on the “Rules of the Road” that I suggest you read–it’ll be a good reminder for yourself on simple driving etiquette rules. But for this post, I thought we’d get our advice from Jess of “New Girl”. Take a look at this one minute clip:

(For those outside of the US, Jess bests a bad parker with a gun using nothing but kindness.)

While I spend a large amount of time in my car angrily muttering at people who cut me off or stole my parking spot, I should stop and remember: they’re people too. When I’m stressed out in traffic because I want to get home, I should realize that everyone else is trying to do the same thing. We all are just trying to get somewhere safely, and we don’t know if the person who didn’t use a turn signal is dealing with a breakup or if the person driving too fast is bringing someone to the hospital. I once had someone back into me in a parking lot and instantly start crying about her horrible day. She didn’t leave a scratch on my car, and the only thing she left with was a hug from me.

Granted, sometimes people really are just the worst. And for them, there are “You Park Like an Asshole” citations. Print a few out to keep in your glovebox, but while they’re funny, you should only use them if you truly know the situation. Sometimes it’s best to give drivers the benefit of the doubt, and learn from their wrong-doings.

What piece of driving/parking advice would you give drivers?

Geek Etiquette: Networking

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!


Networking can be a tough but necessary task that can happen anywhere. Sure, networking events house the majority of it, but we’ve all had encounters where the person sitting next to us on the plane or in line behind us at the store has happened to turn into a great contact. So how can people who are normally introverted make the most of these networking opportunities? Think of it less as a spontaneous activity, and more as a series of steps.

Next time you’re at a function and don’t have anyone to talk to, try this:

Approach Someone
Ideally, you’ll find someone who is standing around awkwardly, also looking for someone to talk to. If everyone else is grouped up, keep an eye out for a group that has open body language, or is loud and happy enough that you could slip into or “overhear” their conversation.

Break the Ice
You don’t need to be clever, just come up with a couple go-tos to help you start a conversation. I find people in the room that are wearing something I like–I’ll seek them out to compliment them on their glasses, dress, jewelry, etc. and ask them where they got it. If they respond and turn their attention to you, then you’re set! Nothing grabbing your eye to compliment? Keep an ear out for people discussing similar interests of yours. It’s an easy way to jump into a conversation.

Bring the Conversation to Business
Once the ice breaker has run its course, it’s time to bring the conversation to something more mutually beneficial–sharing what you do and seeing if a connection can be made. It may be as simple as “So, what do you do?” or asking what their connection to the event/host is.

Don’t Talk About Yourself the Whole Time
You’re more than welcome to share what you do and answer any questions they have, but don’t bore the other person(s) with stories about yourself all night. If they share a story that segues well into a personal anecdote about yourself, share it quickly and get back to them. Ask them more questions about what they do, and maintain interested body language. Remember–you already know all about yourself. Use this time to get to know more about this person and find out how they can help you and/or your business.

Know When To End The Conversation
Keep an eye out for body language cues, and don’t overstay your welcome in the conversation. Are they standing away from you, losing eye contact, answering with very short answers, or trying to start conversations with others? It’s time to move on. Conversations can be ended simply by saying “It was so great to meet you, I’ve got to move on.”

End With a Call To Action
Is this someone you want to get to know better or potentially work with? Try to set up the opportunity to meet again. End with “we should do lunch sometime,” or “I’d love to get more info on that ____ you mentioned–I’ll send you an email tomorrow.” This is also a great chance to exchange business cards.

Emily Post has some great words of wisdom on business cards:

The business card of today

  • Invites a new business acquaintance to get in touch with you
  • Defines your position and responsibilities (e.g., Vice-President, Sales)
  • Provides a number of ways to reach you: mailing address, telephone, fax, e-mail address, and sometimes your assistant’s telephone number and alternate phone numbers for you

The smart businessperson should never be without at least a few cards in a jacket pocket- and the newer-looking they are, the better. You never know when you might need a card (at a dinner in a restaurant, say, or sitting next to someone in a baseball stadium’s bleachers), and they should be in perfect condition when you present them. Stationery and department stores sell business card holders that prevent smudging and creasing.

How to hand out business cards, and to whom?

  • If you’re reasonably sure you’ll be dealing with someone in the future, ask for a business card and give yours in return. Probably the one exception is when you encounter a top executive who clearly outranks you; if such a senior person wants your card, or wants you to have hers, she will tell you so.
  • When given a card, don’t just snatch it and jam it into your pocket. Take a moment to look at it, perhaps complimenting its design. Then slip it into your wallet or date book.
  • Offer cards one to a person- rather than presenting a fistful, as if you were trying to flood the market with the wonder of you and your title.

Offering your card privately to someone at a social event is perfectly fine- but suggest holding off on detailed business talk until another day. Don’t pop out your card in the middle of a dinner that has nothing to do with business; if you want to present one, wait until you’ve left the table.

Looking for a unique business card? Check out Pinterest for some great ideas. Some of my favorite cards are from Moo, a card company that is very popular among the blogger set.

Does networking still make you anxious? Bring a wingman. Just like in dating, a wingman can help you make introductions and can talk you up while you’re there. Better yet, become friends with the host of the event. Ask them to introduce you around, and they’ll get the conversation started for you.

What are your networking tips and tricks? Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ended up networking?

Geek Etiquette: Dating

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!

I’ve been hearing a lot of friends and fellow geeks talk about dating lately. How do they find someone that shares their interests? Where do they go on a date?

I’ve consulted the smartest, funniest (and might I add, best looking?) people I know: Geeky Hostess readers. Check out their answers to some common geek dating questions, and see if their experiences can help you!

What qualities do you look for in a date/partner?
Although the qualities varied a bit person-to-person, common answers across the board were a sense of humor, honesty, and self-confidence.

Where do you go to look for date?
“Don’t go looking for dates, let them find you. If you do the things you genuinely like to do, you will find like-minded people there and it won’t be artificial and contrived.” -Jessica

“I find that persons of interest can be found anywhere you frequent. (Full disclosure: I met my lady in WoW; that’s where I spent all my time!) But it’s still good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while and meet new people. You just have to be open, and someone will catch your interest.” -Thomas

Are your daily interests not yielding any returns on the date-front? Try online dating! Shannon has found some decent results at Match.com and POF, and Laura has had the best luck with OKCupid. Emily Post also endorses online dating, and has some tips to get you started!

I’ve spotted a cutie. How do I approach them? What do I say?
“Honest to god, Just. Say. Hi. Compliment my shirt (or shoes, or watch… just break the damn ice) So many people over think this and it’s completely unnecessary. Just say ‘Hi, I hadn’t introduced myself so I thought I’d come over and say hey. By the way I really like your Watch/Necklace/LackofAdamsApple. I’m Blahblahblah'” -Shannon

Any suggestions on great first-date spots?
The consensus seems to be to keep first dates simple. Find an activity that you both may be interested in, do it, and then grab food after to chat about it and get to know each other better. Laura suggests bowling. Dikla says “Beers and Star Trek. Or beers and a board game.” If you’re in the Seattle area, I’d suggest checking out the EMP Museum.

Need some advice on how to act on your date? Check out Emily Post’s “Dating 101“.

Any words of advice for geeks looking for love?
“Don’t feel like you need to be anyone other than who you are. Confidence, and self-awareness (not self-consciousness), is sexy.” -Jessica

“‘Never give up! Never surrender!’ Sorry; I watched Galaxy Quest the other night… But seriously: Don’t give up; keep looking. And don’t fall for the first person to like you back. There are plenty of people out there that you can be happy with.” -Thomas

“Be the best possible version of yourself. Don’t look for someone to love you in spite of your geeky quirks, but because of them. You (and everyone in the whole wide world) deserves someone that loves them for them. Take care of yourself, don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t unload all of your trust issues in your online dating profile. It’s not the place. I will assume your baggage isn’t carry-on size and bail faster than a disgruntled flight attendant w/access to a emergency chute.” -Shannon

Moral of the story? Be yourself, do the things you enjoy, and love will find its way in. I’ve found that many of my friends and I didn’t find love until we stopped trying so hard to look for it.

Do you have a great dating story or piece of advice? Share it in the comments!

Geek Etiquette: Dress To Impress

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!

They may look like dress pants, but they’re still sweats. Save them until you’ve got the job.

Many of my friends are looking for new jobs, and are unsure how to dress for the interview. The Seattle tech space is a very casual environment that shows a wide range of dress codes: you’ll see people go to work in sweats, jeans, workout clothes,  the occasional suit or dress, and even cosplay (seriously). How do you know that your outfit will be appropriate for your company: not too casual, and (what’s been the case more often lately) not too formal? Emily Post says:

The real reason for dressing up a notch is that you want the interviewer to focus on you, not your clothes. If the interviewer’s attention turns to your clothes, you’re probably wearing the wrong thing.

Try to scope out the place before you go to apply for an interview and check out the way employees dress for work. If you live too far away to visit, simply call the human resource department or ask a receptionist. You don’t even have to identify yourself: “Hi, I’m interviewing with your company, and just wanted to know what your dress policy is.”

Too shy to call the company? Take a look at their online presence. Do they have pictures of their employees on their site? If not, find out the names of the heads of the company, then look for them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. What are they wearing in their pics? I would suggest aiming to dress slightly nicer than they do for your interview. For some tech companies in Seattle, that may mean nice dark jeans, a button up shirt or blouse, and a blazer.

Interviewing at a very casual place (gym, comic book store, etc.)? Wear what you would to a nice first date or to church. Don’t show up in workout clothes or sweats unless you were specifically requested to do so. Don’t just show up in a suit: if the company is more casual than that, they may think you don’t know the position or wouldn’t fit in with the culture. Don’t be afraid to show your personality in what you’re wearing, especially if the position requires creativity.

Still not sure what to wear? Check out sites like GQ Style and WorkChic for inspiration, or contact me for a Personal Branding consultation. I’ll work with you on making sure your online identity and real-life identity work together to convey what you want it to. If you need it, we’ll even go shopping together! Email me at tara@gaincharisma.com for more info.

Any dress-code stories or advice? If you interview people, what do you look for? What scares you away?

Geek Etiquette: RSVPs

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email tara@geekyhostess.com!


(Photo by Christine Tremoulet, found on zankyou.com.)

You’re a popular person. Your friends are planning awesome things: interpretive performances, LOTR marathons, cupcake cook-offs, and steampunk weddings. They want you there. Have you RSVPed?

When asking people what etiquette faux pas bothers them the most, the 2nd most received answer (behind cell phone use) was those who don’t RSVP. Ever since Facebook has created the “maybe” option on their invite forms, people have stopped giving definite responses to invitations. We even had a handful of people that never RSVPed to our wedding (which I hear is becoming more common).

Take a look at what Emily Post has to say about RSVPing:

1. Take your cue from the invitation

If you received your invitation by e-mail, then an e-mailed response is acceptable.  If the invitation is to a wedding and includes an enclosed card, then send your response by mail.  You can judge the required response by the formality of the invitation itself.

2. Respond in a timely fashion

Generally it is best to reply as soon as possible.  For written invitations responses are made within several days of receiving the invitation.  For in-person or phoned invitations, you may provide your response when asked or await until you have checked your schedule. Simply let the person know that you will call as soon as possible.

3. Keep replies brief

There is no need to go into great detail if you must decline the invitation. Write a simple and polite note of regret.  If you feel like you must offer an explanation, be sure it is brief.

4. Reply even if you have a potential conflict

If you would like to accept an invitation to an informal or casual event but have a tentative conflict, contact the host or hostess to explain the problem. If the event is formal, however, your delay might inconvenience the host, so it’s best to decline the invitation.

5. When replies aren’t requested

If the invitation does not specifically request that you RSVP, then a response is not necessary. However, it is always polite to notify the host when you cannot attend.  A phone call will usually suffice, though you might send a personal note or an e-mail.

Did you get a Facebook invite? “Join” or “Decline” as soon as possible. Not sure if you can make it? You can click “Maybe”, but try to keep it there for only a day while you straighten out your schedule. Any longer than that, send the host an email or make a note on the event as to why you may not be able to show up.

DON’T “join” or say “maybe” if you know you can’t make it. Whether you’re being passive, trying to show others that you’ll be there, giving yourself an alibi, or showing your support from afar, it doesn’t matter. It gives the host a false number to work with. Wouldn’t you be upset if you made a bunch of zombie cupcakes, and no one showed up to eat them?

My challenge to you this week: Go through your Facebook events (or outstanding email invites and wedding invitations) and RSVP to ALL of them. Try not to put “maybe” for any of them!

Have you had difficulties getting people to RSVP? Any tips or tricks?

(Find out how Emily Post suggests you RSVP for different situations here.)