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How to navigate the dilemmas of social life.
Modern life is full of minor but acute dilemmas: wishing to end a boring conversation without causing offence; forgetting a name when introducing friends; running into an ex on a first date with a new partner…
Though they might seem insignificant, such dilemmas illustrate some of the greatest themes in social existence; how to pursue our own happiness while honouring the sensitivities of others; how to convey goodwill with sincerity; and how to be kind without being supine or sentimental.
This book puts good manners back at the centre of our lives. Through twenty case studies, Modern Manners provides a new philosophy of graceful conduct. Far from trivial diversions, manners are the practical expression of a dignified mission to create a kinder and more considerate world.
• How to Be Comfortable On Your Own In Public
• How to Make People Feel Good About Themselves
• How to Become Someone People Will Confide In
• How to Deal With The Subtext
• How to Stop Worrying Whether or Not They Like You
How To Choose A Good Present
“The solution lies in toning down our ambitions. We won’t be able to determine the subtler contours of the gaps in the material lives of those we love. And yet it is still open to us to offer the kinds of objects we know they will need, not because we can peer into their souls but because they are human.”
What To Do At Parties If You Hate Small Talk
“Small talk exists for a noble reason: it is designed to prevent hurt. It provides us with a rich source of information so that we can safely ascertain the frame of mind of our interlocutor - and therefore gage what more in-dept topics of conversation might safely be broached.”
How To Spill A Drink Down Your Front - And Survive
“The wise person escapes the worst ravages of social embarrassment by owning their mishaps with modesty. They tease themselves a long time before anyone else has a chance to do it for them. They are not terrified that a mocking impression of their character will form in the minds of their audience, because they assume from the beginning that a bit of gentle mockery is what they deserve.”