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  • Lauren LaPointe

Top Etiquette Tips

Do you often feel like manners and etiquette have disappeared altogether? While the conventional rules of etiquette may have shifted, the need for them has not.

Too often, when bad manners or bad behavior is ignored or allowed, it becomes the norm. In particular, there has been a sharp increase in bad behavior online. People can be horrible anonymously without repercussions.




Top Etiquette Tips



Cellphones:

This is one of the biggest offenders and people just don’t seem to care. We have an entire generation of people who grew up with a phone screen in their face.

Don’t put your phone on the table during a meal. Not at home, not at a friend’s house and not in a restaurant. Shut it off. It’s half an hour or an hour out of your life, just do without the latest beeps and likes and celebrity gossip.

In fact, don’t have it out in a public place. How many times have we all been stuck on public transit or standing in line and been forced to listen to some have an argument or discuss their personal business.

Don’t pull it out in conversation. When you pull out your phone the rest of the people simply disappeared. There isn’t a text or call you can’t wait five minutes for. If you need to, excuse yourself and take the call out of earshot of your friends or guests.

Lower your voice when on the phone. There is no need for everyone to be forced to listen to your conversation.

Active Listening

This is a skill sorely lacking in social situations and in the business world. Too often, people simply wait for your mouth to stop moving before they chime in with their story.

Learn to listen to what the person is saying. Respond in kind, ask questions and let them know you heard them and you care. You want people to listen to you, so start listening to them.

Please and Thank You

This never goes out of style. From your waiter bringing you your lunch to the cab driver and someone holding a door for you. It’s a simple word or two that not only acknowledging the person but their efforts.

These phrases are the basics of etiquette. They should be used often. Your friends and family might forgive you but they shouldn’t. People are very used to texting and using abbreviations for things and too often, they don’t feel they need to add please and thank you.

I’m Sorry

Another big one. Apologizing isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength. Apologizing to someone, whether it’s a big deal or a small incident acknowledges them and shows them you understand how they felt because of your actions.

An apology doesn’t contain the words, ‘but’, ‘you’ or anything else that lets you slide off the hook. It shows empathy for another person and it is just as important with your friends as your work colleagues.

Attire

Dressing for the occasion is another area people seem to be missing the boat. Torn blue jeans and a fedora might work at the club but it’s not meant for business attire or most social events.

Dress appropriately for all occasions. If your workplace allows torn jeans, then that’s the culture but they don’t fit in everywhere. You don’t have to spend a lot of money for nice clothes, either. You can find some very respectable items at discount stores and secondhand.

Rudeness

The freedom and anonymity of calling people names online is a massive part of the bullying culture. It is spilling over to the real world and there is no call for it.

Be kind and friendly to everyone. It doesn’t hurt you or take anything away from you. It’s been said before, but you have no idea what other people are going through.

Just because someone is rude to you doesn’t mean it requires a rebuttal. Be the bigger person and move on. It’s rarely anything to do with you anyhow, so just let it go as their problem, not yours.

If it’s someone you know, ask them if they are alright and want to talk. They may just be lashing out because they are hurt or angry. Get them to talk to you and help them work through it.

Accept People are Different

Not everyone is for you and you are not for everyone. Understanding that people think, act and behave a certain way opens the door to communication and acceptance.

You should always be willing to put your best foot forward and let people see you in your best light. Kindness, politeness and nice manners are just the beginning but the best place to start.

Don’t fall into the hole of bad behavior just because it’s all around you. Stand up for the little guy, be nice to animals and listen to your mother.

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