10 Rules of Etiquette That Define What People Think of Us at First Glance

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Many people think that following the rules of etiquette only applies to state officials and royalty. In her book Etiquette Today, Moira Redmond talks about how when meeting a new person, you automatically direct your attention to their manners. To find out exactly which manners people pay attention to the most, read below.

We at Bright Side think it’s better to learn about etiquette rules, than put yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

10. You’re an attentive listener.

The ability to listen to a conversation is just as important as the communication itself. I think we can all agree that it’s great when your friend is listening to you attentively instead of paying attention to something else. Don’t turn your attention to your cell phone or other things. Try to listen to the conversation even if you’re not interested in the topic. You might find the following trick useful: listen to your friend’s talking, not what their talking about. However, if the topic of the conversation bores you, try to politely change it.

9. You’re not too open with people you barely know.

Certain topics of conversation are better discussed just among friends. If you start telling people you barely know about your illnesses, financial problems, or personal life issues, you may find that not all of them appreciate your openness. Politics, religion, finances, and personal life are not the best topics for small talk and could also result in a misunderstanding. It’s better to try to find something in common with people who aren’t close friends, for example, you can talk about the weather, movies, or sports.

8. You wear the proper amount of perfume.

Many people wear too much perfume because they seem to think that if they don’t, people won’t be able to smell the fragrance. According to the rules of etiquette, this is not the right thing to do. There’s a concept called “a scent circle” — defined as an area about an arm’s length from your body. People should only be able to smell your perfume when they step inside this scent circle. A few drops of your favorite perfume is usually enough. If you use a spray perfume, spray your scent in the air and step into it so that the perfume spreads evenly on your body.

7. You’re not too affectionate in public.

People in love find it hard to hide their strong, intimate feelings in public. The rule of thumb in this case, is to try not to make other people uncomfortable. Passionate kisses, hugs, and especially fights should be delayed until you’re alone. By doing this, you show respect not only to others, but to your partner as well.

6. You don’t put your bag on a table.

If you’re going to a restaurant, remember that you should only put a small purse on a table. Large purses and bags should be placed on the floor or hung on the back of a chair. Avoid putting your bag on your lap or on other chairs.

5. You don’t slurp your beverages.

Don’t eat every last bite of your meal or drink your beverage to the last drop. It may make you too full, and the slurping of the straw or scraping of the plate is likely to disturb others and make a bad impression. We bet you wouldn’t want to be at the same table with someone who eats like that.

4. You keep the right distance with the opposite sex.

How should you behave if you see a man you know on the street? Even if you’re close friends, don’t jump in his arms and greet him too loudly, especially if he is with someone. Just nod or greet him verbally and wait for him to react. When he greets you back, he should introduce you to his (girl)friend. The same rule applies to men with women.

3. You’re polite to everyone.

According to the rules of etiquette, you should be polite to everyone regardless of their age or position. If you want to get a waiter’s attention just nod, smile, or raise your hand. In big restaurants waiters usually tell you their name when they greet you. Try to remember it and use it throughout the dinner. “Would you please” and “Excuse me, Miss/Mister” are acceptable to use too.

2. You always go first if you’re a man.

If you need to get to your seats but a part of the row is already taken, don’t pass with your back toward the people in the seats. The same rule applies to similar situations at conferences, movies, theaters, and all other places with theater-style seating. Plus, if a couple is navigating this together, a man should go first and a woman should follow.

1. You hold your glass right.

During a cocktail party, you should follow certain rules as well. Use your left hand to hold your glass, so that your right hand is free for greetings and handshakes. Eat snacks that you don’t have to bite several times. And when drinking a glass of champagne, hold the glass near the rim, since only waiters hold it by the stem.

Illustrator Natalia Kulakova for BrightSide.me


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