The idea of etiquette is seen by many to be outdated and unnecessary. While there are certain traditions that are obsolete, others are timeless and should still be taken into account today.
The purpose of etiquette is to ensure that any interaction between two or more people is as pleasant as possible. At its very core is an emphasis on being polite and courteous, so it follows that there are some rules of etiquette that we can and should still apply.
If you adopt some of these conventions in your daily life, you will leave every social exchange feeling more positive. Not only will it be appreciated by the person/people you interact with, but it will also leave them with a great impression of you. Who doesn’t like to make a good impression?
1. Clapping incorrectly: When clapping, your hands shouldn’t be in front of your face. Rather, they should be in front of your chest and a little to the left.
2. Getting in your car: Instead of climbing in with your feet, you should sit first and then swing your legs inside. This will hopefully help you avoid flashing the passenger.
3. Using butter: Instead of using the butter straight from the dish, you should slice however much you need and place it in another dish.
4. Pointing: Sometimes you need to point something out and you just can’t get around it. In this case, make sure you gesture with an open hand, rather than your finger.
5. Coughing into your right hand: Your right hand is the one you use socially, i.e shaking hands, waving, etc. You should always ensure that it’s clean for that reason (and because of hygiene, of course). The idea is to keep your “social hand”, the one you use to shake hands and wave, clean.
6. Returning someone’s dish: If someone lends you a plate, make sure to always return it with something inside. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant so don’t worry if you’re not a top-notch cook. It’s the thought that counts.
7. Toasting: If someone is toasting you, make sure you wait until they are finished before you drink. Also, make sure you toast them a “thank you.”
8. Pass the salt: When someone asks you to pass them the salt, make sure you always pass the pepper as well. They always go together.
9. Toasting and eye-contact: If someone is making a toast, make sure you hold eye contact until they are finished and you all take a sip.
10. Wearing your handbag: Your handbag should always be worn on your left side. It’s similar to why you should keep your right hand clean, it’s your social hand and it needs to be free just in case.
11. Wedding Congratulations: Make sure to only congratulate the groom and give the bride your best wishes. According to the rules of etiquette, congratulating the bride is considered rude because it suggests that she didn’t have many options to choose from.
12. Responding to texts/emails: This one is very relevant today. Give the individual facing you a higher priority than your phone screen and a person who can’t see you.