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Little etiquette rules you should always practice

When to start eating

if you’re seated at a table with eight or fewer guests, wait until everyone is served and for the hostess to begin eating before you dig in. At a long banquet table, it’s OK to start when several people are seated and served. These are little etiquette rules to follow when you’re a guest in someone’s house.

What to keep off the table

All items not having to do with food (and decoration) should remain off the table: keys, clutch bags, sunglasses, and especially phones.

“If you’re in a situation where you’d excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, you should also excuse yourself before reaching for your phone,” writes Farhad Manjoo on These are the most annoying texting habits, according to science.

What to do if you’re not drinking wine

Don’t make a big deal of saying you don’t drink. Simply place your fingertips on the rim of the glass and say, “Not today, thanks.” This implies no judgment of those who wish to imbibe.

How to talk on speakerphone

Don’t use a speakerphone unless you’re in your office and holding a meeting that’s being attended by someone remotely. Alert the person you’re speaking with that others are present, close the door, and definitely don’t be a chatterbox while you talk. FYI: Using speakerphone at full volume to go through your voice mailbox is the definition of annoying.

Here’s some basic airport etiquette

And once on board, stow your stuff and get out of the aisle quickly. When claiming your baggage, don’t crowd the carousel. Step forward only when you see your bag. And stop making these airport mistakes before your next flight.

How to behave in an elevator

You should also hold the doors for others before you board.

Try this basic cell phone etiquette tip

When talking to someone in person, don’t glance down at your cell phone to see who’s trying to reach you.

Here’s how to be polite in email:

Things not to do when emailing: shout in all caps, use coloured fonts or clip-art emoticons, attach large files, forward an email unless appropriate.

When to send work texts vs. emails

Work emails can be sent anytime, but business texts should be restricted to one hour before the start of the workday to two hours after it ends, according to The Modern Gentleman.

Here’s the right way to squeeze a lemon into your drink

Use your hand to shield your lemon as you squeeze it into your iced tea so you don’t inadvertently squirt your dining companion in the eye. These are some of the worst dining manners.

This is basic napkin etiquette people miss

If you’re eating and want to take a sip, dab your mouth with your napkin to avoid staining the rim of the glass.

Here’s a major food passing faux pas

Grabbing a bowl of salad or a saltshaker as it’s being passed to someone who asked for it is the equivalent of cutting in line: greedy and rude.

Here’s the proper way to pass food

But if someone to your left asks for something, you can hand it directly to him.

Here’s the deal with taking home leftovers

When out with friends or family—even at a fancy restaurant—it’s fine to ask for your leftovers to be wrapped. But don’t do it at a business lunch or dinner.

When to check your phone in meetings

Don’t check personal devices during a meeting attended by your boss or anyone else who can make her disapproval your problem.

How to properly answer the phone

When answering the phone at work, state your name and place of business: “Widgets, Incorporated. Susan Smith speaking. How may I help you?”

This is the right way to leave a business voicemail

When leaving voice mails, state your name, place of business, and number. Succinctly say why you’re calling. Repeat step one; say goodbye.

How to introduce people at work

For example, “Mrs. CEO, I’d like you to meet the mail guy, Ron.”

This is the proper way to use your cell at work

If you leave your cell phone at your desk, turn it off. Particularly if your ringtone is anything Justin Bieber-ish.

How to stand up during a flight

If you need to get up during a flight, don’t yank the back of the seat in front of you as you do.

Here’s an essential part of being a good host

If a guest at your party is drunk, ask him discreetly if he’d like to lie down, if you can arrange for a ride, or even if he’d like to spend the night. Do not let him drive. These are tips to make overnight guests more comfortable.

•Culled from Readers Digest


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March 2018
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