I recently ran in to someone I casually know while out shopping. I kind of waited around out of good manners to say hi as my other girlfriend saw her and told me she was there in the store. When we did meet, we did a little air kiss, half hug said a few words of greeting then she dismissed us when she was done talking…about 5 words.
I felt very ‘dissed, very non-plussed. It’s not always what you say but how you say it that leaves an impression on people. This meeting left a very bad taste in my mouth, and I must say, if I ever see this person again, I might say “Hi, how are you?” as I keep walking if I even acknowledge her at all. I do not need to be dismissed and will not be twice. I think there are different ways to handle social situations and manners show the true depth of character of a person.
I understand that sometimes there is an uncomfortable lull in conversation in a chance meeting and someone may need to end it, but a glance at a watch and a nod of the head and a “It was great seeing you, but I really have to get this shopping done” or “Oh my, look at the time, I still have so much other shopping to do, ‘gotta run!” either choice would be more appropriate than the rude dismissal we got of “Ok then, BYE.” and a turn of her head as she didn’t move…
As if WE should move on, like we were inconveniencing HER! Maybe I’m just touchy feely and would never do it this way. Maybe I’m crazy and it was fine, but it didn’t feel good or fine…ICK! Maybe I have separation anxiety and would still be talking.
What is a socially acceptable way to part in a situation like this? What is the correct etiquette? It is tricky, but should be done tactfully, and no one should be left feeling dismissed, or so turned off they think the other person is either socially inept, rude, or just needs to feel either socially superior, or more powerful. What do you think?
(C) Written by Evelyn Garone 1/2011