Like Quentin Crisp said, “Nothing more rapidly inclines a person to go into a monastery than reading a book on etiquette. There are so many trivial ways in which it is possible to commit some social sin.” While this rebellious gentleman is quite right about the “social sin” part, I quite doubt the “inclines a person to go into a monastery” part. Following an unsaid rule and, in fact, not following an unsaid rule are both adopted unconsciously by us. So, why not consciously learn some subtleties of etiquette that today’s world calls for, just so that you wouldn’t need to end up in a monastery after reading a full book on this issue?
#1 Excuse You
Never allow a person to say “excuse you” after you sneeze. Please be a little proactive and say it before embarrassing yourself in such situations. It is way too elementary to know that you must ask to be excused for sneezing, coughing, clearing your throat, or maybe even yawning in public. Spare yourself the dirty looks for showering the person next to you in your oral fluids.
#2 The Gummy Affair
Really? I mean, really? How can you stick the chewed gum on someone’s chair or under someone’s table? You’d rather be less creative in thinking of “10 Awesome Places To Stick The Gum After Chewing.” Don’t wait to change this habit until you end up stamping on gum yourself. You know, karma’s a bitch!
#3 Don’t Make Him A Driver
When someone offers you a lift, your colleague or the neighbor, never leave the front seat empty. Make it a point to sit next to him. He offered you a lift, not to become your chauffeur. Also, the seat behind the one who is driving is said to be the most respectable place, and it is always an act of courtesy on the part of the one driving to get down and open the door for whoever is occupying that seat.
#4 Nom Nom Nom…
Okay, it is understood that you are enjoying your pizza and the fries. You don’t have to make acoustic corroborations to let people around you know that the food you are eating tastes good. A lot of them cannot stand people who make noise while they chew food. Of course, if you are with your bestie and want to indulge in a burping contest, please feel free and burp your colons out!
#5 I Invite You = I Will Pay For You
You can’t “invite” someone over to a restaurant and then expect to go dutch after you finish eating. Get your usages right, hosts invite guests and automatically pay for the meal. If it is just let’s-hangout-together sort of a thing, then you are allowed even to have a brawl over who’s gonna pay the bill.
#6 Elevator Etiquette
You are in a hurry. Yes, it is understandable. You stand in the corner of the elevator and push all the people on your way to the door – not understandable. Either make sure you are near the door if you wish to leave quickly, or there’s an “excuse me” always up your sleeve.
#7 Handbags, Ladies
That jaunty Jimmy Choo bag of yours – it is lovely! But, it would have been more courteous of you to have not placed it in the center of that table. Social etiquette says that little compact clutch bags are fine if kept on the table, but always make it a point to keep your bags under your chair or on the floor next to your chair.
#8 Go A Little Outside Comfy
Pajamas are any day happy and comfy, but they are called “home” clothes for a reason. Dressing according to the demands of the decorum is another unsaid rule. Of course, these I-will-wear-pajamas-everywhere-I-go kind of people are asking for it when organizers at events or other public places make the dress code more into a “said rule.”
#9 Knock. Even If It Is YOUR Children’s Room
Kids learn, and they learn very quickly. They imitate their immediate family members. If you barge into their rooms without knocking, don’t be too shocked if they come into your room just in the same way. Fair enough – you respect their privacy, they will respect yours.
#10 Shush, Please!
Having loud and outlandish ringtones is not considered trendy in any way. You will end up creating nuisance in places that expect some decency. In fact, even if it is just a tring-tring ringtone, shush before you get stared at in the cinema hall. Also, speak softly in offices and other public places if you can’t avoid a call. To understand this, you needn’t read a book on etiquette. Just be a little sensitive to people around you, and you are good to go.
#11 Ain’t Your Name In The Guest List?
“Is anyone there?” “No,” said my neighbor, every time someone rang her doorbell without prior notice of their arrival. Surprises ought to be pleasant, not like those that make people uncomfortable. Always make a call before dropping in at somebody’s place. They might not be in the best of their moods to entertain a guest who drops in without notice.
All of us must have made at least one etiquette faux pas at some stage in our lives and also come across tons who continue to make them. I personally find the noisy eaters the most annoying. Comment below and tell me which social etiquette are you particular about.