There are some people we see, or know that always appear refined in all situations. You may wonder what you should do to be like that. The secret is that these people rarely make etiquette mistakes. They know the rules, and they’ve practiced them enough to follow them without too much thought.
This can be you too. Even if you don’t currently know all of the etiquette rules, you can still learn and practice them until they become second nature. Eventually, your friends and acquaintances will look to you for the proper way to act. Here are 7 etiquette mistakes you should stop making.
1. Chronic cell phone use
If you’re one of those people who constantly chats, texts, and stares at your cell phone, regardless of where you are or who you are with, stop. It’s rude. Be where you physically are at the moment and give those around you, your full attention. If your phone rings, ignore it until you’re in a more private setting. Or better yet, turn it off before you’re with others. When a text comes in, resist the urge to respond. It can wait, and if it cants, excuse yourself before you answer it.
2. Forget to introduce
When an old friend approaches you while you’re with a new friend or relative, introduce them before you break into the conversation. If you forgot one of their names, apologize for your memory lapse and ask for it.
3. Ask nosy questions
There are certain things you should never ask others, particularly if you barely know them. If the person wants you to know the answers, she will eventually tell you after you’ve established and developed a relationship. Asking rude questions will put him/her on the spot and make them very uncomfortable, possibly even preventing them from wanting to be around you again.
4. Ask for special treatment
Whether you are going to someone’s dinner party or just hanging out with friends, don’t expect to be treated in a special way that sets you apart from the others. Of course, if someone is preparing food, let him know of any allergies or religious restrictions you may have. Or if your friends are about to do something that you consider morally wrong, you should gracefully bow out.
5. Be late
You should never be late for anything. Do thorough planning to make sure you are always on time. If you see that circumstances beyond your control are pulling you behind, contact the other person as early as possible. Remember that if you’re late, someone has to wait for you. The individual has other things he/she might be doing with their time, time they’ll never get back. The ideology of African time should also not set in. Try to be at an African even/any event at the right time.
6. Be rude
When you are out and about, be aware of other people around you and be gracious. Smile, offer a friendly greeting and hold doors for others who might be struggling with packages, small children, or a disability. Show kindness to servers in restaurants and clerks in stores. They work hard to help you, so show respect to them in return.
7. Eat like a slob
Before you share a meal with others, learn some basic table manners. These rules aren’t difficult to learn and follow, and they can make the difference between always having someone to eat with or having to eat alone because you embarrass others.