Ask Natalie

Ballgame Manners

DEAR NATALIE: I attend many Pirates games at PNC Park. I often find myself sitting in front of individuals who demonstrate no interest in the game, rather they have come to discuss and broadcast to those within many rows the details of their personal lives and their employment. I was once sitting in front of a thoughtless young woman who let us know that she uses an IUD! 

Can people be completely oblivious to how their voices carry? I would love to say to these folks, "Would you not be better off at a bar or a restaurant rather than attending a baseball game that is of no consequence to you? Why did you pay a significant amount of money to sit here and bother the rest of us when you obviously have no interest in the game?" 

Why do you think people act like this? -- SICK AND TIRED OF BAD MANNERS

DEAR SICK AND TIRED OF BAD MANNERS: It's funny, because back in the day, all your private thoughts went into a diary, and if anyone read them, you would be really upset. Nowadays, if you don't post every intimate detail of your life on your Facebook page for everyone to read (and if people don't "like" it) you get really upset. Perhaps blame it on social media, but people seem to have no problem airing their dirty laundry (or any laundry) in public. Many people are in their own little world, and if you happen to hear things, oh well. 

I know it is annoying to you, but try not to let it get under your skin. Maybe she didn't want to be at the game but was invited by colleagues or her partner and felt obligated to go. Instead, use it as an opportunity to Zen out. Train your brain to tune out annoying or uninteresting conversations. You are there for the game, so be there for the game. Don't get caught up in these petty conversations about things that don't interest you. Focus on why you came and enjoy the moment. 

We can't change how other people act. We can only change our reaction to them. Ohhhmmmmmm. 

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: With so many people competing for so few jobs, it is important to have cover letters and resumes handy in case you meet someone while networking. Have a copy saved to your phone, and if you are looking for work, you can forward it immediately to the person who may be of help to you. It shows you are focused and ready to roll. 

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

More like Ask Natalie