Etiquette and politeness tips everyone needs to know.
‘Manners maketh the man’ – a wonderful age-old, if slightly sexist phrase, people don’t use very much these days and probably unheard of by some, however rings so true. Manners and etiquette do ‘maketh’ the man and can create a lasting impression, be it a good or bad one.
Manners don’t only equate to being polite, they also incorporate a modicum of respect for others and a consideration of other people’s cultures, traditions, religions and values – a fundamental aspect of successful functioning in today’s global and multi-cultural society.
Good manners and etiquette are learned, generally from one’s parents or guardians, and should be instilled from a young age. While we sometimes see a distinct lack of such deportment in younger generations, being taught good manners and using basic decorum in everyday life tends to have positive outcomes, earning respect, esteem, and likeability.
There are forms of etiquette for various circumstances in life, such as in behavior in public places, etiquette whilst driving. or how to act at a dinner party. However basic manners will go a long way in ensuring you are respected and liked by others.
Some etiquette and politeness tips to keep in mind
- Be respectful: Treat others with respect, kindness, and empathy, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, or background.
- Use polite language: Use “please” and “thank you” when making requests or receiving favors, and avoid using swear words or derogatory language.
- Listen attentively: Show interest in what others have to say and listen actively to their opinions and perspectives.
- Practice good table manners: Use utensils properly, chew with your mouth closed, and wait until everyone gets their meal before starting to eat.
- Be punctual: Be on time for appointments and meetings, and apologize if you’re running late.
- Dress appropriately: Dress appropriately for the occasion, and avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing or offensive.
- Respect personal space: Respect other people’s personal space and avoid invading it without permission.
- Offer assistance: Offer to help others when they need it, and be willing to lend a hand without expecting anything in return.
- Be mindful of your body language: Be aware of your body language, and avoid behaviors such as slouching, fidgeting, or interrupting.
- Say “excuse me”: If you need to interrupt someone or pass by them, say “excuse me” to avoid being rude.
Remember, practicing etiquette and politeness is not only a sign of good manners but also a way to show respect and consideration for others.
Here are some basics of manners and etiquette for use daily basis:
- Use please and thank you ALWAYS
- Don’t point – it’s the height of rudeness
- Don’t shout – it disturbs the peace of others
- Don’t interrupt when others are speaking
- Don’t swear – it only serves to display a limited vocabulary
- Don’t smoke or eat in the street – it is common
- Don’t talk with your mouth full – it is disgusting
- Don’t spit – again, disgusting
Basic Rules of Etiquette
- Punctuality – being late for an appointment is a sign of disrespect. Always be there at least five minutes early
- Respect your elders and those wiser than you
- Give your seat up on a bus or train for the elderly and for women
- Hold doors open for whoever is following you in (or out) – don’t let it slam in their face
- Turn away from people, food and the phone when you cough or sneeze and say ‘Excuse me’
- Do not talk on a mobile phone in a public space – no one wants to hear your conversation in the line at the bank or whilst having dinner in a restaurant. Switch the phone off in a movie theater!
- Respect your neighbors – no loud noise levels at night
- Hygiene belongs at home – brushing your hair in a restaurant or your teeth in a public sink, that’s a definite no-no.