"If you think business and manners don’t mix, try talking with your mouth full.” - Diane Gottsman, Modern Manners & Etiquette Expert, Author, Media Resource

Ask the Etiquette Expert

Etiquette Expert Diane Gottsman answers your most pressing etiquette and modern manners questions on this page. We take all etiquette questions into consideration, but due to volume not all questions can be addressed. Simply fill out the contact form and we’ll do our very best to answer it here for you.


Storing Your Winter Clothing
Properly Storing Your Winter Clothing
Dear Diane,   Now that Spring is here it’s time to switch out my winter work clothing for lighter fabrics,
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shoes etiquette
Removing Shoes at House Parties
Dear Diane,   I was recently invited to a house party. When I arrived, the host asked me to remove
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Good FIrst Impressions
Leaving a First Impression that Leads to a Second Chance
Dear Diane, I have always heard that first impressions matter. I am wondering how important they really are when it
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5 Traits of a Great Virtual Assistant
Dear Diane, I am considering hiring an extra set of hands for my company. I have been told by many
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How to Write a Cover Letter
How to Write an Effective Cover Letter
Dear Diane, I am interviewing for a new job and am finding it difficult to write a cover letter without
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Email Etiquette
How to Address Names in Emails
Dear Diane, I recently received an email from someone who addressed me as Mr., when I am a female with
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Online Dating
How to Thrive in the World of Online Dating
Dear Diane, I am 23, recently out of a two year relationship and looking to put myself back out there.
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Breakup Etiquette
Helping a Friend Through a Breakup
Dear Diane, One of my best friends has been dating a guy for almost three years. They recently broke up
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Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him
Dear Diane,   I’ve been dating a guy for almost three months, and I’m curious about Valentine’s Day which is
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Accepting Criticism
Dear Diane, I recently started working for a company that offers an extensive training program. During the training, we were
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Wedding Gifts
Wedding Gift Etiquette
Dear Diane, After tying the knot several months ago, my husband and I are finally getting around to organizing the
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Dining Etiquette: Gravy
Easter Dining Etiquette: Gravy Boat Dilemma
Dear Diane, Easter is in a few days, and I always get stumped when I serve gravy from my grandmother’s
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Office Etiquette
Office Etiquette: Why Can’t We Be Friends?
Dear Diane, I was recently brought in to assist the accounting department for a large manufacturing business. Since joining the
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Wedding Gift Etiquette
Wedding Etiquette: Can I Opt for a Cash Bar?
Dear Diane, My fiancé and I are in the process of reviewing several catering options for our wedding this summer.
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Black Tie Even Attire
Formal Dress Attire: The Definition of Black Tie
Dear Diane, My wife and I are excited to attend the annual spring business gala hosted by my legal firm.
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Dinner Invitation Etiquette
Dinner Invitation Etiquette
Dear Diane, We were recently invited to a longtime friend’s home for dinner. As soon as we arrived, we found
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Airplane Etiquette
Airplane Etiquette: How to Deal with a Talkative Seatmate
Dear Diane, My job requires weekly travel, providing me with the opportunity to meet some very interesting people. During my
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Destination Wedding Etiquette
Dear Diane, Next spring, one of my friends is having a rustic country wedding at a scenic, California ranch. I
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Making a New Holiday Gift Giving Tradition
Dear Diane, During the holidays, my siblings and I typically purchase presents for each other’s children. In the early years, I
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Office Happy Hour
Dear Diane, I am a part of a collaborative co-working space that has many perks. For instance, every Friday our
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Losing a Gift: Friendship Etiquette
Dear Diane, One of my friends, who does not have a lot of expendable cash, gave me a gorgeous pair
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Making a Career Change
Dear Diane, After a brief hiatus, I’m eager to jump back into a career in the tourism industry, but on
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Social Media Etiquette – Your Online Image
Dear Diane, I have two children in college who spend a large part of their free time connected to social media. I
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Travel Dilemma
  Dear Diane, Six months ago, I agreed to attend a family reunion my sister is planning. When she asked me
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Interview Etiquette
Interview Etiquette: Tattoos
Dear Diane, As a recent college graduate, I am in the midst of the job search process. With an interview in
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Office Etiquette
Office Etiquette: What to Do When You Stain Your Clothes
Dear Diane, Last month I was chosen to lead a team-building presentation for my entire department. While working through my
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Business Etiquette: When Colleagues Give You a Nickname
Dear Diane, I have been trying to resolve an office predicament regarding my name. I began a new job several weeks ago
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Dining Etiquette: Splitting the Bill
Dear Diane, Recently, a few friends of mine planned a weekend retreat in Chicago. Our local host recommended we visit
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Bathroom Etiquette
Bathroom Etiquette
Dear Diane, I need your to help settle a bet. Ever since my husband and I got married, we haven’t
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Baby Shower Etiquette
Baby Shower Etiquette
Dear Diane, My friend has moved from Florida to California, and I will be flying in for her baby shower.
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Entertaining Etiquette
Dinner Party and Entertaining Etiquette
Hello Diane, My wife and I are big on etiquette and entertaining and have made a real effort to include
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Dinner Party Etiquette
Dinner Party Etiquette
Dear Diane, I recently attended a housewarming dinner party for one of my coworkers and had a wonderful time. I
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Business Attire
Business Attire Advice
Dear Diane, I am a recent college graduate and find myself in new territory when it comes to putting together
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Baby Shower Etiquette
Baby Shower Etiquette
Dear Diane, My son and his wife are expecting a baby and asked to use our home for their baby
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Job Interview
Job Interview Etiquette
Dear Diane, I recently landed a job at a corporation that has been on the top of my list since
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Birthday Etiquette
Birthday Etiquette
Dear Diane, Every year I start to receive birthday cards and gifts from my family as early as one month
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Business Travel Etiquette
Business Travel Etiquette
Dear Diane, I am new to my company and recently attended an out of town business meeting with some colleagues
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Father's Day Etiquette
Father’s Day Etiquette
Dear Diane, My father is 85 and unable to leave his house without requiring extensive effort to accommodate his wheelchair
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Job Interview Etiquette
Job Interview Etiquette
Hi Diane, I interviewed last Tuesday with the HR Director of a University for a position in an academic department.
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Friendship Etiquette
Friendship Etiquette
Dear Diane, I recently reconnected with a high school friend and we met over lunch to catch up on each
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Late Employees
Business Etiquette for Late Employees
Dear Diane, I have an employee who is constantly late to work. On average, he arrives tardy to the office
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Texting Clients
Client Texting Dilemma
Dear Diane, With a career in sales and marketing, it’s standard to include my cell number on my business card
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Baby Shower Etiquette
Baby Shower Etiquette
Dear Diane, A close friend is expecting her first child and has asked me to kindly host her baby shower.
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Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby Etiquette
Dear Diane, Every year my friends and I plan at least one big trip and a few smaller outings together
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Graduation Etiquette
Graduation Etiquette
Dear Diane, What is the rule of thumb when it comes to exchanging gifts between graduating seniors? My daughter was recently invited to
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Business Attire Etiquette
Business Attire Etiquette
Dear Diane, What is your take on sandals with hose? Our corporate policy states that sandals are allowed in the
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Graduation Etiquette
Graduation Etiquette
Dear Diane, What is the difference between a graduation invitation and a graduation announcement? I received a card from my
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Wedding Etiquette
Wedding Shower Etiquette
Dear Diane, My daughter is having a small, private wedding with only a few friends and family members invited. She
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Job Interview
Job Interview Etiquette
Dear Diane, I am currently interviewing for a job with a large company and am confused about the difference between
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House Guest Etiquette
Houseguest Etiquette
Dear Diane, Is it too much to ask a houseguest to clean their hair out of the drain? After their
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Dining Etiquette
Dining Etiquette
Dear Diane, I was recently at a New York deli (visiting from a small town in Oregon) and ordered a simple
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Wedding Etiquette
Wedding Etiquette
Dear Diane: Is it okay to exclude my friends’ husbands when sending out invitations to my daughter’s wedding? Most of
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Traveling with Friends
Travel Etiquette with Friends
Dear Diane, My friend and I recently took a trip, each of us bringing our one daughter. She chose the hotel
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Thank You Note Etiquette
Thank You Note Etiquette
Dear Diane, I am getting married in a few months and have received several shower and early wedding presents. I
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White Tie Etiquette
White Tie Etiquette
Dear Diane, I was invited to an event that didn’t specify the dress code clearly. What is the true definition
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Family Holiday Etiquette
Family Holiday Etiquette
Dear Diane, My son is coming home from college and is bringing his girlfriend. I still have teens in the
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Holiday Restaurant Tipping Etiquette
Holiday Restaurant Tipping Etiquette
Dear Diane, Is it customary to tip my restaurant server additional gratuity because it’s the holiday season? I’m always so
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Where to Stay over the Holidays
Holiday Etiquette: Where to Stay
Dear Diane, My family consists of two small children and we spend every holiday shuttling from one house to another
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Gift Giving Etiquette
Gift Giving Etiquette
Dear Diane, Do I have to give a present to everyone who gives one to me? I am having trouble
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Holiday Etiquette
Polite Holiday Etiquette
Dear Diane, My brother is bringing his new girlfriend to my home on Christmas Eve. We generally all open our
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Cyber Monday Etiquette
Cyber Monday Office Etiquette
Dear Diane, Today is Cyber Monday, the first day back after an extended Thanksgiving break. I can’t help but notice
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Holiday Table Setting
Holiday Table Setting Etiquette
Dear Diane, I am confused as to which side the soup spoon is placed on the table. Left or right? L.
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Holiday Greeting Card
Holiday Greeting Card Etiquette
Dear Diane, I am getting ready to send out my business greeting cards in a couple of weeks and I
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Thank You Note Etiquette
Email Thank You for Job Interview
Dear Diane, Should I email a thank you note after a job interview? Thank you, J
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The etiquette of greetings friends
Greeting Etiquette When in a Relationship
Dear Diane, I have a large group of single girlfriends and a wonderful boyfriend. We often get together for dinners
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