Here’s some astute advice for some of life’s etiquette and ethical dilemmas. We got this intelligence from Oprah’s “O” magazine, and it comes from several experts in the field.

  • A friend tells little white lies – like, she met a celebrity on the street, or her husband was a football star. Should you ignore it? No! That’s according to Rudy Rasmus, pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston. He says that a white lie is still a lie, and can hurt your friendship. Rhodes Scholar Faith Salie suggests saying, “I value our friendship, so I’d rather you be completely honest with me. Unless I ask you how old I look!”
  • You decide to “break up” with your hairdresser. Should you just stop going – or call and explain that you’ve decided to move on? Faith Salie says that hair styling is a business. So, you can walk away without an explanation. Still, you don’t want them to worry about you. Rushworth Kidder, founder of the Institute for Global Ethics, says that if it’s too tough to phone them, send a note. Don’t worry about making up an excuse - every stylist knows that people’s tastes change.      
  • So, what if your sister gets an employee discount at her electronics store job – and she sometimes lets you use it. Is that okay? Not exactly. At some stores, it could be considered stealing! Kidder, the ethics expert, says it’s for the store to decide whether you can use the discount – not your sister. So, have her ask. If they say “yes,” great. If not, you’ll have to pay retail – but at least your sister won’t risk losing her job.  
  • A co-worker is cheating on their expense reports. Should you look the other way? No! Pastor Rasmus says that we may live in a “no snitch” world where it seems honorable not to be a whistleblower. However, worker theft has caused numerous companies to collapse, so it’s risky to ignore it. He suggests telling them you know what they’re doing, but if you’d rather not confront them, try this suggestion from University director Michele Wetherald: Discuss it confidentially with human resources, and ask them for advice.