50 Social Rules We Should All Still Be Living By
Is social etiquette on the way out? I hear people complain (myself included) about how people seem to be abandoning "niceties" more and more. I ask, does it take more energy to be nice than rude? I guess the truth is that it sometimes does take more energy to treat people the way they should be treated but one might argue, if we don't observe social etiquette rules can we really complain if we are treated poorly by others?
I was raised by parents who firmly held dear certain principles of behavior and after checking out Oprah Winfrey's O magazine list below of "50 Little Social Etiquette Rules Everyone Should Follow", I was taught them all and to this day, try my best to follow them. What's the point? I feel that if we all followed most of the rules below, the world would be such a better place to be in!
1. Say “Please” and “Thank You”, especially to those closest to you.
2. Smile! At the cashier. The bank teller. Your co-worker. Even if he or she doesn’t smile back.
3. Hold the Door for the Person Behind You and if someone holds the door for you, always say "thank you"!
4. Step Outside to Answer Phone Calls. Sometimes you have to take the call — but is it always that important? Besides, it’s not so fun to hear your conversation when we’re trapped behind you in line.
5. Give People a Pass. Cranky salesperson? Nasty driver? You have no idea what’s going on with that person right now: Did her dog die? Did he just get bad health news? You don’t have to reward ugly behavior with your own nastiness, which only perpetuates the cycle.
6. Look At the Person Who Is Speaking to You. Seriously. Look up from your smartphone!
7. Let Someone Go In Front of You In Line. We promise, it'll make his or her day.
8. Cough or Sneeze Into Your Elbow. This year's flu season is brutal — make sure you're doing what you can to avoid spreading germs.
9. Learn People's Names. Here are some easy ways to remember names.
10. Handwrite Thank-You Notes. He or she took the time to send the gift; take the time to show you care.
11. Put Your Smartphone Away During Meals. Right. Now.
12. Be On Time. We’re all busy, so please stop making people wait for you.
13. Clean Up After Your Pet. It’s just plain icky to leave it.
14. Always RSVP. And do it right away before you forget.
15. Ask Before Posting. Not everyone wants to be all over social media, and you’re not a reporter — so stop spreading the news.
16. Curb Your Potty Mouth. We know it’s satisfying like nothing else! But would you want your Grandma to hear? Or your kid?
17. Keep the Noise Down at Work. Silence the ringer on your smartphone, speak quietly, and turn the sound down on your dinging email so it’s not bugging everyone in the other cubicles.
18. Shake Hands Firmly. And stand and make eye contact when you do it.
19. Don't Bring Your Smelly Leftovers to the Office. Or at least eat stinky foods in the break room, not at your desk.
20. Dress for the Occasion. Know how to rock it for the club or dress modestly for a funeral. And please wear your PJs at home, not to the grocery store!
21. Use Your Turn Signal. It's not just courteous, it can help avoid an accident.
22. Wash Your Hands After Using the Bathroom. Because just… eww!
23. Park Your Shopping Cart On the Side of the Aisle. Not in the center! The rest of us are shopping, too.
24. Ask Permission to Use Someone's First Name. Yes, it’s a super-casual society, but it’s never wrong to use a title until you know what the person prefers.
25. Clean Up After Yourself. At home. At work. At a friend’s house.
26. Wait a Day Before Reacting to a Snarky Email or Text. We know it’s tempting to slam the person immediately, but that often backfires.
27. Push Your Chair In When You Leave a Table. Don't make someone else do it for you.
28. Ask Before Bringing a Guest. Or your kids. Or your pet. Don’t assume they’re automatically invited, no matter how well you know your host or hostess.
29. Wait Until Everyone Has Been Served to Start Eating. No matter how much you want to dig in ASAP.
30. Be a Good Dinner Guest. Certainly, if you have a food allergy, you can mention it ahead of time. But if you don't like collard greens or don’t do carbs, don’t announce it in front of everyone and expect your host or hostess to make you a special dish.
31. Sit Like a Royal. The “duchess slant,” with your knees and ankles close together and your legs on a slant, keeps things modestly princess-like when you’re wearing a skirt or dress (Kate Middleton has mastered it!).
32. Stay Home When You're Sick. Some things, like your cold, should not be shared.
33. Knock Before You Enter. No one likes to be barged in on.
34. Remember Your Table Manners. Napkin on your lap. No elbows on the table. Chew with your mouth closed.
35. Reach Out to People Who Are Grieving. Don’t pretend nothing happened. If you don’t know what to do, simply say you’re sorry.
36. Let People Get Off the Elevator First Before You Get On. The same rule goes for the train and the bus.
37. Teach Your Kids Good Manners. And lead by example.
38. Silence Your Smartphone At the Movies. And stop crinkling that candy wrapper so loudly, while you're at it.
39. Help Someone Who's Clearly Struggling. The next time you see someone straining to reach something on the highest shelf at the grocery store, help her out!
40. Thank a Veteran for His or Her Service. Here are 10 ways to say "thank you" to the veterans in your life.
41. Bring Food. Take cookies, soup, or a casserole to a new neighbor, someone who just lost a family member, or a friend who’s had a serious health diagnosis.
42. Wipe Down the Exercise Machine After You Use It. Your fellow gym-goers will appreciate it.
43. Take Your Shopping Cart to the Corral. Or back to the store entrance.
44. Don't Groom Yourself In Public. Don’t clip your nails, brush your hair, or floss your teeth in public. Because it's just gross.
45. Skip Controversial or Nosy Topics at Parties. No politics, religion, asking when they're getting pregnant, or how much weight she lost. We’re all here to have fun not start a debate, remember?
46. Learn to Say You're Sorry. Be the bigger person.
47. When You Enter a Room, Greet Everyone. No one likes to be ignored.
48. Return Calls. If someone takes the time to leave you a voicemail, take the time to call him or her back.
49. Never Show Up Empty-Handed. Check out our favorite hostess gifts and housewarming gifts.
50. Be a Pleasant House Guest. Make your bed. Don’t monopolize the bathroom. Take your hostess out to dinner, or send a gift later. You want to be invited back, right?