Our Etiquette Guy Jay Remer is with you every step of the way to help determine the most appropriate course of good manners. After all, etiquette in social situations were created to help everyone feel as comfortable as possible.

Dear Etiquette Guy,

As our travels become more robust again, is it insensitive to post my own social media photos?

Hitting The Road

Dear Robust Traveler,

Up, up, and away has finally returned. Posting photos on social media is a great way to share the joy of your adventures with others. We live vicariously through others’ joy and love to see our friends thriving! However, as you suggest, it can be overdone. Always look at your intention before posting anything­–a photo or words. If you’re not using the platform for self-aggrandizement or some other unseemly reason, share away. If you enjoy seeing how much fun your friends are having, most likely, they will, too.


Dear Etiquette Guy,

A college friend, who lives in another city, is getting married this fall. There will be many bridal showers, yet I can’t attend them all due to logistics. Should I send gifts for the ones when I am unable to participate?

Wedding Goer

Dear Wedding Goer,

Isn’t it wonderful that large weddings can once again take to the stage? For once-in-a-lifetime celebrations, to borrow a phrase from Downton Abbey: nothing succeeds like excess. Nonetheless, with multiple showers, scheduling can be understandably difficult. If you are invited to more than one shower for the same bride, try to attend at least one. If you’ve received an invitation, your presence is truly wanted. When you accept an invitation to a shower, you should bring a gift or send one ahead whether you attend or not. There is, however, no obligation to accept every invitation you receive. If you send your regrets, you are not required to send a gift, but the option is still on the table. Follow your heart.


Dear Etiquette Guy,

Do I have to open a host or birthday gift that I might receive, right then and there, or may I wait until later?

Lucky Recipient

Dear Lucky,

Allow the circumstances to guide you in making your decision. There is no rule obligating you to anything in this case. Giving and receiving gifts should come from the heart. Therefore, I recommend listening to your heart more than your head. Choice is liberating, yet try to read how the other person is feeling. If they insist that you open the gift, try to make the time and space to do so. Because this can create an awkward moment, be cognizant when you are in this position–try to resist the insist.


Dear Etiquette Guy,

I recently went on a business trip to the West Coast and was shocked at the level of both professional and personal flakiness. How do I respond when a colleague or friend simply cancels a meeting or meal at the last minute?

                                                                                                                                         On The Ball

Dear Ball in Your Court,

Exacerbated by the excruciating and ongoing demands that COVID-19 extracted from us on all levels, many entrepreneurs and business executives no longer perform as they once did–personally or professionally. Moreover, given the recent departure of millions of people from the US workforce, of their own volition, the way we do business moving forward must change dramatically.


The old methods of power and control will transform into new inclusive and diverse ones where mutual respect and trust, a fair value-exchange agreement, common sense, and following The Golden Rule will prevail. While this transformation takes place, we may need to stretch our flexibility muscles. I recommend you hold people accountable while being as flexible as you can. Your time is every bit as valuable as theirs. A gentle reminder never hurts. We all must become better at picking our battles. Compassion goes a long way in keeping those muscles from seizing up.