Societies have always practiced etiquette. The goal of etiquette is to make people feel respected, comfortable, and at home in a given social context. Different rules apply for a business meeting than for a dinner with one’s soon-to-be in-laws. But, a fundamental truth lies at the heart of all etiquette: even if a society appears to abandon traditional etiquette, good manners will never go out of style. Your grandma likely followed these 8 rules, and you can, too!

Write thank you notes

Express your gratitude for birthday and Christmas gifts with a note of appreciation. In the note, explain what you like about the gift and/or how you plan to use it! By taking time out of your day to write a message of thanks, you communicate to the recipient that you genuinely appreciate their generosity and you value the relationship.

Cross your legs at the ankles

Many women cross their legs at the knees these days, but it’s actually more feminine to cross your legs at the ankles. Not only does this position make the legs look slimmer and longer, but it’s far more appropriate when wearing a skirt or dress. This way, you can save the embarrassment of accidentally flashing someone!

Follow the protocol for arriving late to a performance

We should always strive to be on time. However, life happens! If you arrive late to a musical or theatrical showcase, wait until the movement/scene has ended to go to your seat. This way, you avoid distracting the performers.  

Accept compliments

If you receive a compliment, accept it graciously and gratefully. In an effort to appear humble, many modern women reject expressions of admiration from others. The appropriate response to “your hair is so beautiful” is not “no, I don’t think so!”

Reject unwanted suitors politely

A male friend of mine asked a girl on a date recently, and she said, “There’s no way I’d go out with you.” This is a terribly impolite response! Men have feelings, too! No woman would want to receive such an abrasive response if she asked a man out on a date. In today’s era of “ghosting” and “thank you, next” culture, gentle rejections are rare. Respect others’ feelings. Of course, if a man is overly persistent and makes you uncomfortable, you need not be polite.

Speak like a lady

Try not to curse. Use your inside voice. Be mindful that you may need to adjust your volume when speaking to elderly people. Articulate your words with precision. Speak at a pace that is easy to follow.  

Tip appropriately

According to etiquette expert Lizzie Post, one should tip 15-20% at a restaurant. Restaurant workers are often paid very little, making the tips they earn extremely valuable to them! Be a respectful patron.

Stand up to greet someone

Standing up to greet someone who wants to join your conversation/circle communicates that you fully welcome that person. Your company will likely follow your lead, setting a warm and friendly tone in the group!

RELATED READ: 10 Manners Every Lady Should Know And Practice

Class is timeless. Let’s make etiquette great again.

Jenn B