Recession Etiquette? I’m supposed to be nice in this lousy economy?

I’ve defied all my mother’s efforts over the years to civilize me. I still roll my eyes like a grumpy teen whenever etiquette comes up as a topic (don’t ask me about fork placement or present buying. My birthday card to you will arrive several days after your birthday.)

So it wasn’t a real shock that I pretty much failed a CBS News quiz on “recession etiquette.”

It did, however, get me thinking about how we navigate those uncomfortable conversations about job loss (“Hey, Steve, How’s the unemployment going!?), coming up short in paying for college or telling your pals you won’t be able to take that ski trip with them this year.

How hard is that?

We’ve talked on MinnEcon about having the recession conversation with your kids. But what about our discussions with colleagues and casual friends?

Do we all end up pretending in those conversations that we’re all doing OK? Do we admit to people outside our family that things aren’t going great? What do you say when you’re on the receiving end of that comment?

I’d love to hear how people deal with all this. Post something below or click here and tell us a story about how you succeeded — or failed — in your recession etiquette. We’ll post the best ones we get. Be nice!

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