These are the rules that govern our everyday actions and stop us from looking like insensitive idiots. We've gathered up 12 of the most common mistakes we see on a daily basis, so you can learn from them.
From where to place your water glass at dinner to how to give a proper handshake, we've got you covered.
Slapping on hair product before going to the barber.
If you know you're going to get your hair cut that day, refraining from slathering it in product that morning is barbershop etiquette 101. That will ensure an easier cut without your barber's hands getting all sticky and disgusting from an excess of product. Your barber will be happy he doesn't have to tame a beast of product, and you'll be happy because you'll have the haircut you want.
Being obviously overdressed or underdressed.
Wearing a pair of jeans to an event you know has an upscale dress code is an affront to whoever invited you, everyone attending, and the establishment itself. The same goes for dressing up too much. To understand what dress codes are and what they mean, consult our guide.
Not responding to an invite until the last minute.
Not responding until the last minute says, "I was waiting for something better to come up, but since there isn't anything, I guess I can go."
Not standing up to shake someone's hand.
A handshake is nothing less than a huge sign of respect for your new acquaintance.
Not introducing someone when you're the only mutual link.
If you've ever been in this situation, you know exactly what we're talking about here: Someone you don't know enters a conversation, and they're not introduced to you. The conversation then stutters and stops, turning into a super-awkward interaction. Stop this before it starts by making sure everyone in a conversation knows at least each other's name.
Taking a phone call and staying in the presence of someone else.
No one wants to hear one half of a phone call. If you need to take a phone call and you're with someone, excuse yourself and take your call into another room. Even if they can still hear you, it's a matter of respect.
Placing your phone on the table.
Even if it's not your intent, a phone on the table sends a clear message: "Whatever call or text I'm waiting for is more important than giving you my undivided attention." If you don't care to send that message, put your phone in your pocket.
Using the wrong utensils, cups, or plates.
Remember these rules when dining at a table, out or otherwise:
- Utensils are used from the outside in.
- Your cups go on the right side.
- Your bread plate goes on your left side.
Not putting your napkin on your lap.
As soon as everyone at your table is seated, your dinner napkin immediately goes on your lap. It is to be used for your fingers and your mouth, but never your nose.
Salting food before tasting it.
When someone makes you food, you should assume that it tastes good — until proven otherwise. So don't assume it needs more salt than is already on or in it, no matter how much you love sodium. Taste it first.
Not taking your hat off when entering a building.
This is a pretty old-fashioned rule, but it should still be followed. This is especially true when you enter someone's home. Implying your head might need protection from the elements in someone's house is just a little rude.