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How to Behave [Paperback]

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Item description for How to Behave by Marcin Barinski...

Is there any polite way to “shush” a chatty person at the movies? Should roller bladers be passed on the left side or the right side? When is it unacceptable to answer your cell phone? And why doesn’t anyone in your grocery store seem to understand the basic rules of shopping cart navigation and right-of-way?
If you’ve ever pondered these kinds of questions, How to Behave is the book you’ve been waiting for: a hip, irreverent, but entirely practical guide to proper behavior in the twenty-first century. Here are dozens of fascinating skills that Emily Post wouldn’t even think to mention—like the best ways to:
     •  share elbow space on an airplane armrest
     •  contend with road rage
     •  navigate an escalator
     •  observe basic e-mail etiquette
     •  speak on a cell phone without enraging others
. . . plus dozens of other essential survival techniques. Much more than a simple etiquette book, How to Behave is a real-life guide to living in the real world.
"Move over, Emily Post!"—New York Magazine

From the Hardcover edition.
Caroline Tiger has written for Ms., Self, and Salon. She is a writer and editor at Philadelphia Magazine, and takes pride in her impeccable manners.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.8" Width: 4.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2003
Publisher   Quirk Books
ISBN  1931686319  
ISBN13  9781931686310  
UPC  082345363194  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Etiquette > General
3Books > Subjects > Reference > General

Reviews - What do customers think about How to Behave?

some good advice, some ridiculous  Sep 9, 2007
The advice on when and how to retaliate is among the items that distracts from the solid tips in much of the book. Are you really supposed to get back at another airplane passenger? Are you really better off blocking someone in traffic? Do you really want to confront the person with a few extra items in the express line (yes, I know I feel like doing it)? Do you actually tell the clerk who spritzed you with perfume that you are "enraged and disgusted"? Perhaps the author was trying satire or humor. If so, the attempts all failed. She isn't as clever as Miss Manners, and too most of the mainstream content is played straight up.

OK, with the complaints aside, Ms. Tiger is very sound on the basics. In proposing how to deal with rude behavior (pre-escalation), she reminds us not to do those things ourselves, which is the corollary of how to respond. In America, be well aware of personal space. Use your cell phone quietly and with awareness of others. Don't leave the copier without paper. How to pick up on clues that your co-workers don't feel like chatting. Keep the office kitchen and fridge clean. Don't use insipid signatures and greetings in your e-mails. Watch the personal calls. Be polite getting in and out of elevators. No checking out people at the gym. How to split the check or pick up the tab. And so on.

The book is an easy read, with 200-ish small pages without a lot of type. You'll finish quickly, unless you pause to contemplate the advice or remember relevant situations from your own life.
really funny to read but a lot of dangerous advice   Jul 26, 2006
Ok first off, I give it top marks for a witty biting commentary on modern situations requiring some rules for good conduct.

But I really can't call it a manners book. Here is why.

Even though it is full of good advice on how to manage so that you don't cause offence in the first place

---it is JAMMED with retaliatory fun stuff that is GREAT to think about and laugh over.

BUT in this day and age of road rage and psycho nutbars losing it in public I don't think some of the advice in there is safe let alone mannerly.

One of the principles of living a gracious and stress reduced life is not letting people get to you in the first place.

You don't provoke, and when provoked you don't choose to respond in a way that will escalate.

It isn't your business to educate strangers about their manners and insist on your standards at the expense of losing your cool or your dignity.

(one of the hilarious examples, --getting up and dancing to the beat of someones loud music on an airplane ----just might get you in more trouble than the "offender" not to mention looking really foolish in front of the whole plane full of passengers and airline attendants!)

Yes, by all means communicate your personal boundaries, but if the person is hell bent on causing offence, remove yourself, don't escalate it.

If in the airline incident, you obviously can't remove yourself and the steward can't or won't deal with the loud music, put your earplugs in, be patient, and take it as part of modern life and DON'T let it ruin your day.

The problem with some of her responses (and I do love them in theory as humour) is that

----if you do go on the offensive when "attacked" or provoked, you risk escalating things.

Remember that the person who is acting out, may be acting out just because they ARE an aggressive nutbar who doesn't give a rip how they are coming across, and may not give a rip about getting physical with you. In fact you just may be the fight they were looking for.

----and at the end of the day, who really cares who got the seat or the arm rest or the cab as long as you got home in one piece.

If you got shoved a little, jostle back mildly definitely but if it's looking like this could escalate or the person is a bit odd, remove yourself from the situation rather than be dead right.

Manners advice needs to help people defuse the situation mentally so that their response is calculated to get out smoothly in one piece without losing their own temper, without taking things out on others, or escalating a conflict.
Funny and useful!   Jan 11, 2006
If you have a sense of humor, you'll have a good laugh with this book, and pick up many useful tips along the way. Dealing with everything from commuter protocol to e-mail etiquette, this guide covers situations that most manners books miss. The section on gym etiquette should be required reading for certain gym users I've come across. Lastly, using a little common sense will easily allow you to tell which suggestions have been made in jest.
"How to Behave" - written by the socially challenged  Dec 28, 2005
Ms. Tiger thoughtfully includes such information as the most common causes of road rage and then recommends that you behave in precisely that manner to other drivers. I fail to see how behaving in a vindictive manner to others is a desirable behavior. The book might be better used as a test for children to recognize those behaviors that should never be performed in public.
Such a fun book  Nov 4, 2004
I loved this book. It made me laugh throughout and yet I feel like I really learned something. It's going to make a great gift for all of my friends, only some of whom need the advice.

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