Ever wish people would just tell you the rules of social conduct ahead of time, not just when you break them? Sandi Toksvig’s book The Tricky Art of Co-Existing: How to Behave Decently No Matter What Life Throws Your Way is the book you need!

Using a lighthearted yet forthright approach, Ms. Toksvig addresses home life, roommates, table and phone manners, work related topics, and wedding-baby-death topics. She gives plenty of examples interspersed with bulleted lists of what to do and what not to do.  She covers quite a bit of ground in a humorous and educational manner, showing that manners, courtesy, and consideration for others is accessible to all humans.

Of particular interest for my clients, chapter 1 has some great tips about getting along with roommates (do chores, mind the noise, invite others to participate, wear pants).  Similarly, chapter 7 explores the world of work, including the need to get a job, get to work on time, get work done on time, and have boundaries.  Finally, chapter 8 reviews expectations around dating, how to behave if your first date isn’t going well, and engaging in conversation.

This delightful book is soon to be on my “often recommended” book list.

Perhaps you were looking for a book about manners for the younger crew? Try Manners Matter by Veronica Zysk and Temple Grandin.  Published just this spring, Zysk and Grandin review the notion that manners help us get along in society, and help others feel more comfortable with us.

Ends up manners matter for both kids and adults. Being able to learn the rules in a comfortable manner, not just when you break a social rule, feels more comfortable and less stressful.  Thank you to Toksvig, Zysk, and Grandin for making the rules more accessible and fun to learn!



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