If you haven’t learned etiquette at school, don’t worry – you’re not alone. We’ll cover ten basic rules that everyone should know. But if we want to learn the basics, we need to understand etiquette first. So, what is etiquette? Etiquette is the set of conventional rules of personal behavior in polite society, usually in the form of an ethical code that describes the expected and accepted social behaviors that accord with the conventions and norms observed by a society. Etiquette is the unwritten rules that show you how to act in certain situations.
At Midway Gentleman, we are often writing about ways to improve your lifestyle and mindset. If you are interested in becoming a modern day gentleman, check out our previous article covering the topic, and as always, let us know your opinion on our social media platforms – you’ll find the links at the bottom of this article.
1. Take Your Sunglasses Off Indoors
First, unless you have a medical condition that requires you to avoid vital light, take off your sunglasses when entering a public place. Wearing sunglasses indoors makes you look disrespectful. So, if you think it is cool to wear sunglasses indoors – I have to disappoint you. It is more of an awkward thing to do rather than cool.
Second, the next unwritten rule about sunglasses is if you want to talk about a serious topic with someone and want to look into their eyes, always take off your sunglasses. These are the basic rules that every sunglasses owner should know.
2. Give Genuine Compliments
Don’t you love when you get some nice words about your outfit, hairstyle, or your shape? Others feel the same way if you give them genuine compliments. Although I only give compliments when I mean it, I see many people give compliments without actually meaning it. It is pretty usual among women to give fake compliments. The rule of thumb is to say what you mean and mean what you say. If you know your friend has started going to the gym, and you are starting to see results, compliment his/her progress.
3. Listen Before You Speak
Many people listen to you not because they are interested in what you are saying but because they are waiting for their turn of talking. Be an honest listener, not just wait for your turn. Listen and ask thoughtful questions. You will make much deeper connections if you start to be a genuine listener.
4. Say Thank You
We take so many things for granted these days and undervalue the importance of these two powerful words. If someone makes something nice for you, simply say Thank you. It will mean a lot to them, whether they show it or not.
5. Be Punctual
There is a famous quote – if you are not five minutes early, you are already late. It is a quote that I’ve been living by for a long time now. If you want to make a great first impression, arrive at least five minutes early, but a maximum of 20-30 minutes. Most of us don’t appreciate it if you get there too soon because they either don’t have enough time to get ready or feel guilty if they are a couple of minutes late.
6. Say Sorry If You Are Wrong
If you can’t apologize for your mistakes, it is a sign of weakness. If you are wrong and you know you are wrong, say sorry. In most cases, the other person will understand it with a higher chance than if you wouldn’t apologize for your mistakes.
7. Wait for Everyone at the Table
We covered most of the following rules as part of our table etiquette article, but we think these rules are relevant for general etiquette as well. If you’re seated at a table with eight or fewer guests, wait until everyone is served and for the hostess to begin eating before you dig in. Whether you are at home or in a fancy restaurant, only start your meal when everyone at the table has received it and is ready to eat.
8. Keeping Your Phone or Unrelated Items Like Wallet Off the Table
All items not having to do with food (and decoration) should remain off the table, including keys, clutch bags, sunglasses, and especially phones.
9. When to Text Back
The best time to send a text message is when your partner goes to the bathroom. Apart from that, it’s probably not urgent to text back, or the person would have called you on the phone.
10. When Someone Enters the Table Stand Up to Greet Them
Finally, it is optional but a nice gesture if you want to make a great first impression. When someone comes to the desk where you are sitting, greet them by standing up. The person will notice and appreciate it, even if they don’t mention it that time.
Keep on reading: The Complete Guide on How to Dress Like a Gentleman