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harassment & abuse within the context of Social Etiquette

Updated: Nov 1


I don't know that anyone would incorporate harassment and abuse within a discussion on social etiquette, but it made perfect sense to me as I thought about using a recent encounter with harassing behavior for good. I vacillated about publicly discussing this but October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the number of abuse cases are on a rapid rise in our current COVID environment. I felt compelled to address the seriousness of this issue and could not deny its direct impact upon the men, women and children that I service in my business. To that end, going forward, I decided to include a segment on harassment and abuse into our Social Etiquette curriculum.


I was recently harassed by someone I knew and I worked with law enforcement to address it. I strongly believe that no one has the right to forcibly occupy space in your life and create toxicity where there should be peace. You decide. You choose who has a front row seat in the story of your life. Unfortunately, this subject matter is not always addressed publicly or privately. But I've decided to talk about it because it can't be ignored as I work with people. So, in addition to discussing proper introductions, alternatives to handshakes, cell phone etiquette, grooming, networking and building partnerships; we will also discuss and bring awareness to harassing and abusive behavior so that we can continue to empower men, women and children with what they need to show up as the best version of themselves possible.


In my business as an Etiquette Consultant, I've decided to take up courage and have the uncomfortable conversations in a safe environment because volatile issues unaddressed, worsen and explode. So, as we continue to work at being cognizant of how we show up in social and business settings, let's remember this quote by Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The true greatness of a person . . . is evident in the way he or she treats those with whom courtesy and kindness are not required." Let's be great people who are kind, courteous and respectful to all.


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Suzette Spann Scarborough @ Etiquette Speaks, LLC