7 Stressful Family Holiday Situations, Solved

With the hassle of traveling, gift buying, and navigating in-laws (not to mention the tyranny of that dang Elf on the Shelf), the Polar Express of family harmony is heading off the rails. Want more peace on earth—or in your mom's living room? Take this advice on navigating seven sticky situations.

5 Ways to Handle an Awkward Conversation

“Well, look at that—I need a refill” doesn’t always do the trick. (See No. 1. They might follow you.) If you’re stuck in painful chitchat, try these tactics for turning things around—or (last resort) making an escape.

How Can I Politely Express My Dietary Needs?

Try these tips for dealing with tricky food restrictions.

Proper Etiquette for Every Occasion

Welcome to Real Simple Finishing School—your be-all, end-all, 2014 authority on awkward interactions, stressful situations, and elbows on the table (still rude?). Please be so kind as to take a seat. Class is about to begin.

How Can I Ask Family Members to Stop Disciplining My Child?

Try this tip to stop well-meaning family members from getting involved.

How Can I Get My Friends to Stop Checking Their Phones Constantly?

Try these tips to encourage your friends to have manners as smart as their phones.

How Do I Tell My Friend to Stop Chewing with Her Mouth Open?

If your dinner mate’s table manners are less than stellar, than try these simple tips for a better dining experience.

7 Ways to Handle Embarrassment

Everyone agrees embarrassment can be excruciating. But is the emotion all bad? Discover its surprising upside—and learn how to get over it more easily—with this expert advice for kids and adults.

How Can I Encourage House Guests to Take Off Their Shoes?

Try these tips to (politely) get people to follow your rules.

How Can I Politely Turn Down Medical Advice from a Friend?

Real Simple’s etiquette expert Catherine Newman on what to do when friends try to play doctor.