Good manners (etiquette) are the rules for the proper behavior of people in society, reflecting the cultural and ethical norms of the various groups to which we belong.
People who do not follow these unwritten rules most often make an unpleasant impression, reducing their chances of success in society.
Even the smallest of seemingly minor flaws can harm our lives, our relationships or our careers.
Culture, education and etiquette will always be in trend, so consider the basic rules of good manners.
Table of Contents
It is believed that you should not come to parties too early, and even a slight delay will not be something reprehensible, but a completely natural phenomenon.
However, in most other situations, punctuality is an important indicator of your reputation.
Being late for work, a meeting, or being unable to fulfill your obligations on time will characterize you not from the best side.
Appreciate the time, both yours and other people’s.
2. Do not delay with the refusal of the invitation
This can happen when you have been invited to an event, such as a wedding, but you are not sure if you can end up attending the event.
However, you do not say that you will not be able to come, but delay, and only at the last moment, a week or a couple of days before, give a negative answer.
This does not look good, so try to make the considered decisions as soon as possible, otherwise it will appear that you do not appreciate your acquaintances who are the initiators of the invitation.
3. Don’t point your finger at people
When you were a child, your parents probably told you that pointing at people was bad manners, and they were right.
Pointing at another person with a finger is perceived by him as a gesture associated with his negative assessment and disrespectful attitude.
4. Eye contact
Eye contact during a conversation reflects your confidence, attentiveness and interest in communication and interlocutor.
In some cultures, too much eye contact can be perceived as a subtle threat, and to a person of higher status as a sign of disrespect, but most often maintaining eye contact is a sign of a confidential conversation.
You may be seen as unreliable or insecure for your failure to establish sufficient eye contact.
5. Stand up when you shake hands
If you are sitting, and it doesn’t matter in a business setting or at a dinner table, and familiar people come up to you at this time, it’s better to get up while shaking their hands, which will allow you to express more respect for your interlocutors.
6. Express gratitude
From an early age, we learn how important it is to say thank you, because it is a really important practice in a wide variety of situations.
Whether it’s a birthday gift, a client’s message, or a good night’s wish, be sure to express gratitude.
Said feedback helps strengthen relationships and endows the person saying thank you with the same amount of positive emotions as the person receiving the thank you.
As a separate way to say thank you, we should highlight the gratitude in writing, which is an inexpensive, highly effective tool that promotes the development of interpersonal communication.
It should be noted that excessive use of “Thank you” will reduce your value and importance in the eyes of others. You will start to seem needy, so keep a balance.
The words and expressions “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry” can bring obvious benefits by defusing a potential conflict situation and anticipating a possible conflict of interest.
8. Make way for other people
Although the features of this example of behavior have changed over time (once men gave way to women regardless of their age and other conventions), this is still a good form rule on the part of young people and any people who are ready to give way, for example, on the bus, in a queue, etc., in relation to those who are older or more in need.
Compassion never goes out of style.
9. Do not call the phone too late at night or too early in the morning
Due to unwritten rules of etiquette, it is not recommended to make phone calls before 09:00 am and after 21:00 pm.
If you have such shameless friends, it is recommended to turn on the silent mode in the specified time period.
Also, don’t forget that it’s best not to call more than twice in a row if your call is not answered.
10. Go to another room when answering a phone call in the company of people
The stated need is related to respect for confidentiality.
Going to another room is not an exceptional requirement, especially when it is not possible to satisfy it in the current situation, but it is always possible to move a sufficient distance from the company of people.
Allowing others to listen in on your telephone conversation is actually a disrespect not only to your surroundings, but also to yourself.
11. Watch out for obscene language
And although sometimes a swear word can add some zest to your conversation or text message, using it in a company consisting of hereditarily educated people, and even more so in a formal setting, is unlikely to help you prove yourself as an interesting conversationalist.
You are more likely to appear rude than an eloquent speaker.
12. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
Especially during a pandemic, this is not just a rule of good taste, but also an important factor in the overall safety.
Don’t forget to apologize.
13. Do not spit in a public place
Behavior that includes this habit is perceived as a manifestation of rudeness and disrespect.
14. Do not yawn in public
Yawning in public, even if you are tired, is inappropriate because it is a sign of disinterest in the event you are participating in or an indicator of detachment from the conversation, and it is difficult for your interlocutor to avoid feeling like he is a boring conversation partner.
However, if he’s really a boring conversationalist, maybe it’s better not to waste time.
By the way, if you could not avoid the temptation and yawned, do not forget to cover your mouth.
15. Waiting for the host of the event before the start of the meal
One of the important rules of etiquette is not to start eating at the table until the host or hostess of the house, the organizer of the banquet, etc.
If there is no host as such, it is not recommended to start eating until the food is served to the rest of those present from among your company.
16. Do not touch on inappropriate topics for communication
Discussing topics that are not the most pleasant can be a perfectly acceptable choice in some situations, but as a rule they are best avoided when it comes to a diverse group of people, communication in a more formal setting, as well as in a situation where the context of this does not have.
This does not mean that you need to be overly scrupulous about every topic you propose to discuss.
But when it comes to, for example, relaxed conversation over dinner, people who stick to the choice of laid-back, fun and optimistic communication directions will definitely increase the chances of being invited back to visit.
And this is no accident, because it is especially advisable to refrain from any conversations on complex and frankly unpleasant topics while eating delicious food.
17. Avoid private conversations in the company of other people
It is not recommended to involve another person in a private conversation or become a participant in it on the initiative of someone else in the presence of other people, and it is also not recommended to make cryptic hints that no one else understands.
Private conversation makes other people feel disconnected from communication, so try to reschedule it for a time when you are alone.
18. Eat with your mouth closed
A conversation at the dinner table with a full mouth obviously will not increase the appetite of your interlocutors.
But more importantly, when you try to talk with food in your mouth, you risk being swallowed.
At best, this is inconvenient, and at worst, dangerous to health.
Also don’t forget that the napkin should be on your lap, and the table is not a place for your elbows.
19. Handshake features
# 1. Too long or too short
The handshake should not be too long or too short, two or three seconds is enough.
Look at the person in the eyes, smile and release his hand.
# 2. Too strong or weak
The purpose of the handshake is not to demonstrate physical strength. A handshake should leave a pleasant impression.
However, a sluggish handshake is also a bad idea, so it better be optimal.
20. Clothes matter
Your clothing has a significant impact on the impression you make.
In addition to the ability to dress well, it is important to have an understanding of what clothes to coincide with a particular event, i.e. follow the unspoken dress code.
A fine business suit is just as out of place for a tourslet as sweatpants are for a gala event. If there is ambiguity in the choice of clothes, it is better to stop at a more classic version.
Wear comfortable clothing and clothing that fits you best.
It will be important to pay attention to your shoes, which must be clean.
21. Compliance with etiquette in social networks
In today’s world, one thoughtless post on social media can cause a lot of trouble.
Therefore, you should be as correct as possible in order to avoid misunderstanding on the part of management, colleagues, close people from your environment or admirers of your work.
22. Do not criticize, do not gossip, do not eavesdrop or complain
Gossiping, eavesdropping, judging other people and complaining are terrible habits.
If you find something funny in the behavior of another person, do not add negative context to your statements, trying to express your thoughts in a fairly polite way.
Save your time and energy by ignoring any gossip you witness.
Believe only proven facts and be honest with yourself, which will allow you to gain respect in any team.
As for people who are used to complaining about life, they are always disliked, so down with such behavior.
23. Don’t cross your legs
It is not uncommon to find people sitting in a relaxed position with their legs crossed.
But when it comes to, for example, a business environment, then such a position of the body is considered inappropriate. And for men, in principle, it is better to always try to avoid crossing your legs.
24. Do not rush to sit down
Remain standing until the host of the event, the oldest person, or a person of higher status, if the situation arises in a business setting, sits down.
25. Turn off your phone during the meeting
The phone is probably the most distracting thing.
During an important meeting, try not to be distracted by phone calls by first turning on the silent mode. Direct all your attention to the interlocutor.
If you are expecting an important call regarding work or family matters, let us know before you start the conversation and only check your phone if absolutely necessary.
Also, please turn off the sound of your phone at the cinema and other similar events.
26. Make sincere compliments
The basic rule of good manners is to strive to give more than receive.
When you meet people you know, it would be appropriate to give a sincere compliment, thereby showing interest and your attentive attitude.
Hello alone is sometimes not enough, so be generous in expressing praise or empathy.
27. Don’t brag and don’t be arrogant
When in the company of well-mannered people, show restraint and good manners. Your voice, your demeanor, and even your clothing should express moderate elegance.
Do not brag about your achievements, because a well-mannered person does not need self-promotion. Let your deeds speak for themselves.
28. Learn to listen to people
Listening to people is a great way to show good manners.
Be genuinely interested in other people, get their names, encourage them to talk about themselves while making eye contact, listening carefully and not interrupting.
29. Respect other people
A caustic joke, a rude or dismissive attitude are very bad habits and examples of behavior that do nothing but convey to others that it is better not to have business with such a person.
In the process of communication, you should not ask awkward questions that relate, for example, to the financial side or the personal life of the interlocutor.
30. Door opening
Open the doors to women, the elderly, those who have busy hands, as well as all those who objectively need it.
31. Help the woman put on outerwear
Just do it carefully because women don’t like it when their clothes are wrinkled.
Smiling works wonders even when you are in front of a store clerk, colleague or neighbor.
However, avoid a forced and unnatural smile. In this case, its absence would be the best choice.
33. Wash your hands
Do not forget to perform this procedure after coming from the street or using the restroom.
34. Keep clean
Pay attention to order and cleanliness in your home, workplace, in your car.
35. Know how to pause
Pause before answering, for example, a text message or e-mail, if the question contained in it is not simple or straightforward.
More time spent thinking about your reaction and intended actions will allow you to avoid many unpleasant consequences.
36. Put the chair back
Put the chair in its original place, don’t force someone else to do it for you.
37. Coordinate your company with the owner of the house
If you are among those invited to visit, be sure to agree on the possibility of taking someone else with you, and it does not matter if it is your spouse, children or pet.
38. If you are sick, stay at home
Don’t share your cold because no one needs it.
39. Knock before entering
Nobody likes to be spontaneously rushed in.
40. Condolences to the grieving people
If grief has happened in the life of another person, do not pretend that nothing happened. Just say “Condolences to you.”
41. First, people exit the elevator and only then enter
This also applies to buses, trains, etc.
42. Do not put yourself in order in front of other people
Combing your hair in public, cutting your nails, etc. – not the best idea.
43. Do not touch sensitive topics at parties
Politics, religion, too personal matters are topics best avoided if you are surrounded by an idle relaxing environment.
You are going to have fun, not to take part in the debate.
44. Joining the company, say hello here with everyone
No one likes being ignored.
45. Call back
Don’t forget to call back if you have an unanswered call from people in your contacts on your phone.
46. Privacy of information about your acquaintances
For example, you should not share your friends’ phone number unless you have agreed with them.
47. Uninvited guests
Do not come to visit without prior arrangement with the owner of the house, which can be obtained by phone call.
48. Unnecessary advice
Don’t give people advice they don’t really need.
If you think you can help a person with your valuable opinion, ask him the question: “Do you need my advice?”. Please respect any response you receive.
Furthermore, do not recommend that other people read a book, listen to music, or watch a movie unless they ask for it.
49. If you forgot the name of the interlocutor
If you forget someone’s name, confess it.
Just say, “I’m sorry, but somehow your name got out of my head. Remind me, please, what is your name? ”
50. Point with the whole palm
As mentioned earlier, pointing at people with your finger is not good manners.
The same applies to pointing at inanimate objects, but in this case pointing with an open palm will be quite appropriate.
51. Stay sober
Do not drink too much alcohol at qualifying events, and if you overdo it, try to sober up.
52. Polite exit from the conversation
Prepare a polite exit from every meeting or conversation that should be stopped.
53. Personal discussion of serious things
Try not to discuss serious topics or personal issues via text messages.
In this case, the best choice would be a personal meeting or a telephone conversation.
54. Attention, headphones
When you use headphones, make sure they are well connected to avoid the situation where the audio output is both headphone output and your device’s speakers.
Do not create inconvenience for others and do not immerse yourself in an awkward situation.
55. Too loud laugh
Try not to laugh too loudly if you are in a public cultural place.
56. Etiquette in the company of women
Follow the rules of good manners when dealing with girls. Read more here.
If you find yourself at the table, and there are a lot of cutlery in front of you, which are not limited to just a fork and knife, just remember that the cutlery is arranged in the order of serving dishes – from the outer edge to the plate.
58. Hold the glass by the stem
If you have a glass of wine in your hand, not cognac, hold it by the leg, because, firstly, it is customary, and secondly, you will protect the drink from heating up with your hands.
59. Take off your hat
Do not forget to take off your hat if you are indoors, for example, visiting someone.
60. See guests off
Always escort your guests to the front door.
61. Be directed towards people
When you walk past people sitting in the cinema, your body should be directed towards them, not the back side.
62. Be healthy
Wish health to the person who sneezed in your presence.
63. Minimize jargon
If you are communicating with a person who is somewhat far from the topics discussed with you, try not to use specific slang that is likely not to be understood by your interlocutor.
64. Do not fuss at business meetings
Avoid the habit of tapping your foot, drumming your fingers, or clicking a pen.
65. Excessive kissing
Never kiss someone else’s child.
66. Do not invade someone else’s personal space
Keep sufficient distance when interacting with people. Do not leave your belongings in the working and other space of another person.
67. Mind your own business
Do not get involved in matters that do not concern you.
68. Keep your word
In relationships with other people, it is very important to keep promises.
If reliability is a quality you’re not up to, then don’t expect people to fully trust and respect you.
69. Remember your loved ones
If you are on a long trip, call your loved ones or send a message that you are fine.
If you haven’t seen your parents for a long time, be sure to visit them soon.
70. Do not stoop to the level of ill-mannered people
In society, there are many characters who cannot boast of their upbringing, but this is not a reason to copy their behavior.
If you don’t like how a certain person behaves, just leave his company.