It feels as though the days of men pulling out chairs for women are long gone. Still, while the old ideas of chivalry may have faded away, there are still rules for behaving properly in public. The Post family (as in Emily) literally wrote the book on etiquette, and they encourage you to figure out what etiquette really means to you. "To us, it means treating people with consideration, respect, and honesty," they explain. "It means being aware of how our actions affect those around us."
For instance, in this cyber-age, it is hard to disconnect from our phones, pads, and computers, even when we are in the middle of something else. Learning to take advantage of our phone’s silent and vibrate options is key when it comes to sitting in a meeting, at dinner, or simply having a conversation. Similarly, people in line with you at Starbucks don't need to hear about your awesome date last night. Save your conversation for a time and place where the people near you won't be forced to hear it.
Similarly, we all have somewhere to be and deadlines to meet most of the time; we’ve all had hurried, harried mornings. That doesn't mean you can elbow aside those around you, figuratively or otherwise. "Whether you're in a hurry or not, alone or with companions, it is important to go about your business politely and respectfully," say the Posts. "Never underestimate the effects of holding a door open, or sharing a smile!" We're not saying to overdo it with cloying sweetness, but there's no reason to be a Debbie Downer just because your schedule is overwhelming.
In the grand scheme of things, knowing how to behave in life’s small moments will lead to a better day for everyone involved, including you. We’ve consulted with the experts to share the most common etiquette mistakes you had no idea you were making.
Not Making Introductions
You’re talking to a friend. Another walks up and you ask how he’s been. He says great, you say great, and he’s on his way. The first friend just got a dose of what it feels like to be Mr. or Ms. Unimportant. Always attempt to make an introduction, and if you’re avoiding doing so because you forgot someone’s name, fess up and say so. Chances are you’ll never forget it again.
Never show up empty-handed to an event hosted at someone’s home. Something small like a scented candle is a perfectly nice way to say “Thank you for having me.” Arriving without anything for the host makes it seem like the invite was no big deal. Whether you're watching the game at a friend's house or attending a formal dinner party, bring a little something to say you appreciate being included, be it a six-pack or a batch of cupcakes. On the other hand, if an invite indicates "no gifts please," respect the host's wishes. You won't be earning brownie points for adding something to their to-do list.