Proper Etiquette by Jodi from Mannersmith Etiquette

July 29, 2015 0 Comments

Jodi R. R. Smith is the founder of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, an internationally known etiquette expert and the author of three books published by Barnes & Noble. Her Clueless to Class Act series has just been released in the 2nd editions. www.Mannersmith.com . Mannersmith has appeared in:

 

Of Manners and Microwaves

I remember when my parents brought home our very first microwave. It was a gigantic black box taking up most of the counter with a single dial knob to set the cooking time. So modern! The microwave boiled water, made popcorn, cooked cake in cups, steamed vegetables and warmed leftovers with the greatest of speed. The media eagerly proclaimed the microwave would soon replace both ovens and stovetops. Yet here we are three decades later and you would be hard pressed to find a modern home with only a microwave. We quickly learned there are some food items best cooked in the oven, some on the stovetop and some in the microwave. So too are our manners. We must choose which behavior is appropriate based upon the circumstances. While there are those who eagerly proclaim manners are unnecessary in our modern society, those who are truly savvy understand what is polite in a particular situation.

Aunt Tilly has sent you a rather thoughtful birthday gift. This is the time to put pen to paper and send a proper thank you note. After all, an emailed thank you note says you cared enough to do the very least. Of course a belt and braces combination is fabulously polite. You can dash off a quick email so Aunt Tilly knows the gift arrived and then elaborate on your appreciation in your written note.

Someone at the threshold paused to hold the door for you. Now is the time to use your magic manner words and say “Thank you.” So too should you be aware of others around you to hold doors for them as necessary. The other magic manner words are: please, you’re welcome and I’m terribly sorry.

Blasting out electronic invitations works well for kiddie parties and backyard barbeques. But for a formal wedding only a formal invitation via post will do. The method you choose to employ when you invite your guests provides clues and cues as to what they should expect when they arrive at the affair.

Posting pictures of your delicious breakfast or details of your newest fundraising efforts on social media first works well. For momentous occasions take the time to talk with those in your inner circle of family and friends. No parent should learn of an offspring’s engagement or the birth of a grandchild from an on-line status update.

Even our attire has guidelines for when and where to wear. Yoga pants may be the comfiest daywear going, but unless you are going to work out (or a quick jaunt to the market right after), it is best to leave the workout gear for the gym and don real pants for all other occasions. How you dress broadcasts to others how you expect to be treated.  

Good manners are like a secret handshake. They tell others you are aware of higher level social skills for interpersonal interactions. Just as there are times to use the microwave to quickly boil water and pop in a teabag and there other times when only a proper rolling boil in a kettle on the stovetop, using loose tea and a strainer will do. The easiest way and the most polite way are not necessarily the same thing. Truly polite people know the difference.

 

 





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