|“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”|
I really wish sometimes that there was a resurgence of paying attention to etiquette; not full fledged victorian etiquette mind you,
but some form of proper manners especially concerning online/ phone communication would be sooo useful to some, myself included.
Another obviously good source for modern etiquette is Emily Post, the authority on all things polite.
And if you would like an old-fashioned, but endlessly fascinating view at etiquette rules, here is the 1922 edition of Emily Post:
In addition to these more expert sources, here a few things that I have learned and try to follow with more or less success:
- Don’t be afraid to use “please” and “thank you”. Politeness does not equal a show of weakness.
- Open the door for others when and where you can, regardless of gender. Always open the door for the elderly, handicapped and carriers of large objects.
- At the table, wait for everyone to be ready to begin eating, before you do.
- Do not urge people to pray, or anything of that sort, before the meal begins. These days, that is certainly bad form: not everyone wants to observe your beliefs. If you have to pray, do so silently. But do offer a relevant toast. Everyone loves toasts.
- Do not blow your nose at the table (I’m soo guilty of this!).
- Offer a firm handshake, nobody likes a dead fish handshake. (This is a major pet peeve of mine)
- Be mindful of how you present yourself in conversation with others (no reason to do so when talking to yourself ;P). don’t turn your back to part of the group and make eye contact.
- Do not whip out your cellphone when in company unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s really rude to be texting or checking your twitter feed when you are supposed to be spending time with friends or a date. If you have to do so, make sure you tell your company “I’m sorry but I have to respond to this”. As simple as that. (Still learning this one)
- If you go to an event with a friend or a date, be attentive to them while there. Check with them before running off, to make sure you’re leaving them alone among strangers.
- If you’re on a date, it goes without saying that you should pay some attention to the date in question, even though you may find yourself not romantically interested. There are ways to express that without ruining their night.
- If someone expresses interest in you through a message respond to said message. It’s rude and inconsiderate to leave them waiting and wondering.
- If their attention is unwelcome, politely decline with the optional offer to be friends.
- To reiterate, lack of response does not a response constitute. Be straightforward and honest.
- If you find yourself on a dancefloor, at a club or anywhere else for that matter, do not just stand there, right in the middle, staring at the other dancers or checking your iphone.
- If you want to approach someone at club or bar, politeness and honesty will get you further than often forced cleverness.
- On the subway, (this gets to me on a near daily basis), a bus or a train, do not: chew gum loudly, play your music loudly with or without headphones, talk loudly, curse or yell.
- In any tight seating space (subway, bus, or train included) if someone is seating next to you and needs to get up and you’re in way, get out of the way! Do not expect them to have to climb over you.
- In a coffee shop, do not sit next to the person quietly reading, with your loud group of friends or screaming child.
- In general, if your children are not well behaved or are too young, do not bring them to any establishments not falling in the “family restaurant” category.
- In a museum or art gallery, it’s safe to assume that you shouldn’t touch or handle anything exhibited unless told otherwise.