Q: You’re meeting someone for the first time, and she has a booger in her nose. How do you go about telling her without making her feel too embarrassed?
A: You want to make a good first impression, and part of that is making the person feel comfortable and leaving her with a positive and memorable experience.
Sometimes, it’s just best to leave the situation alone. If you are being interviewed for a job, for instance, this is the time to let the booger go. There is no need to make your future boss uncomfortable. Even though your intentions would be good, the relationship could come to a screeching halt when you embarrass her. The same applies at a networking event, unless you get the vibe the person will be open and grateful for the “nose-up.”
If you know someone who knows the person with the booger, let that person know, and allow them to deliver the news privately.
DIANE GOTTSMAN, author of “Modern Etiquette for a Better Life”
A: Please do the person right, whether you know her or have just met, by advising her discreetly. I understand it will probably make you and her a little uncomfortable — and perhaps embarrassed — but it has to be done.
Kindly gesture to her by pointing to the side of your own nose. Gesturing is a widely used form of communication; in many cases, words are not required to get the message across. You also could hand over a tissue or advise that she needs to find one. Another way to deliver the news is to softly whisper to her that she might want to visit the restroom for a quick scan.
No matter what, don’t make a big deal out of it. If the person does get offended, then she’s just being a booger to you.
CONSTANCE HOFFMAN, founder and president of Social & Business Graces Inc.