“Manners are like the shadows of virtues, they are the momentary display of those qualities which our fellow creatures love and respect.” – Unknown
Etiquette is an unwritten law that people follow in order to have better and considerate relationships with others. It is commonly perceived that those who belong to the higher end of the society should only observe etiquette. This is not quite right. While etiquette is always linked to refinement, being polite and behaving properly toward others is not restricted to the elite population of community. Having proper conduct is something that should be executed by everyone.
There are books that enumerate proper behavior in any situation. In reality, etiquette shouldn’t be this complicated. The main principle of having good etiquette is to always ask whether something would appear kind and convenient to others without taking your own sake into account.
This shouldn’t be as difficult as it seems, but it takes practice to master the art of being refined and acquiring proper decorum. See below to determine daily proper behavior that everyone should observe.
• Do not stay at the door for a long time. It may interrupt the incoming and outgoing flow of people who use door. Do the same on elevators and escalators.
• Cover the mouth with the left hand when coughing. Do the same when you feel like sneezing. Etiquettes Etiquette gurus tag the left hand as the ‘personal hand.’ This is used on everything that involves the body like wiping sweat and sweeping hair that disturbs the face to one side.
• The right hand is your conversational hand. This is used for shaking hands and waiving to others. Make sure that this part of the body is as neat as possible.
• When conversing, look at the other person’s eyes. This gives an impression that you are engaged and that you pay attention to the person whom you are speaking with. This can be intimidating at times. The trick then is to look at the space between the person’s eyebrows. This will still look as if you are looking straight at the other party’s eyes.
• Observe the little things. Remove the hat indoors. This is an old practice that denotes respect. Observe noise as well. Do things as silently as possible. Eating without creating any noise and putting your phone in silent mode are examples of showing refinement and esteem.
• Laugh with moderate sound. Sure, laughter is your happy sound but do not make this go overboard by gaining attention and disturbing another group’s conversation.
• Be on time. This conveys an unspoken message that you value another person’s time and that you do not want to waste it.
• Do not interrupt. When you want to stress a point or share an opinion during an open group conversation, get the attention of the speaker by slightly raising your hand.
• Do not point your finger at someone. Instead, angle your entire hand to imply that that you are referring to a specific person.
• Say powder room or rest room instead of comfort room because these are more formal.
• Say ‘excuse me’ whenever something or someone is blocking your way. There will be times that the listener will not hear it the first time. Try expressing this courtesy a little bit louder, but do not shout. If need be, slight tap the person’s should to get his or her attention.