Let’s be honest: etiquette matters. Life is full of little moments and how we interact with others can have long-lasting effects on our mood, personality, and even our success in life. Social etiquettes are a longstanding tradition among various cultures to help us all get through life a little easier.
Having good etiquette can be a sign of respect and strong upbringing – but how many ‘rules’ do you know? Here, we’ll be outlining some of the most important social rules to follow. You’ll be amazed by how much you get out of the world if you put a little in.
Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’
Good manners cost nothing. It’s amazing how much better life becomes once you start to show a little courtesy to those around you. A simple show of gratitude will make people around you feel better and more likely to help you again in the future.
Alternatively, those who don’t show basic manners are likely to have people think they’re ruder than they actually are. Saying your pleases and thank yous are some of the first things you learn when you’re a child – don’t let go of them.
Put A Smile On That Face…
Whether you’re at the bank, or the supermarket, or even if you’ve just bumped into your ex! Smiles are contagious and more likely to feed good energy into the world. What’s more, YOU’LL start feeling better when you smile at others.
When you smile at someone and show good grace, others are more likely to trust and help you if you ever need anything. They’re one of the most natural and calming expressions, so try to give more of them out once in a while.
Hold The Door
When it comes to etiquette, this is a delicate line to walk since so many people want to prove that they are strong and independent without the help of anyone else. Still, it’s always better to do it than not. If you notice someone just behind you, make sure to hold the door for them.
It’s a nice gesture that will make the person feel good. After all, no one likes a door slammed in their face! Remember, if someone holds the door for you, don’t forget to thank them for their kind gesture.
Step Outside When Making Phone Calls
It’s probably better to never take the phone call if you’re out somewhere. However, sometimes emergencies come up and you need to take a call. It’s good etiquette to politely excuse yourself so you don’t bother the people around you.
There are two benefits to this. The first is that you won’t be irritating your friends or colleagues. The second benefit is how it actually gives you privacy to talk about what you need to with discretion. So, always remember to leave the room and complete the call as quickly as possible.
Give The Benefit Of The Doubt
Sure, it’s annoying when someone is rude to you. Whether they’ve cut you up in their car or just encountered a retailer who’s in a bad mood, you never know what’s going through someone’s mind. This is why it’s important to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe they just had a nasty breakup, or they have a family emergency. The point is: don’t rise to other people’s bad behavior. Give them a pass and move on – you don’t need to take that negative energy with you.
Look At The Person Speaking To You
Establishing appropriate eye contact is essential for building important relationships. Not only does it help you connect with the other person better, but it can be interpreted as rude if you don’t.
The person talking to you will want to simply walk away if you’re there looking down on your smartphone. Once you have it happen to you once, you’ll understand what we mean. Seriously, give the person the time and attention they deserve – it’s only good etiquette.
Let Someone Go In Front Of You In The Line
If you’re not in a rush, this can be a great way to make someone’s day. Seriously, what’s the harm in adding a few moments to your time in the line? If you’re not in an emergency, you can give your space to someone who may need it more.
Something like this is also a great way of doing a good deed and putting good energy into the world. Hopefully, the recipient of your kind gesture will one day return it to another stranger. And so it goes!
Cough Or Sneeze In Your Elbow
This will ring particularly true in flu season! When we get sick, the easiest way we spread germs is through our hands. So, if you’re on the subway or the office, make sure you cough or sneeze into your elbow and not your hands.
This traps the germs into a space that won’t easily be spread to other people. If you absolutely must sneeze into your hand, make sure to wash your hands as quick as possible.
Learn People’s Names
The difference between calling someone by their first name compared to a nickname can cause immeasurable benefits to your relationships. Taking the time to learn a name, and continue to call them by their preferred title, can help you establish trust and intimacy in your connections with people.
While it can be hard to remember a lot of names at once if you’re at a party, be sure to follow up with social media or you can always call a friend after. Either way, the other person will be touched you went the extra mile for them.
Handwrite Your Thank You Notes
This might be considered a little old fashioned today, but that only means that the gesture is even more meaningful. Next time you have a birthday or other celebration, make sure to personally hand write thank you notes you need to send.
The recipient will be touched that you spent the extra time to really show you care. In this day and age, this will only become more impressive and meaningful. Why not start at your next birthday?
Put Your Phones Away At The Dinner Table
Seriously. There’s no reason for you to be at the table with your phone or tablet in your hand. It’s rude, dismissive, and shows the person you’re with that you’d rather be anywhere else. What’s more, you’re setting a bad example to any kids at the table.
If you’re a parent, make sure you’re children also put their phones and devices away. It may be an easy way to keep them quiet, but it will set a terrible trend that will be hard to break. Besides, meals are a great way to bond with one another.
Be On Time
When you plan an arrangement, always make sure to arrive on time or early. Generally, it’s better to be 10 minutes early than have someone wait five minutes for you. They’ve made the effort to see you and so should you.
If you always arrive late, people will start to feel like you don’t value or appreciate their time. If you both agree to meet on time, then you should always try to do your part.
Clean Up After Your Pet
This is all about living in a civil society. Come on, we all know our pets can cause a mess but why does that mean anyone else should suffer? When taking your dog for a walk, make sure to leave the environment as clean as when you arrived.
This is an etiquette that should be engraved into young children starting in the classroom with their peers. If everyone abided by this rule across all aspects of their lives, then the world would be a nicer (and tidier!) place.
In a world of Facebook and other social medias, it has somehow become more acceptable to leave hosts in the dark about your attendance. If you are invited to an event, it’s always good etiquette to inform the host of you plan to attend.
This is particularly important for weddings that require your attendance to determine catering, such as weddings. It can be as simple as dropping a text – either way, do it swiftly and remain true to it.
Ask Before Posting That Photo
As we’ve discussed, social media is shaking up our etiquette quicker than any other medium before it. One of the biggest changes is the end of privacy as we know it. We can see this already in the photos and videos that are posted online.
Generally, the new rule of thumb is that you should ask permission before publishing pictures of people’s faces. Each person might have different levels of comfort by appearing online. This rings particularly true for any evening snaps from out on the town!
When we’re young, we always like the idea of swearing to grab the attention of friends or peers. While it might feel nice to rebel at a young age, it becomes somewhat uncouth to swear in public.
You never know how a swear word will be received when you say it in public, so it’s better to avoid using them altogether. It might feel a bit restrictive at first, but before you know it you’ll be speaking far better than before.
Keep Your Head Down At Work
We spend so much time around our colleagues that we might get to know them better than our own friends or family. However, depending on the space you’re sharing, you’ll want to adopt some appropriate office etiquette to make sure you all get on.
Try silencing your phone, speak quietly, and keep your nose out of other people’s business. You all spend a lot of time around one another – don’t get caught up in any unnecessary drama.
Dress For The Occasion
Whatever you’re doing, make sure you dress appropriately. Whether it’s a formal event like a wedding or just drinks with friends, you’ll want to make sure you dress the right way. Not only does this abide by social etiquette rules, it also shows people you personally care.
If you’re unsure what to wear, it’s always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. So, next time you have a work meeting or social event, make sure you get your favorite shirt out.
Maintain A Firm Handshake
This is particularly important for men when meeting other men. Whether you’re trying to make a sale or you’re meeting your partner’s father – you’ll want to make an instant good impression. When meeting someone for the first time, make sure you give them a firm handshake.
The best way to accomplish this is to match, and then gently exceed, the pressure they apply. While shaking, make sure you maintain eye contact and keep your shoulders broad. You’ll immediately give off the impression that you’re open and confident.