“Etiquette” in its traditional understanding is often associated with irrelevant things, such as fifteen pieces of silverware on the table and insensitive conversations with folk you dislike. In reality, it’s just the art of respectfully navigating different social situations.
We are familiar with some well-known rules, like giving the seat in the public transport to elders or not calling people after 10 pm, but there’s more to etiquette than this. Some of the old etiquette rules are still applicable today.
Let’s check out a couple of effortless ways to behave without looking pretentious or phony. Keep reading!
1. Dress appropriately for the situation you are in
There are a time and place for every outfit. Some days you want to dress up in something extra, while other days you want to put your comfy sweatpants on. It’s essential to have a space for self-expression, but there’s a thin line between feeling comfortable and messing up with the societal norms. Of course, you can wear crop tops and mini shorts, there’s nothing wrong with them, but make sure you don’t wear them to the opera. Not only will you attract a lot of unnecessary and not very pleasant attention, but you probably won’t feel good about your outfit anyway. All in all, if the invitation says “black tie,” then “black tie” it is.
2. Never arrive empty-handed
This is a lovely old-fashioned etiquette rule we’d recommend to bring back. Always bringing a little something for a host is one of those gestures that make you a desirable guest at your friends’ house. The present should not be expensive. After all, it’s all about the attention, not the gift itself. Some of the classic variants are a bottle of wine or a cake. Also, if there are children in the household, it will be very thoughtful of you to grab something for the kids, like sweets or small toys.
3. Always be punctual
Being punctual is extremely important. In the modern world, when everybody has their day planned to the minute, punctuality becomes a necessity. For this very reason, it’s very undesirable to be late. When somebody is late, it’s not solely about them; it’s also about other people. If you don’t want to come across as disrespectful, make sure you plan your time. That said, arriving too early might not be a good option either. The person may be up to something before the appointment, and you don’t want to interrupt them as well.
4. Send letters
Here’s one of the old etiquette rules. You might say that nobody sends letters these days, which is partially true. If you’re not running a direct marketing campaign, you won’t use the traditional mail. However, it’s still very nice to receive a postcard from Paris. This rule is not necessary to follow, just something to consider for the times when you feel creative. You might also like to send a letter to your e-friend from DoULike to slowly take your digital communication to the real world.
5. Write “thank you” notes
Sending a card or a simple email to the person from whom you’ve just received a present is an excellent sign of appreciation. It shows that you are grateful, and it demonstrates that you care about the other person. Don’t forget to do it and you’ll create stronger bonds with your friends and acquaintances. Small gestures like this are received very well by other people, and that’s the reason why it belongs to this list of the rules of etiquette.
6. Always stand when being introduced
This one might seem a bit awkward to pull off, but it’s a very welcoming and pleasant gesture for the person who’s being introduced. Although, it’s a more modernized version of the old etiquette rules. Earlier before, only men would stand up when meeting others, whereas women were allowed to remain seated. These days, however, there is no gender distinction. Standing up and shaking hands with the new person is appropriate and even desirable regardless of your gender identity.
7. Look people in the eye when speaking
It’s hard to think about something more annoying than talking to the person who’s on their phone and doesn’t engage in the conversation. Maintaining eye contact used to be a non-negotiable etiquette rule, which, unfortunately, is neglected now. The easiest way to show your respect to the other person is putting your phone away and giving your full attention to the conversation. You’ll find it more satisfying to communicate with people if you stop checking your phone. After all, an Instagram feed can wait.
We’ve compiled this list to show you that good manners are not necessarily dull. It’s all about being kind and respectful, and it doesn’t require any specialized knowledge. Hopefully, you’ll find some of these etiquette rules useful.