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Social Etiquettes

You have any question related to social etiquettes and day to day life? Then you have come to the right place. Post in your question and our Miss Manners will answer them for you.

Sufia Shahid an Eisenhower Fellow is a familiar face for us in Pakistan.

She is GM Corporate Events for the Pearl Continental and Marriott Hotels in Pakistan. She is also involved in a number of charitable projects.

This multifaceted and charming lady is a visiting scholar at the Finishing School. As she has a vast exposure with all segments of society.

Here she answers all your queries regarding everyday etiquettes.


It usually happens that while roaming in the market or someplace else I see a woman whose shirt zip is a bit undone or whose shirt is windswept or ruffled from the back. What’s the best way to tackle such situations?
Miss Manners:

Well what can you do if the nature’s forces are bent upon unveiling your wares? Jokes aside, if you witness a slightly ‘unzipped’ zipper and you don’t know the person, gently go closer to the individual and let her know, so that she can cover it somehow, with her dupatta or hair.

The other solution is, If you know the lady, then you casually put your hand on her back and zip it up without being too obvious.
A word of caution: Be very sure that the zip has not been undone as part of some style.

Windswept dresses are not such a big problem as it only happens very seldom when it is windy and people usually know how to take care of it.

I’m a marketing executive and have to attend some very important meetings with my clients. At times it happens that while I’m in one of these meetings, I need to use the restroom, but the situation is such that I feel excusing myself to go to the loo would be very embarrassing. What’s the best thing to do in such situations?
Miss Manners:

Certainly is an embarrassing situation! Since you ARE asking the question, be prepared for any such meeting. Stop drinking water an hour before the meeting, and visit the loo BEFORE the meeting starts.

Inspite of all this, if a situation DOES arise, see in which direction the meeting is moving. If it seems that it’ll take longer than planned, just say a short ‘excuse me’ and exit the room, otherwise sit it out through a shorter discussion.

I have a colleague who has the habit of eating with his mouth open. I feel very uncomfortable every time we eat together. What’s the best way of handling this situation?
Miss Manners:

They say “it takes all sorts to make a world”. Some people have problems eating with their mouth closed so they eat with their mouth open without realizing how it irks others.

You can discuss the problem as if it is the habit of a third person and how repulsive it is. If he gets the hint, fine! Otherwise just joke about it with him and tell him about this. For all you know, he may not be conscious of it and might be thankful to you for pointing it out.

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