You can’t buy class. With that being said, is etiquette going out of style? As we shift from traditional ways of living to more modernized lifestyles, it seems that common manners aren’t so common.
In fact, politeness seems to be dissolving instead of evolving. It’s not uncommon nowadays to see people get on an elevator without letting others get off first. Notably, the lack of “home training” resides on both ends because some people don’t even say thank you when someone holds the door open.
It makes you wonder, are manners still being taught? It’s as if everyone is out for themselves, and it’s tacky because those who know, know class is timeless. No matter how outdated some manners are, some hold social values and leave lasting impressions, which is why they should be passed down from generation to generation.
Of course, some etiquette rules are debatable, but some should be the standard, like the following:
When you enter a room with people already in it, you speak. Make eye contact and say hello to everyone and if you’re a mutual acquaintance, introduce the people who don’t know one another.
Don’t ask how someone died on a social media post. Just don’t. Naturally, you want to know, but respectfully you don’t ask. And if someone is having a crisis or, God forbid, they’re dying, don’t pull out your cameras to record. It’s called morals.
When shaking someone’s hand, shake with your right hand. That’s law.
Don’t internet beef. Honestly, the drama can be handled privately, like in a text or phone call, if it’s that serious.
Be punctual. Playing with my time is like playing with my money. That “I’m five minutes away” text ain’t it if you know you’re an hour away. Nothing’s worse than wasted time because that’s something no one can get back. If people make time for you, you appreciate it by being on time.
Learn names and say them. Everyone wants to feel important. Whether it’s the janitor or the mayor, calling people by their names and treating everyone with the same level of respect goes a long way.
Let people get on the elevator first if they were waiting before you, and let people off the elevator before you get on. Nobody likes a line cutter and hopping on an elevator before letting people off only crams it up.
Hold the door open for people coming out and the person behind you. It’s a nice thing to do.
Don’t talk on the phone in certain public places. But if you have to, don’t talk loud or on speaker phone. It’s one thing to be on the phone in a grocery store, but it’s another to be in the doctor’s office on a casual call.
Say, “excuse me.” It‘s violating to bump someone without saying a simple “excuse me.” The phrase deescalates the situation if the person wants to argue.
Don’t bring your dog to a restaurant. Unless it’s a service dog, it’s uncalled for.
Say “please” and “thank you.” A bit of southern charm never hurt anyone. Expressing gratitude helps strengthen bonds and makes both the receiver and the sender feel good.
Offer your seat to others. It’s a sign of respect and compassion. Men are expected to offer their seats to women regardless of age or ability. And women who are young and able are expected to offer their seats to pregnant women, women with kids, and the elderly.
Acknowledge people’s personal space. We live in crazy times with many on guard. Two to 4ft back is a comfortable distance.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Pre covid, post covid, no matter the time… cover your mouth to help prevent the spread of germs. And PLEASE teach children to cover theirs.
Chew with your mouth closed—no need to say more.
Smile. You never know who needs it.
Basically, live life by the golden rule–treat others how you wish to be treated. By practicing manners, we are being mindful of others, and this brings enormous benefits to ourselves and others.