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General Etiquette

Updated on October 29, 2019

General Etiquette

Etiquette is a code of behavior specified by a group of individuals within a society. It governors the good will and happiness of others. These basically are the chief reasons for studying etiquette. When you make someone happy you too feel happy.

The etiquette we have today has evolved over a period of time. The British and the American have all evolved into set standards of rules for behaviours. Etiquette involves what we called social graces.

Reasons for the social graces

  • 1. Humans have an innate desire to do things with style
  • 2. To make life as agreeable as possible by developing manners that stresses the pleasanter aspects of human existence.
  • 3. To eliminate situations and surroundings that is harmful or unpleasant.

Let us look at some qualities that make a lady

  • 1. Habitual courtesy - This should be seen in your salutation to the elder or any one you came and saw.
  • 2. And is shown not only to acquaintances but to her nearest and dearest, and to total strangers. (It is expected that a mother will pass on this qualities to her daughter)
  • 3. Does not take advantage of-her position, superior education, wealth or anything else.
  • 4. Behave with decorum -Times gone by a lady would not be seen without her gloves, hat or stockings. Now things have changes. The underlying rule now is do not depart too far from the standard dress code.
  • 5. A lady always gives deference to older women, e.g. offering her seat if the bus is full. Does not correct her man in public, Does not display brawling, outlaw ,behaviours
  • 6. She will behave as a lady at all times-This is no simple matter. It is a question of good taste, and of paying attention to the feelings of others.

Let us look at some qualities that make a gentleman

  • 1. Habitual courtesy -This should be seen when you salute elder or anyone you came and saw.
  • 2. Shown also by offering your seat to the elderly lady such as on the bus ,in the waiting room ,when it is full
  • 3. Giving the door to someone older or a lady (allow the elder or lady to go through the door first.)
  • 4. Open the door for a lady,
  • 5. Seat your lady before you are seated.
  • 6. Raising the hat when meeting a lady or someone of the clergy or royalty.
  • 7. Removing the hat when enter a building such as court, church, school, office and someone's home.
  • 8. Removing the cigarette from the mouth before addressing an individual. not smoking in a crowded room
  • 9. It is courteous for a young man to give assistance to an aged who is seen struggling with a load
  • 10. . To give assistance to an elder who is having difficulty in crossing he road.
  • 11. (. Many men resent doing these because they want to show that they are as good as the other person) Rank is reached by service to community and achievement. Courtesy due to age is what each young person should expect when s/he reaches such age.
  • 12. The hall mark of a true lady or gentleman is measured by the way he or she is able to display the rules of etiquette.
  • 13. On her day and time of coronation Queen Victoria of England stopped the ceremony to help an old bishop who fell during the ceremony. She allowed Youth to take a low estate when she bent, held the old bishop's hand and raise him to his feet .She completely disregard the fact that she was queen and that the Bishop was subjected to her.

Social graces

.When to introduce:

  • 1. If in doubt do so .It is better seen as fussy than to leave two people standing wondering who the other is and wishing you had introduce them.
  • 2. An introduction is a social matter so you do not have to introduce your doctor, unless the doctor is your personal friend or social acquaintance.
  • 3. When walking with a friend and meet another friend does not call for an introduction unless you are going to stand and chat or walk and chat for a while.
  • 4. You always introduce your acquaintance to the clergy.
  • 5. At a small party the hostess will see that all are introduced.
  • 6. If you brought a strange friend introduce the friend to the hostess.

•7. At a large party guest can introduce individuals to others they know.

•8. Forms of Introduction

  • 1. Men are introduced to women
  • 2. Untitled people to Titled
  • 3. Untitled people to Titled
  • 4. young people to older
  • 5. Everyone is introduced to Royalty ( on appointment)
  • 6. Everyone is introduced to the clergy.

How to introduce

The name of the higher rank or older is called first e.g.

.If I want to introduce Miss Stevens to Mrs. Trenfield. I would say

Mrs. Trenfield may I introduce Mrs. Stevens. (I may stop there, but I could go a little further and say)

Mrs. Trenfield, Miss Stevens is the facilitator of the Sandy Bay Police Youth Club.

How to acknowledge or reply to an introduction.

  • 1. A gentleman must stand when being introduced to a lady, clergy, or a higher rank.
  • 2. You only need to say "how do you do". (This may be done by both parties.)male or female)
  • 3. It is up to the superior party or the more sociable, if male is introduced to male, or to the woman to decide whether to hold out the hands for a hand shake.

Dress for the occasion

  • 1. The first rule of dress is neatness and cleanliness. It is an indication of your self-esteem.

2. Practice how to wear your clothes well and never appear to be showing off, or appear self conscious no matter how good or terrible you look.-this shows lack of mental and physical artistic.

  • 2. Put on the correct clothes for the occasion.
  • 3. Do not wear informal clothing where formal is required.
  • 4. Do not go over dress to an informal function.
  • 5. Half nakedness is never the correct way to attire to go anywhere. Leave that for your bedroom or the beach.
  • 6. Formal weddings and high profile dinners required dinner jackets and the even gown.
  • 7. For sport wear the sport wear depicting that of a lady or a gentleman there is no need for indecent exposure.

Party etiquette

  • 1. If you are having the party give at least 10 days the least for the invitation
  • 2. You go to the dining table when invited. The hosted will direct you to the correct seat. If the party is big there may be place cards.
  • 3. .Start eating when all are served if it is a small party.
  • 4. If it is a large party you may eat when your table is served or when the persons on both sides of you are served.
  • 5.

Talking at the table

1, you may speak to the persons beside you also the person across from you.

2. If the hostess speaks down the table you may do so too.

Using cutlery

  • 1. All ways use cutlery from the outside in
  • 2. If soup, fish, poultry and pudding are served start with the soup spoon first dessert sport or fork last.
  • 3. Glasses are reversed start from inside out.
  • 4. If wine is served the following is proper
  • a. Use white wine with fish and chicken
  • b. Red wine with red meat

How to eat different foods

  • 1. Horsd'oeur include spices bits of foods eaten with a fork
  • 2. Oysters are eaten with a fork , if served in shell hold the shell on the plate
  • 3. Mellon is eaten with knife and fork
  • 4. Grapes are eaten with the hands
  • 5. Pineapple with a fork.
  • 6. Apple use a knife and fork
  • 7. Tangerine peel with the hands
  • 8. orange hold with hands to peel ,then use knife and fork to remove segments
  • 9. Fish use knife and fork -remove the edible parts if small remove whole on one side then remove the main bone and eat the other side.
  • 10. Soup eats with a spoon, eat from the sides of spoon, the soup spoon is usually round. You may have your last drop of soup by tilting the bowl away from you and spoon up the soup away from you.
  • 11. Never make noise with the mouth, if soup or porridge is hot take it from around the sides.
  • 12. Eat porridge from the tip the spoon the tip of the porridge or dessert spoon is usually pointed,
  • 13. Eat birds with knife and fork if it is proving difficult to remove flesh just removes what you can and leave the rest .fighting too hard may cause the bird to "fly off the plate. Never suck bones at formal dinners, at informal setting you may ask may I have my bone. However not having your bones once is better than looking embarrassingly silly having it.
  • 14. Cooked/raw vegetable with knife and fork except for asparagus or artichokes which are eaten with the finger tips.
  • 15. Pudding eats with spoon /fork.
  • 16. Cheese is eaten with biscuit or toast never with knife or forks,
  • 17. Bread and biscuits with the hands never with knife and fork.

Things to bear in mind

  • 1. Any method the food when in to your mouth use the same method to remove unwanted items such as bones and seeds never use napkins and never try to hide when removing it.
  • 2. Never use the napkin to wipe your face, spread it into your lap when you are seated at the table.
  • 3. If you have to leave the table leaves it on your seat.
  • 4. If you need to visit the bathroom never say where you are going or what you are going to do. Ill says so and leaves the table.
  • 5. If someone asks you to pass a dish do not serve yourself first, wait until the dish goes round and come back to you.
  • 6. If you get an invitation to a party you should give a reply if you will or will not attend.
  • 7. If the food is not what you expected leave it on your plate it is bad taste to complain about it.
  • 8. If invited to a dinner party it is good etiquette to bring a small gift for the hostess.
  • 9. If you took a small clutch bag with you may keep it on your lap or on the table in front of your setting, it should not be in the way of the person beside you.
  • 10. If it is large leave it in the room prepared for it but it is better not to take a large bag to dinner parties.
  • 11. Remember not to prolong the meal beyond what is necessary so as not to weary your hostess since she will have to continue eating until all her guests are through.
  • 12. Never freshen your powder or lipstick at the table.
  • 13. Always remember to say goodbye to your hostess when you leave


When not to tip

  • 1. One does not tip when to do so would be to stress a social distinction that one prefers leave blurred, since giving a tip inevitable implies that the giver is superior to the recipient, therefore one does not tip a nurse, and her profession gives her the status of a lady.
  • 2. One does not tip a doctor, solicitor or other professionals, a letter of thanks and a present is best to recognize if they have done you a special service,
  • 3. One does not tip the proprietor of a business, working owner of a business airline staff, for porters.

When to tip

  • 1. A tip must always be given to the waiters, waitress, taxi drivers, stewards, it is considered rude not to tip them.
  • 2. Hotels staffed tipped at end of stay or every 3 months if you live there,
  • 3. Tip to domestic, cleaning staff of private hospital, to any chauffeur, servants at a friend's house where you stay.
  • 4. Tips are general calculated at a ten percent of the bill and left at the table of a restaurant, at the front desk of hotels.
  • 5. When staying at a private house the tip to staff should not be in front of the owner of the house.
  • 6. I hope this paper was helpful. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to etiquette.


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    • yenajeon profile image

      Yena Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      Rated useful. Great job!

    • yshashikant profile image

      Alejandro Paci 

      8 years ago from Mumbai

      I am really in love with this article. Thank you for such a wonderful hub

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      10 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      thank you for a very informative hub on etiquette, thanks so much for sharing. I will bookmark it. creativeone59


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