There are some general etiquette rules that exist in almost every society. These rules are set to help people enjoy a certain level of privacy and live in an environment that doesn’t irritate them. Some etiquette rules pertain to specific situations like fine dining, formal conversation, business meetings, and so on.
From dressing up properly for the event and behaving nicely in places like restaurants to avoiding certain questions/topics in a conversation and staying away from gossiping, the list goes on.
If you follow these basic rules of etiquette in society, you’re thought to be good mannered, cultured and refined. While some manners can be ignored, there are things that are totally unacceptable in some societies. So, it’s good to know these basic rules and incorporate them into your daily life to avoid embarrassment, especially when you’re expected to behave like a well-educated person.
Let’s look at some of these etiquette rules related to some specific situations in social life.
Basic Rules of Etiquette in Society.
Engaging in a Conversation.
Before you speak, listen to what others are saying. Don’t interrupt anyone while they are speaking, even if they are younger to you. Learn to say courtesy words like “Please” and “Thank You” whenever there is a need. When you’re asked for a compliment or advice, give genuine/sincere remarks.
Don’t sound arrogant or boast of your achievements when not needed. Use kind words to address any issue, even if it’s a disagreement or conflict. Do not criticize others; in fact, try to avoid everything negative, from gossiping about those not present to showing anger or adversity.
Always arrive on time and prepare well for the meeting. Dress up according to the occasion, depending on if it’s a formal meeting or a casual get-together. If you have to arrive late due to some other important commitment, call first. When it’s time to leave, say your goodbyes quickly. If you’re meeting strangers, don’t embarrass them in front of others with lame/rude jokes or bad names.
Understand that some questions do not sound very proper or kind, and they have to avoided at all costs, for example those related to money or salary, political affiliation and age. When you’re sitting among a group of people, it is considered rude to keep checking your cell phone or texting.
Behaving Like a Gentleman.
Believe it or not, men are usually expected to follow social etiquette rules much more than ladies. If you are a man, you just have to treat every woman like a lady and behave like a gentleman in every situation.
Offer your seat when a lady enters a room, avoid rude comments, especially ones related to her physique, greet women affectionately, and allow a woman to speak first or express her thoughts first before you speak. In a relationship, don’t expect the woman to make plans or ask you out, it’s you who has to take the initiative. Give only sincere compliments and avoid using pretentious language.
When handshaking, have a smile on your face and greet the person pleasantly. In public transport, offer your seat to the elderly, a pregnant lady or any woman who might be having difficulty standing. At gatherings, wait till the host points out where you need to sit down. If you are a man, have the woman sit at her seat before you pull your chair out.
Men who are true gentlemen are also expected to open doors for ladies and the elderly. It is also considered good mannerism to offer help to anyone, even if you don’t know them. It is also an act of kindness and a trait every society welcomes.
These rules of opening doors and offering your seat to another person are considered general etiquette rules and apply in almost every situation including business setups.
Etiquette for Women.
Women are expected to act nice and caring all the time. Nobody likes a woman who is being rude and angry or making a scene in the public. Women are supposed to act delicate and elegant; the qualities men like to see in them. It has been observed that where women behave like this, the men also start behaving like true gentlemen.
Women must also show kindness to children and look after their needs. It is a common norm that when men are angry or frustrated, it is the women in their life who are expected to calm them and bring them back to senses.
When dining on a table with a group of people, you are expected to behave like a polished person so as not to ruin everybody else’s appetite. If you have been invited to a dinner or lunch meetup, be responsible and send a reply that you will be there.
If it is supposed to be a party or some sort of celebration, don’t forget to bring a gift for the host. Once seated on the table, wait for the host to unfold their napkin first, and then you can do the same.
Again wait before everyone else on the table has been served and then dig in. At a formal dinner, dishes are to be passed in a counter-clockwise fashion. Don’t talk to anyone when you have food in your mouth. Follow all other basic dining etiquette rules to make it a pleasant experience for everyone.
Good manners are appreciated and welcomed in every society because they preserve the privacy of others and let them enjoy some personal space. Moreover, there are rules pertaining to specific situations like fine dining and attending a formal meeting that you absolutely have to follow.
From being sincere in all your dealings and caring for the privacy and respect of others to behaving like a well-educated and refined person, these etiquette rules can make us a likable and amiable human being. Men and women both are expected to follow the principles of etiquette in a society to make it more civilized and cultured.
Where people don’t follow any etiquette, there is usually chaos, discomfiture and frustration. Go through the basic rules of etiquette in society discussed above and start practicing them today to feel a difference in your relationships, public dealings and business communication.
Also read the article: How Does Society Influence Personality Formation?