Etiquette is the normal behavior within your society and manners are a proper way of doing something. Both show a level of respect and consideration for others.
When we meet someone for the first time, normally it takes just a few seconds for us to form an opinion, judgment, or other thought about them. How we carry ourselves with others in that first impression and onward could mean the difference in us making a new friend, getting a new job, being clearly understood, being liked, being remembered… or not. Perhaps you’re not generally concerned about being liked by others, which is good, but it still helps to better relationships when you are mindful of others’ space, likes/dislikes, and time.
It’s best to practice good manners and etiquette when you are young, so that it later on becomes second nature or easier for you to live by. Here are a few points of etiquette that will aid you in maintaining respect from others, being remembered in a positive way, and setting a good impression that will help you move ahead in social situations and in personal relationships:
- When meeting someone, introduce yourself, firmly shake hands, speak clearly and maintain good eye contact. Repeat someone’s name after you meet them (this also will help you remember their name). For example – Person: “Hi, my name is Kesha.” You: “Hi Kesha! I’m Stephanie. Nice to meet you!”
- When meeting someone, get to know them first by asking questions about them and not simply talking about you
- Don’t gossip. When girls, especially, are around one another, we tend to talk and gossip a lot. Instead try loving and supporting instead of hating and discouraging someone.
- You can look, but don’t stare at someone. It can make them feel uncomfortable.
- When someone asks you to respond or RSVP to an invitation, respond in the timely manner they requested you to respond by
- Show up to meetings or events on time
- Stick to your word. If you cannot do something you said you would, let someone know ahead of time, and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
- Let the lady or elderly person have the first seat when choosing seats or considering who sits down first
- Hold the door open for the person behind you
- Don’t use bad language in public
- Sit up strait and stand tall when you are around others. Do not slouch or lean
- Cover your mouth and say “excuse me” when sneezing, coughing, burping, or passing gas
- Do not talk with food in your mouth.
- When tasting something you do not like, try your best to go ahead and completely swallow the food or drink or finish as much of the meal as possible. If you cannot stand to completely finish swallowing the food or drink, simply dispose the food by placing your fork or spoon back in your mouth and placing your food on it or bringing the cup to your mouth (as if to swallow) and releasing the liquid back into the cup. If you did not use a utensil to place the food in your mouth in the first place, use one if it’s available or use a napkin to remove the food. Do this as discretely as possible. Thank the cook, server, or hostess for the meal either way. View more detailed information about dining etiquette here: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Menu/DiningEtiquetteGuide.htm
- Close your legs when you are sitting down, whether you have on a dress or not
- Don’t bend all the way over (whereas your rear end or chest is in someone’s clear view). Instead, close your legs and slightly bend only your legs half-way to pick something up
- If you find hair, bugs, or some other foreign object in your food, do not scream or cause a scene. Just, quietly and privately, tell the waiter, cook, or hostess of your meal that you found an object in your meal or drink and politely ask for a new plate of food or drink
- Often say please, thank you, and you’re welcome
- Don’t talk loudly on your phone in public. It disturbs others. Also, do not text or talk on the phone while someone else is speaking to you or when you are in class, in a meeting, on a date, or at dinner with someone. Instead, turn off your phone or take your call to a private area.
- When responding to someone, don’t say “yeah,” “huh,” “uh-uh,” “uh-huh” or “ok”. Start saying yes, no, yes ma’am/no sir, no ma’am/no sir, or excuse me, could you repeat that please?