Author Topic: Meeting New People Etiquette  (Read 3329 times)

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kitty_ev

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Meeting New People Etiquette
« on: August 24, 2010, 11:38:32 AM »
I appreciate few people here are likely to do this, but nonetheless I feel it needs to be said.

If you find out that the person you meet at a party is a member of a healthcare profession, do not respond with "Oooh... does that mean you have access to prescription drugs? Could you get some for me?" Most healthcare workers have invested significant time, money, energy and emotions into gaining the qualifications for their job and their work while on the job. These have probably been a large sacrifice for them to make. It is unlikely that they will be willing to risk their livelihood to oblige you in acquiring prescription medications.  You may think this sort of question is funny, but they probably won't. You're unlikely to seriously ask a bank worker to steal you a roll of bank notes, so why ask healthcare staff if they'll steal dangerous prescription meds for you?


Unless the location you are meeting in is rather noisy, it is not polite to stand very close to a person you have just met. Some people like more personal space than you do, and intruding on their space may make them uncomfortable. Read the visual clues you're getting from them- if they're repeatedly backing away you probably need to move back a bit.

567Kate

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Re: Meeting New People Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 12:58:35 PM »
If there is an obvious joke to make about somebody's name, job, or appearance, don't make it. They have heard it a million times.

When you have first met someone is the best time to get their name right. I use the old trick of using their names in the conversation a number of times to really get it in my head.

Avoid controversial subjects. While the weather and the plight of the local sports team are cliches, they actually make good subjects to discuss with someone you've only just met.

Emmy

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Re: Meeting New People Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 08:19:49 PM »
It is best to refrain from telling your whole life story when you first meet somebody.  If you get to know somebody better, than you can mention the deeper stuff, but for a first meeting, keep conversation light.  It is also very off putting when somebody talks forever about themselves and then doesn't have any interest when the other person finally gets a turn to talk.

On the opposite end of the endless talker is the person who only gives 'yes' or 'no' answers.  While this isn't technically rude, it makes for much better conversation if the person expands their answers and asks questions in return.

This goes for if there are more than two people:  the best conversationalists make eye contact with everybody which helps them feel a part of the conversation.  Some people just talk with one or two in the group and don't look at the others which is a way of shutting them out.  It is also very rude to turn your back to somebody if you happen to be talking with somebody else.

If you forget a name when first introduced (as I sometimes do), ask again at the end of the conversation.  I agree the first meeting is the time to get the name right.


Lisbeth

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Re: Meeting New People Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 08:32:44 PM »
If someone you are meeting the first time has an obvious medical condition (including pregnancy), don't mention it.  They already know about it, and they may well not appreciate jokes, unsolicited medical advice, or even want to discuss it.

If someone introduces you to someone you already know and don't like, please don't engage in snubs or discuss the background unless you are giving the person the cut direct.  If it turns out the person is someone you are giving the cut direct to, simply say that there are serious problems between you and the other person and let it go at that-again, don't get into the background.  What is really to be avoided to the greatest extent possible is a big emotional scene and/or embarrassment to the person making the introduction-they probably weren't aware that this problem existed and shouldn't be regaled with the details.
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Pinky830

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Re: Meeting New People Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2010, 06:15:34 PM »
If you meet someone in the veterinary field, do not immediately start grilling or outright abusing them about how expensive vets are. I've come close to stalking out of a couple of places in tears.

And for heaven's sake, try not to tell them every single one of your pet stories.

kitty_ev

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Re: Meeting New People Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2010, 07:18:48 PM »
If you meet someone in the veterinary field, do not immediately start grilling or outright abusing them about how expensive vets are. I've come close to stalking out of a couple of places in tears.

And for heaven's sake, try not to tell them every single one of your pet stories.

In a similar vein, if you find out someone is a doctor/nurse/allied healthcare professional when meeting them, do not take this as a cue to bring out every detail of your own and your family's medical ailments and experiences when interacting with healthcare professionals. It is also not the time for a moan about the NHS or whatever local healthcare arrangements are in place.

This concept can be expanded to meeting virtually anyone with practically any background. It is generally not polite or welcome to try to build a conversation on the shortcomings of someone's profession when first meeting them. People tend to like to talk about themselves, so ask them about their profession, what their job involves, how they like it, how they came to be doing their particular job etc. It's a better way to build rapport.