If I could write just the right guide, I think I could make a ton of money. Since it would belong to that delightful genre known as "self-help," I could probably market it as something like The Guide for the Socially Inept: Your One-Stop Anti-Foot-in-Mouth Disorder Resource.
It would cover every nuance of social interaction, from what odd gestures mean to how to read tone. It would cover what to say and more importantly what not to say and more important still how to recognize the red flags when one has run afoul of both and even better yet how to recover one's poise once one has recognized said red flags.
It would cover every conceivable interpersonal dynamic (colleague; former colleague--not very friendly; former colleague, great history; colleague whose name you can never remember; student; former student; former student who flunked your class; subordinate at work; person you harbor a secret crush on; person who may or may not have a crush on you; mother of high school classmate, who's trying to play matchmaker; friend's dysfunctional parent; ex-lover, parted on nasty terms; ex-lover, parted on less hostile terms; the casual acquaintance whom you know is a transvestite on weekends; the post office worker; one's dentist; for the ladies, one's gynecologist... ) and circumstance (office party, wedding, club, doctor's office, grocery check-out line, restaurant...). It'll have a great cross-reference index with straightforward keywords for navigational ease.
It'll be so comprehensive, I'm not quite sure how it'll fit in one volume. I've got bigger fish to fry, though--I need to find a ghost writer first. Lord knows I lack the skills to write authoritatively on the subject.
More takes on this prompt can be found at Sunday Scribblings.
Now playing: Chuck Ragan - Don't Cry