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24 Things People With Good Table Manners Don’t Forget to Do

Pretty Woman star Julia Roberts knew that a lack of table manners could totally ruin her reputation. And even though you may not have a relationship with a handsome millionaire at stake, these basic table etiquette rules may come in very handy when faced with an important occasion.

At Bright Side, we’ve decided to collect the most common rules that are usually forgotten and put them into one article for your convenience. Here we go!

What’s the right way to eat?

  • Avoid putting your elbows on the table. Try to keep your hands in sight while seated at the table.
  • Chewing with your mouth open is not polite and quite disgusting. When eating, even if somebody asks you a question, wait until you finish chewing to answer.
  • If you’re at a private dinner, don’t use salt or pepper on the dish before you try it unless you want to offend the host or hostess.
  • Blowing on your food and cutting your dish into pieces is also not acceptable in public. This is appropriate for a child but not for a grown-up.
  • If you’re confused about which bread plate and glass belongs to you, use “b” and “d” as indicators. Make the ok sign with each hand. Your left hand will form the letter “b” and it stands for bread. Your right hand will form a “d” which stands for drink. Now you know your bread is on your left and your drink is on your right!
  • Break your bread into pieces with your hands, it’s perfectly normal. Use a knife to put the butter on one piece at a time.
  • At a formal party or dinner, people don’t usually clink their glasses. If you want to salute somebody, simply lift your glass to eye level.

How do you use your napkin?

  • Unfold the napkin in one smooth motion without shaking it. Big napkins are unfolded halfway while small ones should be spread out completely.
  • You should keep your napkin on your lap during a meal. If you have to leave the table temporarily, put the napkin on your seat. When the dinner is over, put your napkin to the left side of your plate. But remember, never put it on the plate itself.
  • Don’t tuck the napkin into your collar.
  • You may not wipe your lips with the napkin. Softly dab them or pat them instead. Just make sure you don’t use the napkin to wipe your cutlery or blow your nose, ever.

How to use utensils

  • There are 2 common ways of holding a fork — Continental and American. In the first case, you hold your fork facing it downward with your index finger over it. In the second style, you grab the fork with your fingers like a spoon. Both are correct.
  • Cutlery is always placed in the order you have to use them. Start from the outer utensils and continue working your way inward.

How to use your cutlery

  • There are several ways to locate utensils on the table. Each of them sends a certain message to the server or host.
  • Scoop your soup away from you and sip it from the inside of the spoon to avoid spilling it on yourself.
  • Mix the sugar into your tea with a spoon without making a clinking sound.
  • When you eat fish, don’t cut it. Instead, use a knife to separate the meat from the bones.
  • You shouldn’t scoop your food with a fork. Use a knife instead.

How do you deal with delicate matters?

  • If you want to go to the bathroom, don’t explain why you have to leave — it’s doubtful everybody wants to know the details. Simply excuse yourself and say you’ll come back soon.
  • It’s okay to reapply your lipstick at the table as long as you can do it without a mirror. In cases where you need to fix an entire face of makeup, use the bathroom no matter how expensive your face powder looks.
  • Never comb your hair at the table. Not only is it rude, but it’s also extremely unsanitary.
  • If you unexpectedly discover an insect or a hair in your dish, don’t start screaming or yelling. It’s a delicate matter, so just call the server over to manage the problem.
  • If you did something wrong, apologize once and don’t return to the subject again. There’s no need to remind everybody about your mistake.
  • Never use a toothpick or dental floss at the table. In some restaurants, you can find toothpicks in the bathroom.

Which of these rules turned out to be completely unexpected for you? Have you ever found yourself in an uncomfortable situation because of etiquette rules? Share your stories in the comments.

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