The British are known and prone to apologise even when none is necessary. Saying ‘sorry’ is a national pastime. However, when you are truly at fault, in what situations are actions more necessary than words? Taking inspiration from our new edition of the A-Z of modern Manners, and just in time for festival season and outdoor picnics (no matter the weather), we present three potential scenarios in which you can practise your best manners.
Loose Cannons at The Cricket
A cold glass of champagne on a warm summer’s day in the picnic area of Lord’s Cricket Ground is a fine thing, unless you’re wearing it. Accidents happen, but it’s how you deal with them that speaks volumes. If you are the one whose fizz has ended up on guests rather than in the glass, you should take full responsibility, and offer a sincere apology, as well as a glass of bubbles to all those affected by the mishap.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
There’s nothing worse than walking away from a food truck with your lunch, only for someone to bump into you and knock it out of your hand. Whilst an honest mistake, we all know how disappointing it is to see the food you’ve just spent 30 minutes queuing for on the floor. The hard and fast rule in this situation is an apology, accompanied by an enthusiastic offer to pay for the meal.
Encore for Courtesy
It’s the last thing you want to happen when you’re enjoying yourself at an open-air concert. However, should you be the unfortunate victim of a soft drink drenching by a fellow music-lover who wasn’t looking where they were going, the person at fault must go above-and-beyond to rectify the situation.
Offering tissues to soak up what your top couldn’t, as well as offering a meaningful apology, are the first important steps in defusing the situation. To really make amends, it is always courteous to offer to pay for the dry cleaning and provide your contact details.
As we note in our newest edition of the A-Z of Modern Manners, ‘if you are offered a genuine apology, acknowledge it graciously and accept it without trying to elicit grovelling self-abasement.’
Read more on manners from Apologies to Zebra Crossings in our newest edition of the A-Z of Modern Manners, available here with a 10% discount until 17th June 2018.