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    Etiquette



    What are some etiquette rules or guidelines that you personally like to keep alive, or were raised to follow and gladly do? Any scenario, with or without other people.


    Some I like are,


    'Hats off indoors among ladies and elders.'

    'Open the door for a lady and help seat her at the table.'

    'Stand up to greet arriving guests at the table.'

    'Open the car door for a lady to enter, and open it with offered hand to help her step out.'

    'Please, thank you, and your welcome whenever appropriate.'

    'Offer your coat and your arm when with a lady.'

    'All individuals of all professions and classes may appreciate polite and generous manners.'

    'Give eye contact to show respect and sincerity.'


    And, of course, 'Ladies first.'


    #2


    'Walk up stairs after, & down stairs before ladies' (let's you catch them if they fall).

    'Take the street-side when walking with ladies' (prevent splashing on them).

    'Food should be seen not heard.'


    Close with the classic Mom addition, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

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      #3


      Strangers of any age are always "sir" or "ma'am".


      I absolutely despise when others do not adhere to the hats off indoors rule, it shows such a callous ignorance of etiquette.


      Do not answer the phone at the table. Do not text message at the table or during a conversation with someone. Do not pull out your phone at the table for any reason barring an emergency. If you MUST answer it, excuse yourself and leave the table.


      When leaving a group, say "excuse me" before departing.


      When going to a friend's house for an event for which they must do any preparation (dinner, party, etc.), bring a gift. Even something as small as a six pack of beer or a bottle of wine shows that you respect that they had to do some work in order to make the event happen. Do not expect that your gift will be consumed during the course of the event, and make it clear that you do not expect this.


      When contributing to a dinner bill with mixed company, always contribute more than your share to cover tip. Do not ask the waiter to split a bill with 5+ people.


      TIP. Tip bellmen, waiters, shoeshiners, barbers, tailors (if appropriate), cabbies.


      Do not curse in mixed company.


      Do not put your feet up on any kind of furniture, shod or unshod.


      Smile at people.


      Be mindful of your environment first and foremost, most of these are not hard and fast rules, but when in doubt, be classically conservative with your conduct.

      Comment


        #4


        These are all great tips, and I don't have many more to contribute. I would add that it's polite (and advisable) to offer to walk a woman home or to her car if she's leaving a group alone at night. Also: send thank you notes when people give you gifts. They do often appreciate them.


        They key to all of these, though, is to pull them off as if they are effortless. There's little as off-putting as someone who seems like an uptight stickler for the "rules." Don't make it a big deal that you're doing these things and others around you are not. Don't point out that you are doing polite things (that is, don't make small talk about opening car doors when you're opening the car door, or about giving host gifts when you've just brought one). Don't point out when others fail to do them. These are only polite if they are subtle, passing directly to the subconscious of those observing them. And my last tip: you can only pull them off as effortless if you put a lot of effort into trying to do just that.

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          #5


          Agree with nearly all of these. Rare etiquette rule that gets broken all the time:


          "For revolving doors, if they are moving (from a prior person's use), ladies should go first; however, if at a stand still, you should go first so that she need not exert herself."


          This rule is broken by both genders, but it is the only way that makes sense. That being said, similar to BB's comment, best to just let the lady go first if she reaches the stand-still door and heads in, rather than causing a pedi traffic jam and/or an awkward situation by trying to slide in ahead.


          Another somewhat NYC/urban centric one: Don't talk to strangers on the subway/train/bus or in elevators, particularly women. 99% of the time, they don't want to chat. If they want you to talk to them, they'll make it abundantly clear (by either starting conversation, or giving you such strong hints they're hardly hints).

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            #6


            Napkin goes on the chair when you leave the table, not on the table itself.


            I have more but am blanking here. Solid list so far.

            "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano

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              #7


              Ooh, if we get into true dining etiquette I could really drone on and on. Proper silverware placement, indications to waiter that you're finished, "at rest" positions, etc.

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                #8


                Word. Silverware placement always gets me. And for god's sake people, push in your chair! I'm sure most folks here do as this is a pretty conscientious bunch, but that drives me nuts.

                "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano

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                  #9


                  Some of these are kind of old fashioned; I'm sure many women feel that they are perfectly capable of getting in and out of a car, and may even find it patronising to be offered help. The purpose of etiquette is not to follow a traditional set of arbitrary rules, to show how well you know the rules. It is to show respect and courtesy to other people. As Kenneth says above, bringing a bottle of wine to a dinner party doesn't compensate the host for the time and effort they've put into the event. It merely shows them that you appreciate it.


                  The rule that most contemporary people need to learn, however, is to leave their phones in their pockets during conversation. If you're having dinner/coffee/drinks/whatever with somebody else, they should have your undivided attention. If you need to check your messages, do so when they go to the bathroom.

                  Comment


                    #10


                    Some women may find opening doors patronizing, that's true. But many will (and from my experience have) appreciate it, as well. My wife, for example, likes it very much. Part of the game is to try and discern what would be most pleasant for your company. Sometimes you get it wrong, but when you get it right, it's worth the effort. It's a bit like dressing the part: you do it to make the world a bit more pleasant for everyone (at least that's why I got interested in clothes, and in things like nice food, liquor, and interior design).

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                      #11


                      When in business situations or for introductions to someone senior (say your gf's parents), remove your sunglasses when directly talking to them.

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