Posts Tagged ‘Manners’

Are you on Facebook?

Facebook http://www.facebook.com was once thought of as a social networking site for the young. Not true any more. I was finally coerced into joining Facebook and was amazed at how many people over the age 40 are members. To my surprise, I’ve reconnected with people from my high school, and keep in better contact with friends and family members. I’ve even gotten some friend invites from several young men that I don’t know. Hmmm, I guess there are guys on there trolling for women. I was a little flattered but I just ignored those requests. Since I’m a Facebook newbie, my blog buddy – Digitalcitizen http://digitalcitizen.ca, shared a Facebook Etiquette/Netiquette Guide he wrote. I’ve also found other Facebook manners/etiquette tidbits.

Here’s a rather humorous video on Facebook manners:

Here’s Digitalcitizen’s Facebook Etiquette/Netiquette guides

If you’re already using Facebook, I think you’ll get a kick out of this video titled “Facebook Breakup”:

You might also like:
Facebook humor – A Slap in the Facebook

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People often worry about the forms of introductions, but the only true unforgivable breach of etiquette is the failure to attempt an introduction when people who don’t know each other are in your presence. –Emily Post’s Etiquette

Have you ever been in a social situation where you felt awkward because you were not introduced to someone, or people, you didn’t know?

What is the purpose of introductions?

In my research I found three answers to this question:

1- To convey names

2- To promote a sense of comfort and ease among strangers


3 – The goal for making introductions is to provide information about each other in order to give you a common ground to carry on a conversation.

The following are some guidelines for making social introductions:

1 – The secret to knowing the order of social introductions is to remember the rule “Identify the king (or ruler) of the situation.”

2 – The most important person (ruler) is the eldest woman in the group. When introducing her you say her full name first.

3 – If no women are in the group, the first name spoken is that of the eldest man or most distinguished man. If you aren’t sure of their ages, or if their ages are the same, introduce the man you don’t know as well to the one you know better. Say the name of the person you know better first.

4 – Formal and informal social introductions are done by gender. Traditionally in social situations, men are introduced to women (“Mrs. Rich, I’d like to introduce Mr. Jones.”). Today it can be done either way.

5 – By tradition and out of respect, the younger or less important person is introduced to the older and more important one, regardless of sex. The younger person’s name is stated second. For example: “Aunt Ruth, I want you to meet my roommate, Mimi Carey. Mimi, this is my aunt Mrs. Rich.”

6 – If you’re in a business situation, gender doesn’t matter; determine who to introduce based on pecking order — the ruler is the highest-ranking person in the group. For example, when introducing your father to your college professor, the professor is the ruler, and you say his name first.

7 – Always give a last name when introducing people to each other.

8 – Try to introduce people by the names and titles they prefer. In the case of a doctor or someone in the clergy or military, it’s usual to include a title in the introduction. Including the title will let people know the proper way to address the person.

9 – Introduce family members by their full names unless they request otherwise. The relationship between the introducer and the family member is often mentioned. When introducing others to family members, the other person’s name is generally said first (“Carlos, I’d like you to meet my brother, Edward Prince”) if the people being introduced are of roughly the same age and rank. But as a sign of respect, an older family member is named first (“Granny, I’d like to introduce Mr. John Silver. John, this is my grandmother, Mrs. Mack”).

10 – When introducing your college friends to your parents, you would use your friend’s full names, but you probably wouldn’t introduce your parents by theirs. You can simply say, “These are my parents.” Or if they have a last name that differs from yours, you can say, “These are my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Doe.”

11 – When you share last names, introduce your spouse and offspring to adults by first names only. When introducing your husband to a friend, what you say is, “I’d like you to meet my husband Joe (or Joe Doe).” Never refer to him as “Mr. Doe” or “Dr. Doe.” The same formula applies when your husband introduces you.

12 – When introducing yourself to others, always give your full name and tell them something (but not too much) about yourself. Be sure to ask them questions too.

13 – Extend your hand for a handshake when introducing yourself or being introduced. Squeeze the other person’s hand firmly, yet gently, and grasp the entire hand.

14 – In social situations, the host(s) should try to jump-start the conversation between the people they’ve just introduced. This can be done by trying to find some topic the people they’ve just introduced have in common.


Emily Post’s Etiquette, by Peggy Post, 17th edition

Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette: 50th Anniversary Edition, by Nancy Tuckerman, Nancy Dunnan, and Amy Vanderbilt

Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Freshly Updated, by Judith Martin

Etiquette for Dummies, by Sue Fox

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“If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care: —
Of whom you speak — to whom you speak,
And how — and when — and where.”
–from Little House on the Prairie

Have you ever become upset or offended by someone’s lack of manners? Recently my blogging buddy Delicacies http://delicacies.wordpress.com and I have. You can check out her etiquette story here: http://delicacies.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/rachael-ray-martha-stewart-and-my-niece-l/. So this started me thinking — how do we know what we know when it comes to manners and etiquette? My first thought was that it starts with “home training.” We begin our manners and etiquette education at home. We are first taught by our parents/guardians. Then we are taught more lessons when we enter school, and later on in the workforce. We must know the proper manners and etiquette for a variety of life situations (such as parties, traveling, weddings, letter writing, personal hygiene, etc.), as well as visiting someone’s home. There is social etiquette and business etiquette. Now that we have cell phones, computers and the internet, there are even more etiquette lessons to learn. Manners and etiquette also vary based on cultures. It seems manners and etiquette is a life-long learning thing. So this got me thinking…

How did this manners and etiquette thing begin? What’s the difference between manners and etiquette? Who makes up the rules?

The first known book on appropriate behavior was a guide that Ptah-hotep, a government official in Egypt in 2500 B.C., wrote for his son. Several Greeks and Romans wrote behavior guides, including Aristotle, Horace, Cicero, and Plutarch. In thirteenth-century Europe, the chivalric code established precisely and minutely the proper behavior for knights regarding the Christian church, their country, and the treatment of women. During the reign of Louis XIV (1638–1715) in France, the term “etiquette” came into use. Based on the French word “ticket,” which denoted the proper paths for nobility to follow in the gardens of the palace of Versailles, the rules of etiquette came to provide a daily, very precise list of functions related to times, places, and proper dress and behavior. Thus, proper etiquette came to be associated with the upper classes and those trying to emulate their behavior.

Nevertheless, proper manners were a concern even of leaders in the more democratic society of eighteenth-century America. At age fourteen, George Washington transcribed his own “Rules of Civility.” William Penn published collections of maxims on personal and social conduct. Benjamin Franklin’s very popular Poor Richard’s Almanac was full of comments on proper behavior. During the nineteenth century, hundreds of books on etiquette were published in the United States. These were designed for the common person and schoolchildren as well as the upper classes. One of the most popular, which has survived to the twenty-first century, is the Youth’s Educator for Home and Society, published in 1896, which covered a wide variety of situations, including the usual—parties, traveling, weddings, parents and children, letter writing, and personal hygiene—but also, cycling.

As society has changed, so have rules for proper behavior. After World War I (1914–1918), society became more open as roles of women began to change. Many believed that proper manners would become less important. In 1922, Emily Post published the most popular book on etiquette for society, business, politics, and home and family. Her book became the model for thousands of others since then. The sixteenth edition of Etiquette was published in 1997.

Post was succeeded by Amy Vanderbilt, who called herself a “journalist in the field of etiquette.” Her contribution to American good manners was “Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Guide to Etiquette.”

Soon other etiquette mavens followed, including Letitia Baldrige and Judith “Miss Manners” Martin, whose tongue-in-cheek columns led to the publishing of several books on etiquette, including “Miss Manners Guide To Domestic Tranquility”, which she published in 1999.

Today, Peggy Post, the great-grand-daughter of Emily Post has also thrown her hat into the good-manner ring. Her book is called “The Etiquette Advantage in Business: Personal Skills for Professional Success.”

The field has also expanded beyond society manners. Today, many big businesses employ etiquette trainers whose job it is to teach good manners to executives. Etiquette trainers not only show business people how to dress and act–how to eat and converse in proper company–but they also train them how to become more successful in their companies and in the business world by providing lessons on such peripheral items as writing good business letters.

With the global society becoming much closer, executives having a background in societal and cultural differences have a much better chance not to offend as well as a greater success rate if they can demonstrate good etiquette skills. Hundreds of etiquette coaches exist in business today.

There are etiquette books and Web sites for nearly every subject imaginable. The arena of most concern appears to be the proper manners and etiquette for weddings. Other titles reflect changes in American society and cover everything: singles in the city, all sports (not just cycling), proper computer “netiquette” and use of cellphones, and multicultural situations. The coverage demonstrates the changes in society but also demonstrates the continued concern about how to behave appropriately. As many people believe, good manners may be dead, but certainly the curiosity and concern about rules of etiquette are alive and well.

Manners and Etiquette:

“Etiquette tells one which fork to use. Manners tell one what to do when your neighbor doesn’t.”

Good manners signal that you have respect for others, and that you will rise to every occasion with grace.

It is helpful to know some rules about how to behave in certain situations — if only because this makes life more comfortable for you and makes you more self-confident in social situations.

Manners and Etiquette go hand in hand, but are not the same. Etiquette is a set of rules dealing with exterior form. Manners are an expression of inner character. According to Emily Post, perhaps the most influential American writer on etiquette in the twentieth century, “manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them; manner is personality—the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life.” Manners are common sense, a combination of generosity of spirit and specific know-how. Rules of etiquette are the guiding codes that enable us to practice manners.

Most commentators would agree with Emily Post and add that rather than being stiff, rigid rules, proper etiquette is meant to help people get along with each other and avoid conflict. Respect, kindness, and consideration form the basis of good manners and good citizen-ship. Etiquette becomes the language of manners. Rules of etiquette cover behavior in talking, acting, living, and moving; in other words, every type of interaction and every situation.

For the unlearned, etiquette lessons in business and social situations can be purchased via the internet or bought in a book store. There is no longer an excuse to not have “the ticket”. Etiquette today is based on treating everyone with the same degree of kindness and consideration, and it consists mostly of common sense and basic good manners.

Since there is so much to learn in this area I will do a blog post once a week on the subject of manners/etiquette.

“Don’t reserve your best behavior for special occasions. You can’t have two sets of manners, two social codes – one for those you admire and want to impress, another for those whom you consider unimportant. You must be the same to all people.”
–Lillian Eichler Watson

Info obtained from: US History Encyclopedia: Manners and Etiquette


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