It might seem like common sense but it’s always nice to have a little reminder. When at a dinner party, especially with folks you don’t know, avoid getting into deeply personal issues or cracking that joke that’s just a little insensitive. You never know how people might react and in some cases the wrong comment or question can throw the mood of a party. Especially when you are in a small space and it’s difficult to gain distance between you, the inappropriate comment and the offended party.
Do your best to gauge the mood of the party and let the host be your barometer for where the conversation is going. On the flip side, if you are the host think about the group you invited and make a judgement call. How personal / political can we get? Sometimes it fun to get into a heated conversation with the right group, but again know your audience. And if there is ever a question, air on the politically correct side of the fence. While there could a number of questions that might turn an evening, here are a few key ones to avoid:
- You look different, did you lose weight?
- You look terrible, are you feeling OK?
- How much does someone in your field of work make?
- How much does an apartment or house like this cost?
- Why aren’t you drinking?
- Should you be eating that?
- Isn’t that your (pick a number) glass of wine?
- Why aren’t you seeing anyone?
- Who did you vote for? / What party are you affiliated with?
- When are you due? / When are you going to have kids?