6 COMMON ETIQUETTE MISTAKES
If you think that etiquette just means table manners and RSVPs, sorry, you’re wrong.Etiquette is a reflection of your entire outlook on social interaction and public life. In most situations, your image and appearance isn't just part of what defines you; it's the only thing that defines you. People who don't know anything about you are going to fill in the blanks with the only information they have, which is how they see you behave.
Regardless of how you think of yourself, one awful social habit can easily become the thing that comes to identify you: Not holding the door open for a little old lady says something about you to everyone who sees it -- namely, that you can't spare five seconds to be a kind person.
So, it’s a big deal to follow certain rules of manners in both social and professional life. It can mean the difference between keeping or losing friends and getting ahead in business. Also, it’s important to learn what not to do.
Here go 6 mistakes:
1. Being impolite to anyone.
As you know, being nice to others in all scenarios is the most important rule of etiquette you can follow. You may not know proper placement of dinnerware or when to use which fork, but most people will forgive you for those small infractions. However, being rude to people is something that you may not be able to undo.
Politeness extends to everyone you come in contact with, from the doorman of your office or apartment building to your boss and other company executives. Showing gratitude and respect to servers at restaurants, sales clerks at retail outlets, and the bagger at your grocery store can make the difference in the service person’s day. Not being nice to these people shows a lack of character on your part.
2. Making people uncomfortable.
Stop and think about how you behave in front of your friends. Are you rude to servers at restaurants? Do you tell inappropriate jokes? Do you show too much affection to your significant other in public? If you can't pinpoint anything, ask a trusted friend who'll be honest with you.
3. Being late.
If you are one of those people who are chronically late, you are showing disrespect for other people’s time. When you agree to show up at a certain time, be there. If you are occasionally late, you will probably be forgiven if it isn’t something you do often. Always call and let someone know your circumstances and your estimated time of arrival.
4. Failing to introduce others.
When you are with two people who don’t know each other, you should always introduce them. If you can’t remember either of their names, politely say something like, “I’m sorry. I know we’ve met, but I can’t recall your name.” Then use the person’s name during the introduction and afterward in conversation. If you include something you discussed with that person in the past, it will soften the fact that you forgot his or her name.
5. Failing to RSVP.
When you are invited to any event – whether it’s a dinner party or wedding – let the host know whether or not you’ll be there as soon as possible. Failing to RSVP can hamper the person who must plan the guest list, food, and space. If you send regrets and later discover that you are able to make it, call the host and ask if there it isn’t too late. Be understanding if the host has already filled your position.
If you have accepted, and you get sick at the last minute, call the host immediately. Never change plans if something more interesting comes along. You may never get invited by that host again if he finds out.
6 Forgetting to be thankful.
When someone gives you a gift or does something special for you, always show your gratitude. Immediately say, “Thank you.” When you get home, send a brief thank you note. If time gets away from you, don’t let that be an excuse to ignore what you should have already done. Send a thank you note as soon as possible.