A gracious hostess learns how to roll with the punches. My question is not to advocate expressing horror TO our guests or possibly, family members. But with Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas on the near horizon, I thought I’d provide an opportunity for my readers to say what they really think. Here at TPG and with the “privacy” of the Internet, there’s no need to be shy or even polite. I am here for the hostesses of the world! Go ahead and leave a comment. What is your number one etiquette pet peeve?

In all fairness, I will tell you mine. There is one that outshines them all; that takes my stomach and twists it into knots and makes my temples pound. I care about this more than issues of cleanliness, lateness, RSVPs, a lack of thank yous, or even arriving with the family dog.

I do not understand grown-ups who dominate the conversation, either with constant chatter or sullenness without engaging the people around them.

I can acquiesce that my children’s generation may not write letters as much as their grandparent’s generation. But the art of conversation will never go out of style. And one of the lessons I have to teach my children over and over and over again, is to not babble on about what THEY think is funny or interesting at the dinner table, but to ask questions of the others who are there. It’s even more difficult to teach them to answer the questions of others’ polite inquiries despite their mood or opinion of the inquirer.

I am of the opinion that any personality from the extreme extrovert to the most-shy introvert can learn the art of conversation. It just means keeping in mind others over ourselves. People are fascinating creatures and full of stories. Making room for others to talk is key to our ability to connect with one another. We need to learn to ask questions, not only share our own stories, and practice engaging others when gathered together over a meal or the tea party.

Do you agree? How did it go around your Thanksgiving table this weekend? Please leave comments and let us know your number one etiquette pet peeve, as well!