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Today's column

Posted by Robin Abrahams  February 23, 2014 08:54 AM

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... is online here. The first LW had an excellent question--what do you do when a friend wants sympathy about being criticised by someone else ("Imogene") ... whom you actually sort of agree with?

We respond, "How ridiculous and immature of Imogene to trash you on Facebook like that!" The Imogene Protocol, as we shall call it, is to roundly condemn Imogene's method of communication and skate around the substance of Imogene's accusations. This sounds weaselly, but it really isn't. Victims of Imogene usually aren't upset about the actual criticism, but because Imogene involved other people in a personal dispute or criticized something that was none of her business in the first place. So, that's what you go after. "I know! Like it's any of her business how other people spend their money!" or "Classy move to air dirty laundry in public! I just don't know about Imogene."
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Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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