Etiquette is an often neglected topic in modern-day life. However, I would say it should become a habit!
The ability to present yourself and show proper manners will help to avoid misunderstandings and embarrassment in everyday situations. Having a good understanding of etiquette will make you feel confident and create an excellent first impression.
Quite often, I see things that irritate me and make me angry. Many times, I have observed people not offering their seats to elderly people or pregnant women on public transportation; men don’t open doors for their ladies; some never say, “Hello” when entering a room. It seems fairly pathetic when women are carrying heavy shopping bags while men stroll beside them carelessly.
When I witness things like this, I am always curious about why they are happening; is it the desire of women to prove their strength, equality, and independence? Is it to humiliate men? Have men become soft? Or, do men just take revenge on women for their rights? Is the death of chivalry the price of equality? Is this fair? Either way, I don’t like it.
I think we should stop competing, being passive-aggressive, and trying to prove our points. In the end, we are just disgracing each other. Instead, we should be respectful, polite, and dignified in any situation.
These things are learned at home. Invest your time in your children. By teaching them good manners, you will never need to be ashamed of their future behaviors.
What is the etiquette?
The concept of etiquette came from the French word “étiquette“, which means the moral code or set of rules of polite behavior in society.
Certain rules were formally established around the 14th century in Italy, at the beginning of the Renaissance. However, even before then, culture and proper social manners were already important aspects of communication.
In the 17th century, King Louis XIV introduced the word etiquette at a royal event, where guests received cards with rules of conduct and were expected to follow them.
I am absolutely sure that the knowledge of etiquette is essential in modern life and agree with Clarence Thomas’s quote: “Good manners will open doors that good education cannot”.
There are several main types of etiquette:
- Dress code and posture.
- Greetings and conversation.
- Eating out and party time.
- House guests.
- Digital etiquette.
- Traveling etiquette.
- Business and school etiquette.
- Happy and Sad occasions.
- Small talk.
Meeting and greeting.
The positive emotions and friendly atmosphere of the meeting depend on how people greet each other: shaking hands, look at each other’s eyes, hold the right posture, having appropriate attitudes, and way of speaking. All these manners are required not only in lively conversation with friends, but are also very important at a business meeting, at work, at school, at a job interview, or at special events.
These general rules will help you make a great impression.
- Always meet people with a smile.
- When talking, do not spread your legs wide, and do not keep your hands in your pockets.
- Gestures should be limited.
- Do not: twist anything in your hands, wind your hair around your finger, drum your fingers on the table, beat the music with your feet,or touch any parts of your body or other people’s clothes.
- Do not stand with crossed arms over your chest. This “closed position” may show that you are closed off to the conversation and not emotionally available, and then you may miss out on an interesting new acquaintance.
- If you are at an event where you want to meet new people or business partners, but you are already having a conversation with other people, stand in a half-turn, leaving space for an additional companion.
- 60% of the conversation, you should look into the eyes of your partner.
- Pay attention to your partner’s personal space – the comfortable distance should be no less than the size of 2 outstretched arms (25-45 cm).
Who is the first to say “Hello”?
In everyday etiquette, the first person to say “Hello” is:
- The younger to senior.
- Men to women.
- Regardless of status (boss, employee, male/female, etc.) the person who enters the room first, always should greet people first.
- If you approach a group of people, you are the first to say “Hello”.
- If you can’t say “Hello” in person, nod your head in greeting.
Who should be introduced first?
When meeting people, your acquaintance need to be properly introduced in the following order:
- The younger one to the older one.
- The youngest in the status to the senior.
- New employee to the boss.
- Male to female.
- New person to the group of people.
- Always introduce the person you represent by the first and last name and the status, occupation, or hobby. It will help to find an interesting topic for everyone and will make the conversation easier. You should introduce yourself the same way.
- If you have to communicate with a group of people, introduce yourself first.
- You can call your new guest by name only after he/she has been introduced.
In modern etiquette, a handshake is accepted by both men and women. But when it’s appropriate and who gives his hand to greet first?
Let’s find out.
- Only the right hand is given for a handshake. The same rules apply to left-handed people.
- The hand should not be weak or relaxed, but also you shouldn’t squeeze the hand strongly.
- The hand for a greeting is extended vertically. The thumbs should be connected to the “lock” and the hands have to be shaken three times from the elbow.
- The elderly person is the first to extend his hand for a handshake. The boss to employee.
- The woman is the first to extend her hand to the man, but the woman can decide whether she wants a handshake or not.
- In male company, everyone shakes hands.
- If you know only one person in a group, you still shake hands with everyone.
- When several couples meet, women greet each other first and after they greet men, then men greet everyone.
When the person should get up if sitting?
- Man should get up for greeting when woman approaches him.
- The younger one gets up when an older person or person of higher status approaches him/her.
- A woman does not get up when a man come to greet her, but she gets up when a senior in age or status approaches her.
- An elderly or injured person does not get up at all.
Non-verbal etiquette like sitting, watching, gestures are also very important.
- Before entering the room, especially someone else’s office, you must knock first.
- You should look into the eyes when talking with your companion, but do not stare at him/her.
- Do not examine your companion from top to bottom, checking his or her clothes, nails, hair, etc.
- You should look at your partner for up to 60% of the conversation.
- Friendly and positive gestures are gestures upward or when the palms are open.
- Do not use gestures excessively. These are signs of disrespect and aggression.
- When you are talking with your acquaintance while sitting, you can lean on one elbow in your armchair. This may give you confidence, but it can also indicate that you are not interested.
- If you want to show your companion that you are involved in the conversation and you are listening carefully, then sit down in position that your knees, hands and body are directed toward the partner.
- Do not forget about the comfortable distance of personal space. These are 2 outstretched arms (25-45 cm).
- You should sit on ¾ of a chair with a straight back; do not fall apart; do not spread your legs or knees wide; do not wind your feet; do not tap on the floor.
- Women should keep their knees together when they are sitting. Legs keep straight or diagonal.
- Women may cross their legs only in a long skirt and keep their legs diagonal.
- Men may sit with their knees apart with two fists in normal situations, but during the official ceremony, they should hold their knees apart with one fist.
- Do not sit cross-legged in such a manner that the sole of the footwear is visible.
To be continued….
I am very curious to know what you think about this topic.
See you in the comments below.