Old Fashioned Etiquette: 10 Things You Need To Know

Etiquette should be something that is taught in every elementary school. Unfortunately, this is not the case – that is why we are making this article. The sooner you learn the following ten rules, the sooner they will have an impact on your life.

The Basic Table Manners and Dining Etiquette Cover

If you haven’t learned etiquette at school, don’t worry – you’re not alone. We’ll cover ten old fashioned etiquette rules that everyone should know. But if we want to learn the basics, we need to understand etiquette first.

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. 

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.

Gentleman etiquette

1. Take Your Sunglasses Off Indoors

If you don’t have a medical condition that necessitates avoiding bright light, please remove your sunglasses when entering an indoor part of a public place. Wearing sunglasses indoors can give the impression of disrespect.

So, if you believe it’s stylish to wear sunglasses indoors, I’m afraid I must disappoint you. It’s considered more awkward than cool.

Old Fashioned Etiquette: Take Your Sunglasses Off Indoors
Photo by Sebastian Coman Travel

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. You will make way better impression if you make this slight change. 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 you should only give compliments when you mean it. I see many people give compliments without actually meaning it just to feel liked.

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 to talk. Be an honest listener, rather than just waiting for your turn. Listen actively and ask thoughtful questions. By becoming a genuine listener, you will encourage much deeper connections.

Old Fashioned Etiquette: Listen Before You Speak
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

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 a nice gesture 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 – five minutes early is 10 minutes 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 the other party gets there too soon because we either don’t have enough time to get ready or feel guilty if we are a couple of minutes late.

Old Fashioned Etiquette: Be Punctual
Photo by: Andrea Natali

6. Say Sorry If You Are Wrong

If you are unable to apologize for your mistakes, it is a sign of weakness. If you are wrong and you know it, apologize. In most cases, the other person will be more likely to understand if you apologize for your mistakes compared to if you do not.

7. Wait for Everyone at the Table

We covered most of the following rules as part of our table etiquette article, but we believe 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.

Old Fashioned Etiquette: Wait for Everyone at the Table
Photo by Jay Wennington

8. Keeping Your Phone or Unrelated Belongings Off the Table

All items not having to do with food (and decoration) should remain off the table, including keys, clutch bags, sunglasses, wallets, and especially phones. Packing your stuff out to the table is simply rude to the place and other guests at the table.

9. When to Text Back

The best times to send a text message are either when your partner goes to the bathroom or when you arrive home. Other than those moments, it’s likely that there is no urgent need to respond to a text, as the person would have called you if it were important.

10. When Someone Enters the Table Stand Up to Greet Them

Finally, it is optional but always a 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.

Old Fashioned Etiquette: When Someone Enters the Table Stand Up to Greet Them
Photo by Redd on Unsplash

Keep on reading: The Complete Guide on How to Dress Like a Gentleman