Courtesy isn’t hard to display — it amounts to respect for both yourself and others. But there are several nuances which only a small number of people seem to know.
Etiquette rules are quite simple if you just give them a try and sort them out. Anyone can learn these rules.
Here’s to reminding you of simple etiquette rules you must’ve forgotten about. The modern etiquette rules that are necessary for you to know to be respected in society, and more importantly make your life more comfortable.
Never visit without calling first.
If you’ve ever gotten a surprise visit, you might have been caught off-guard wearing something you’d rather not have that visitor see you in. A British lady liked to say that when she saw an unexpected guest, she would put her shoes on, take a hat, and grab an umbrella. If the person was pleasant, she exclaimed: “I just came home!” If not, she said: ’Ah, what a pity I have to go!’
Don’t be the unexpected visitor nobody likes!
When you have guests.
If guests come to your home for the first time, show them where the bathroom is so they can freshen up, and only then should you invite them to join the others. If your guests brought food or drinks as a gift, put them on the table where everyone can try them.
When you are a guest.
If you need to leave a party early, just ask the hosts for a moment, and tell them that you have to go. Don’t say goodbye to the other guests as they might take it as a cue to leave.
In a restaurant..
- If it’s very hot, don’t cool yourself down by waving a napkin. Just tell a waiter that you are not getting enough fresh air, and ask him to turn the air conditioner on.
- Don’t lay out the contents of your purse in a public place.
- If you need to brush your hair, do it in the ladies’ room.You can put on lipstick at the table. However, you should only apply mascara and powder in the bathroom.
- Don’t forget about etiquette rules when at home. For instance, it’s very rude to shout from another room. Besides, you might get used to such behavior, and it will make a bad impression on other people.
- When a child moves to his/her own room, make it a routine to knock before entering, then your child will do the same before entering your bedroom.
- It’s rude to refill only your glass. First, ask if the person sitting next to you would like a refill.
- Don’t take a long time to choose the best piece of food on a plate. Take the nearest piece.
- Don’t put a soup spoon on the table during dinner or after it. Leave the spoon in the bowl so as not to make the tablecloth dirty.
- When holding a teacup, place your fingers to the front and the back of the handle. However, you can loop your fingers around the handle when drinking coffee.
- Never put a handbag on your lap or your chair. A small and elegant clutch can be placed on a table. A handbag can be hung on a chair back or put on the floor if there isn’t one (these are offered in some restaurants). A briefcase should be put on the floor.
- In terms of ordering in a restaurant, saying ’’I invite you’’ means you pay. If a woman invites a business partner to a restaurant, she pays. If someone says, ’Let’s go to a restaurant,’ that means everyone pays for himself/herself; if a man offers to pay for a woman, she can agree. Let’s us all stop bickering about who ought to pay between a man and a woman, and remember this.
- When a lady gets into a car, she shouldn’t “step“ into it. She should sit on the edge of the seat and ”pull” her legs into the car. When getting out of the car, she should put her feet on the road and then stand up.
- In the 21st century, it’s no longer necessary for a man to pick a lady up. If you have your own car, you can meet at the party.
- If you are leaving in your own car, your boyfriend can walk you to the car and make sure you locked the doors safely. Of course, you can offer to give him a lift if he lives nearby.
- Men and women can sit together in the back only if they know each other well enough.
- The most prestigious seat in a car is behind the driver, and it is for a woman. A man sits next to her, and when he gets out of the car, he holds the door and holds out a hand to the woman. If a man drives, it’s desirable for a woman to take the seat behind. However, wherever a woman sits, a man should open a door for her and help her to get out of a car. In business etiquette, men increasingly break this rule hiding behind a the slogan: ’There are no women or men in business.’
- Remember: when at work, it’s not okay to lay out your makeup or put your purse or hat on your desk. Find a different place for that.
- If you are sitting on a low chair, don’t cross your legs. Hold your knees together, and lean them to the side. You can cross your legs only if you put one foot right behind the other.
- Never dry an umbrella when it’s opened — neither in the office nor at someone else’s place. You should fold it up and put it either on an umbrella stand or a hook.
- Plastic bags should only be used for going to and from the supermarket, as well as brand bags from boutiques. Using them as handbags is a bit tacky.
- Home clothes are pants and a sweater. Comfortable, but tidy. A robe and sleepwear are meant for going to the bathroom in the morning and from the bathroom to the bedroom in the evening.
- A woman can wear a hat and gloves indoors, but not a cap and mittens. No!
- The total number of accessories you wear shouldn’t exceed 13, including fashion buttons. A bracelet can be worn over gloves, but not a ring. The closer to the evening, the more expensive your jewelry should be. Back in the old days, diamonds were considered an evening adornment for married women only, but nowadays it’s possible to wear them during the day.
- The person who exits first from an elevator is the one who is closest to the door. You shouldn’t even have to be told.
- In the cinema, theater, or concert hall, you should go to your seat facing the people already sitting.
- Discussing those who are absent, when it is simply gossip, is unacceptable. You shouldn’t run down your relatives, especially your spouse. If your spouse is so bad, why not get divorced? It’s also forbidden to express contempt for your native country. ’This country is filled with misers…’ – well then, you’re one of them.
- Taboos for small talk: politics, religion, health, money. Avoid those topics at all cost.
- It’s better to make a secret of nine things: Age, wealth, family quarrels, religion, your medical problems, love affairs, gifts, honor and disgrace.
- Here’s an inappropriate question: ’What a dress! How much did it cost?’ How to respond? Smile and say: ’It’s a gift!’ Change the topic of conversation. If the person insists, say gently: ’I wouldn’t like to talk about it.’
And for the finale, Jack Nicholson on common decency:
“I think much of decency. How to pass a plate. Not to shout from one room to another. Not to break a closed door open without knocking. Let a lady pass. The aim of these endless simple rules is to make a life better. We cannot conduct a permanent war with parents — it’s dull. I pay close attention to my manners. It’s not an abstraction, it’s a simple and comprehensible language of mutual respect.”
As simple as that!