Man is a social being, and hence living in the society calls for adhering to social manners. While it may take a lot of effort on the part of many to practice these unspoken social etiquette rules, some of us do it with great ease and without much say. There are bunch of such social manners, that go unsaid and are considered a must without being reminded time and again. There are so many social etiquette rules, and the list in totality might end up beyond infinity since different cultures, countries, social groups and people have different set of social rules that are considered good manners and are socially acceptable within a particular community and group. This is a sorted list of certain unspoken laws that are generally acceptable and are less in number, hence easier for you to follow.
#1 Saying “please” and “thank you”
Well this one goes unsaid, “please” is a word that carries no harm if used too often. It can be used as a form of request, while even if you aren’t actually requesting, a please- never goes waste. Saying “please” and “thank-you” is really all about empathy, and these simple words are considered the most basic form of good manners, which are a part of social etiquette worldwide. No culture would take offence if a please or a mere thank-you is said, rather these words tend to have a magical effect on the one at the receiving end. Theirs is nothing tough, or cool about not using them.
#2 Not talking loudly on the phone at public places
While this one seems logical and non-sense at the same time. A crowded and really buzzing with noise-place compels you to raise your voice in the process of being audible to the one at the other end, and yet you are expected to talk softly when amongst a lot of people. Well no one in the crowd would really appreciate knowing what all conversations you are holding and hence it is considered a decent move, to not shout when talking on the phone. Public cell phone behaviour is considered a serious dimension of social etiquette rules.
#3 Avoid talking with a mouthful of food
Apart from the fact that such a habit can cause choking, talking with a mouthful of food is considered really bad and might be taken as a serious insult to the one you are talking to. The last time I talked with a mouthful of food, I was seriously judged for being rude. Also, table manners are something we all are time and again told to inculcate. There just might be a situation, wherein someone asks you a question while you have just popped in some food in your mouth. So, the best solution possible in such a case would be, to raise your index finger signalling ‘wait’, or sip some beverage to help you chew the food faster. You could also graciously smile for a moment and avoid talking for some while. So, the next time you try replying in an instant while chewing, take a look at your social manners checklist.
#4 Hold the door for the person behind you
The next one on the social etiquette rules list, is to hold the door for the person following you, and not indecently bang it on their face, or just break their nose. How would you feel if someone holds the door for you? Doesn’t this simple thought bring a smile on your face. And hence consider doing this sweet effortless gesture for someone else, and they might just feel the same. When you hold or open the door for someone, you unlock a lot of goodwill and positive feelings about yourself in their mind. It is a simple question of etiquette and efforts on your part.
#5 Use a handkerchief while sneezing or coughing
Though the flu season is brutal, and the immediate idea is to prevent the spread of germs. But this is one of the most important social manners. Avoid spoiling someone’s clothes or even their mood for that matter. I have often come across people who are very concerned with hygiene issues and I’m sure none of us wants to be in someone’s bad books for no good reason enough. Hence don’t forget to carry that handkerchief with you the next time you leave your place.
#6 Be on time
This one doesn’t need much explanation though. Being on time is not just a magical habit but it is also a great social etiquette. And bein g on time has never done any harm. The other person at the waiting end will also value your time and efforts if they get to know, how much you value your time.Everyone in this world is busy and we all have our own appointments and schedules to take care of, hence, stop making people wait for you.
#7 Push your chair in when you leave a table
To top the list, you may consider this one among the most prominent social etiquette rules. It is more of good manners than social etiquette, to push your chair in when you stand up to leave a table after a meal, or a discussion, a meeting or just a casual gathering. It would be considered disgraceful if someone else has to do that for you. Imagine hoe messed up a place would look if everyone plans on leaving the table without a little effort.
#8 Ask permission to use someone’s name or picture before posting
We live in the world of “the network of networks”, and hence posting pictures is one of the tasks that we indulge in the most. Social etiquette rules are important and equally important are social media etiquettes. Since a lot of people might not like the picture we tag them in and post, unless of course it is someone very dear to us, and personally known, posting people’s pictures without a prior permission would be a little unkind.
#9 Responding to an event invite
All of us often receive calls, messages or e-mails as event invites. Whether it be a party, a house warming, a marriage, a competition, it is ritualistic of an event invite to come. Whether we are in a situation to attend the event or we have other plans for the day, it calls for a moral duty to inform the event head, or one sending the invite, about our absence or presence at the event. And it just might be a little more courteous of us to tell them the reason as well. This is something we all often take for granted, but do we ever consider the efforts and time people put in, to invite us. This one is to add to the list of regular good manners.
#10 Do not cut-off other people’s sentence
This habit which a lot of us possess, might simply annoy someone and make them feel bad. Hence cutting-off other people’s sentence or chats or conversational flow whether in real life or on social media platforms, is not a practice that should be encouraged. On social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and many more, cutting-off people’s conversation or the serenity of their post with shrewd comment or a more than light humour statement, might hurt them. It is a part of social media etiquette as well as counted in social manners.
#11 Put your smartphone and gadgets away during meals.
It has time and again been taught to us, that the technology is better off the table. One of the most important social etiquette rules, is keeping your phones away or avoiding their usage while sitting among people on the dining table. You not only miss the chance of enjoying that food, which has been prepared with a lot of efforts, but you also end up being judged for whatever you might have been using the phone for. Usage of phone in between a meal, makes the time spent less impersonal. So, the next time you carry your smart phone to the dining table, just keep it upside down, and have a little heart to heart time at the table.
There are innumerable such social manners out there, but these are a few simple ones to get into the habit of improvising oneself.