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10 Quick and Easy Tips for Everyday Etiquette

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10 Quick and Easy Tips for Everyday Etiquette
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There are times throughout every day of your life when you have to make a choice of whether to use good etiquette or be a clod. Please, for the sake of humanity and civility, take the high road and be a lady or gentleman. Even under the most trying of situations, it isn’t that much more difficult, and you’ll feel better later if you do the right thing.

Be Friendly and Polite

If you step outside your house during the day, you’re likely to encounter people, so try to be friendly. Even on miserable days when everything seems to be going wrong, forcing a smile has the potential to lift the mood of not only the person you’re looking at but yours as well. Offer a greeting, and you might even see an extra ray of sunshine.

Certain words carry a tremendous amount of power when you care enough to be polite and civil to others. Add “please,” “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” and “excuse me” to your vocabulary, and you may find others responding with reciprocated kindness.

Be On Time

Avoid being late for an appointment with anyone, whether it's your doctor or your child. Being on time shows your respect for the other person.

Be a Helper

You don’t have to be a Boy Scout to help out your fellow citizen. If you see someone whose arms are overloaded with packages, open the door. Also, if you have just entered a building and someone is right behind you, hold the door to keep it from slamming in his or her face.

Respect Others

When you interact with other people, you need to respect them. Allow others to voice their opinions without argument. Respect their personal space as you would want others to respect yours. When you are in the company of someone of greater authority, show him or her proper respect.

The old saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything” is wise and should be followed in most social situations. You’ll avoid having to backtrack or explain if you keep your snarky thoughts to yourself.

Let Others Go First

If you can let others go first without awkwardness, then do it. This includes walking, standing in line, and driving. A woman with small children will appreciate getting through the checkout lane quickly, particularly if her children are hungry or bored. If a driver needs to move into your lane, and you can let him in without the person behind you rear-ending you, then gesture for him to go ahead.

Hold Down the Noise

This world has become too noisy, so try not to add to it. Keep your cell phone ringer volume as low as possible. If you work in an office cubicle, be considerate of your fellow office mates by keeping your voice low while chatting on the phone. Don’t honk at other drivers unless it’s to avoid an accident.

Eat Politely

Whether you brought your lunch or you’re eating out with friends, everyone appreciates good table manners that your parents should have taught you. Keep your elbows off the table, don’t talk with your mouth full, and avoid reaching across people to grab the saltshaker. Formal dinners have more etiquette rules, so if you’ll be going to one of those, take a little time to brush up on what’s expected.

Remove Your Hat

The old remove-the-hat-indoors etiquette rule seems to have gone out the window, but there are still some guidelines that you’d be wise to follow. If your hat is large and obstructs someone’s view (such as at church or in a theater), remove it. If you are on a business call or job interview, don’t risk being seen as impolite by leaving your hat on. When the national anthem is played, it’s a sign of respect to stand and remove your hat.

Send a Thank You Note

Being thankful will never go out of style. When someone does something for you, or sends you a gift, thank the person with a handwritten note. It’s the least you can do for a person who has taken the time to think of you.

Introduce People

When you are in a situation where you’re the only person who knows the other parties, take the time to introduce them. Look at the person whose name you are saying, speak clearly, and if you’re in a social setting, find something the people have in common. For example, you might say, “Jim, I’d like you to meet my friend Sally. She just got back from Italy, and since you used to live there, I thought you might enjoy talking about your experiences.”

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