We repeatedly say on this board that there is no polite way to call someone's attention to their etiquette faux pas, but this post from the discussion on the self-righteously tardy makes me realize that there has to be:
These lateness discussions are fascinating to me. It's not amazing that so much of this happens but that so many people feel they don't have a right not to be aggravated by it in the name of politeness. It seems to me that society is heading ever faster into the realm of rudeness with certain actions that are becoming more acceptable: swearing at commonplace things, anger-based humor, saying no with no response at all instead a a polite rejection, and deliberate lateness because "that's the way I am" justifications. There's very little I can do to change much of it, but I can refuse to accommodate it by kowtowing to it or participating in it. And that's my stand. You need to decide what yours is and be true to it. Who knows, maybe you will become a model for others.
More recently, here is an example of a boundary violation common in families:
My brother once asked my husband what his salary was, because brother was in the process of applying for jobs. Husband didn't want to share what he earned, but did give a general indication of what was useful in their field of work. My brother kept pressing, why didn't husband share it? It's not like he would post it on facebook or something! Husband said that it was private.
Brother started mailing that he didn't understand why he didn't tell him, they were so close, it was something friends would do, and that he didn't like husbands attitude.
Two momths later when I went out to dinner with brother for his graduation, brother started interrogating me as for why husband didn't share it, And regurgitated all the arguments.
Appareantly, if he can't umderstand why people have certain boumdaries, he feels he doesn't have to respect them.
Manners aren't about how you feel, but how you act on those feelings.
If we consistently allow the people in our lives to get away with rude behavior because it isn't within the rules of etiquette to correct it, the bad behavior will not only continue but will ultimately erode the overall standard of behavior until there are no rules at all left to break (and if we are not already regarded as dinosaurs of society, we will be).
We can agree that it is both permissible and appropriate to correct the manners of anyone over whom you have authority provided it is not done in a humiliating manner (exceptions can be made if the breach creates an unsafe condition for anyone):
A parent can correct his/her own child
A teacher can correct a pupil or student
A boss can correct an underling
A military non-com or officer can correct someone lower in rank
We consistently formulate approaches to the one-time offenders we encounter in public (e.g., the boor who talks in a movie theatre), but we do need to find a way to deal with long-term offenders who do not fit the above descriptions. In toxic families this is likely to be a case-by-case matter involving deeper issues, but there are others in our lives who may be in workplaces or social circles whose behavior either offends a social norm or may embarrass themselves or others whom we may not have the option to easily remove from our lives.
We joke about presenting etiquette books, but all know that Pygmalion gifts can be rude. They certainly are passive/aggressive, which is rude in addition to usually being ineffective.
With the basic position of decency and in order to model behavior we can agree that for all but the most egregious cases we need to keep the interaction private. We also need to remain calm, eschew the use of expletives of the type we do not permit in this forum, and state the case without ambiguity.
What else is required here?