I like sharing about things that make the world feel good. Etiquette is all about being considerate of others.
It is a simple truth that etiquette begins at home.
If you have fine manners, you are helping make life more delightful. You are behaving nicely which puts others at ease. Your ways show courtesy and respect to yourself and others leaving them with a feeling of being so valuable to society.
As defined by Merriam Webster,
"Etiquette is the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life."
It Helps Us to Be Considerate of Others
When we treat others with the utmost politeness, it makes them feel good about themselves. We all have our own measures of life and different people get their own share of how they see it.
Often, we never know when people around us have a larger share of problems. If by chance we have given them a bit of appreciation like politely answering a query, or moving a little out of the way for those behind you leaving the elevator; we never know how that simple gesture may send a positive impact on them.
If we help put everyone to feel comfortable as much as possible, we also help them to realize there is joy in making others feel good about themselves.
It Helps Us See Our Environment
Whether it is the workplace, a restaurant, the subway, or even in the church, everything has its own set of best practices that following them can promote safety and comfort.
Humans as we are, we cannot avoid thinking that the people around us may be too concerned about their business. A part of our brain says this could not be true. But if you look at every scenario, there is a certain extent that appears it might be true.
When you are on a bus or train, would you rather keep texting rather than giving up your seat to an elderly gentleman standing with his cane? He's a few meters away, after all. Is that how it should be?
Enjoying snacks with friends at the park left you with empty crinkly snack bags. You spotted the janitress somewhere along so that means someone will be picking after your mess. What would you do?
We are all born with kindness in our hearts that has been pushed away with a seemingly busy lifestyle. Etiquette awakens this natural kindness that tells us to do what is right.
My Funniest Handshake
I never thought a handshake before and after a job interview is a form of etiquette, no one told me. It should have been a three-second handshake at the start of the interview and another one right after.
I already stepped out of the HR office when I remembered I forgot to shake his hand for a thank you. So I turned around headed back to his office, went straight to him, and offered my hand. What a disaster!
If everyone back in that office found it hilarious, I did not know. I was so embarrassed. Of course, nothing was so wrong, I just did a comical skit and I still laugh at that fun memory to this day.
The right etiquette:
Initiating a handshake at the beginning of interview creates good impression as well as leaving the interview with a handshake.
My Funniest Dinner
I was invited to a high-profile wedding reception some thirty years ago. It was the first time I encountered a seated dinner setting in whole lavish dining of chandeliers in the garden and food that moves counter-clockwise.
With almost more than 10 kinds of exotic dishes, I was amazed at the shark's fin soup. The food service was called Lauriat, a Chinese style banquet.
While dining, my Chinese friend shared about how her folks in China would call Lauriat foods "Pan Tow" dishes, meaning, cooked in a frying pan with two handles and a glass lid, she mused.
After dinner and while everyone at my table started sharing about how exotic the meal was, my friend asked me which dish I enjoyed most. So I said "I loved the Pan Tow!"
There was a moment of silence then she explained that a Pan Tow is not a dish but it's where the dish is cooked on. Could you imagine my face? I wasn't listening!!!
No matter what the occasion, it is always important to present yourself in the best possible manner. Think before you talk.... listening is good etiquette.
Is Etiquette Really Essential?
Some people today push good manners at the back of the burner. They argue that formalities are of the past or things old-fashioned.
Regardless of how people look at propriety, good behavior has never been out of style nor will it ever be. Lack of etiquette, whether from man or woman is something that bothers us immensely.
If you speak rudely, you will be disliked; if you eat voraciously, you will be looked at; if you sit sloppily, you lack manners; even when talking on the phone, you need a certain decorum, and along with sending emails, there are etiquette rules to observe.
All these denote one thing - etiquette is part of every day.
The Big Difference Example
Even the smallest lessons in etiquette are important and are best begun at a young age. Maura Graber offers this example,
"I have learned over the years (especially with my own kids) to be a better etiquette teacher because I have learned that kids, as well as adults, respond well if they have choices and options.
Since manners will vary from place to place, 'etiquette' is simply defining those manners are our way of showing respect for one another, then teens should be shown respect and taught how to show it back."
At What Age Do You Start Teaching Manners?
Before the age of two, children begin to understand certain social graces. Simply teaching them to interact with others politely already sets the skill.
Teaching good manners to little children can be a bit tricky. However, being polite yourself is already an artful technique. You display exemplary grace and tact that help them understand the value of feeling good and how to make others feel the same.
A well-mannered child knows how to say "Please" and "Thank you." She doesn't find it hard to say "I'm sorry," if she has done something inappropriate, or has hurt someone. Your child will develop good manners and grow up being considerate of others.
Today, many people saw the lack of etiquette among the young. Should this be blamed on parents who have been too lenient in insisting on standards of behavior at home?
I can say much of this has to do with the reduced family time, dining together, conversation, and appreciation of each other where social skills are formed.
What About Social Manners?
With social manners, you are setting the standards for how to be polite to one another and how to show respect. If you care about even the simplest etiquette, you care about people and how you build relationship with them.
Have inconsiderate fellow diners ever put you off your food? Now you know why even the smallest etiquette is important.
Etiquette is Still Alive
If you look at manners these days, those behaviors that are established on consideration towards others are still relevant.
For instance, the aspects of table manners are still seen, people grace occasions with the right outfit, and many children come with respect for other people and the elderly.
All this means one thing - that despite the loosened degree of etiquette, many still conform to certain standards. While some are less likely to follow certain decorum if they don’t want to, this simply is a form of hypocrisy and denial.
Enjoy My Etiquette Suggestions
- Dining Etiquette and Manners
For it is only important to learn dining etiquette. Your manners and good examples will be an inspiration to others
- Classic Eating Manners for Difficult Foods
This way of eating difficult foods has grown up over the years as being the most practical and attractive approach.
- Mind Your Manners - 10 Tips for Office Etiquette
Office manners are not always present in most people and these tips will help keep you admirable and respectable in the eyes of both its customers and its employee
- Party Etiquette Tips for Hosts and Guests
These standards of etiquette are only basic as even the most carefree parties demand guests and hosts alike to meet certain expectations
- 10 Social Media Etiquette DOs and DONTs | The Suitcase Entrepreneur
This is a special guest post from Annemarie Cross that cuts right to the heart of how to build your online reputation using the right social media etiquette
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on March 20, 2014:
Hello Chinese boy. Good manners are best taught and learned at an early age. Why? Because you'll get used to the right and proper etiquette that's going to be constant into your system. The result? You're ready to face the world, and be the next role model for the young. Your teacher was right.
Thank you so much for the kind comment. Keep up in studies and best of all. :=)Tonette
Chinese boy on February 20, 2014:
This message is so popular that Chinese teacher have put it into the homework that we do.Although I'm only 14.
Injured lamb on May 24, 2012:
Appreciate much for another great hub of yours Tonette, I enjoy your writing style much...
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 24, 2012:
That's so nice of you Pamela. I just realized that real stories can be real help, so glad you find mine nice. I take pride learning from those stories. It was so much fun learning. Glad you've stopped by. Thank you.
traslochimilano from USA on May 23, 2012:
You are showing why etiquette is important with nice story and pic also. Thanks
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 14, 2012:
Greetings to you katyzzz. Thank you, perhaps it's the role of the unusual to put deeper color to what's usually around. Insightful comment and glad you find the hub necessary. Cheers to you and best regards.
katyzzz from Sydney, Australia on May 13, 2012:
Unusual hub, but very necessary, I think I err on the first count, OK with the others.
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 10, 2012:
Hello Express10. So nice you found the examples very good. I hope many people will take time teaching their little ones with basic decorum. Thank you for stopping, really appreciated. Best Regards!
H C Palting from East Coast on May 10, 2012:
Very good examples of why etiquette is important. The pictures are very effective too.
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 05, 2012:
NidoNyte thank you. What an elegant Mom you have, lucky she is to have instilled those etiquette on you. Your polite manners will be example to our little young minds, and along with your plans of branching out on civil rights, you'll really be admired. Keep up that sweet chocolate vision:=)
Chris - Thank you very much. Me too really find those pics hilarious, glad you liked them. Take care and cheers!
Chris Hugh on May 05, 2012:
Hilarious pictures! Good hub.
NidoNyte from The Lone Star State on May 05, 2012:
Sit up straight, chew with your mouth closed, no elbows on the table; I used to think my mom was just being mean, but I know now she was really looking out for me. Manners and Etiquette keep everything running smoothly and a necessities for each person to know. It pays to be polite after all. Good hub.