11 Rules of Social Behavior That Each of Us Should Remember

2 years ago

Everyday etiquette is not just about choosing the right fork for eating a salad. It is also expressing respect to oneself and to those around. Sometimes seemingly insignificant actions can show a person’s good manners, or, on the contrary, characterize them as a person who could easily insult others.

We at Bright Side are sure that someone doesn’t need to attend a school for good manners to learn all of them. And we hope that this article will help you figure out the norms of social interaction a bit better.

Hang your bag so that it doesn’t get in other people’s way.

When you sit at the table, place your bag on an empty chair next to you, on your knees, or behind you. Putting it on the floor or hanging it on the back of a chair is not appropriate because it can get in other people’s way.

When moving across a crowd, hold the bag with your left hand and carry it on your left shoulder, or remove it from your shoulder and hold it in front of you. Be attentive to others when you put your bag on or take it off your shoulder so you don’t unintentionally hit someone.

Let the waiter come up to your table themselves.

Don’t shout or wave to the waiter when having dinner in a restaurant. When you need to place an order or ask for the bill, a good-mannered person will show patience and ask for someone’s attention when the staff passes by — for example, slightly raising a hand or calling the waiter by their name is more than enough.

Park your cart on the side of the aisle when shopping in a supermarket.

The traffic in supermarkets, especially on weekends and public holidays, can be very hectic. That’s why, just like with driving a car, there is an important rule to be followed — keep right. Move your cart closer to the right side, keep the middle part of the aisle open for other customers. If the aisle is too narrow, park your cart at the beginning of the aisle and walk to pick up the goods you need.

Use a coaster for drinks.

When you are in someone’s home, make sure to put a coaster or a tissue under your cup before putting it on furniture. If there are no coasters or tissues nearby, ask the host for some. Perhaps they have simply forgotten about it and will be very grateful if you ask for them.

Step aside to answer a call.

Oftentimes, we have to answer phone calls in public places like when we are in a line to check out at the supermarket, at the bank, or on a bus. First, you should evaluate whether it is really important to answer the call right at that moment because your conversation will be heard by everyone around you. If you still need to answer it, then try to move to the side where there are not so many people.

Slide the chair toward the table when you leave.

Apart from being a basic rule of good manners (no matter whether you are in a restaurant or at a meeting), it’s simply a polite gesture toward those around you. Don’t forget to slide the chair toward the table after you get up so that it doesn’t prevent other people from moving, and so that someone doesn’t fall over it.

Applaud while keeping your hands at chest level.

It’s not very nice when someone blocks your view when watching a play in the theatre because they applaud by actively raising their hands over their head.

In order to avoid these situations, there are certain etiquette rules and a technique for applause:

  • Hold your slightly cupped non-dominant hand at chest level with the palm facing inward at a 45-degree angle.
  • Clap with your dominant hand against the other hand using 4 fingers. This gesture provides quite a loud sound and the artist will still be able to hear you.

Squeeze lemon into your cup, while covering the piece with your hand.

It’s hard to resist the temptation to squeeze a slice of lemon in order to give your tea a tinge of citrus. However, oftentimes, when doing so, we don’t think about those around us. The rules for good manners say: squeeze a lemon with one hand while covering it with the other as you squeeze it into your glass, so you don’t accidentally splash the juice in your across-the-table friend’s eye.

Give firm handshakes.

Try not to offer a limp hand because it gives the impression of weakness and insecurity. Be firm, but not too firm. If the other person offers you a limp hand, give it a light squeeze. And don’t forget to look into their eyes.

Don’t leave lipstick traces on a cup.

While lipstick stains on napkins are acceptable, they definitely don’t look good on a cup. Since leaving these traces is considered a sign of bad manners, here are some tips on how you can avoid it:

  • Unnoticeably and quickly lick the cup before drinking. (fats and water don’t mix).
  • Before swallowing, carefully remove excess lipstick on your lips with a tissue.
  • Apply lipstick primer or lipstick liner under your lipstick and then blot your lips with a tissue after you apply the lipstick.

Remove your sunglasses when talking to someone.

There is a rule about the use of sunglasses that many people forget: it is considered impolite to not take them off when talking to another person. After all, we express most of our emotions with our eyes, and if we leave our sunglasses on our faces, then it means we don’t want to reveal our true feelings to whoever we are talking with.

What etiquette mistakes have you ever made or noticed?


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Growing up in a less than ideal place l was chastised even in front of others if l didn't have my pinkie finger curled at the appropriate time. A lot hypocritical considering what my parents were like but still had to maintain the illusion.


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