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It doesn’t take a genius to be smart about good etiquette practices.
It does take kindness and patience — and those things matter (perhaps now more than ever) in our incredibly fast-paced, go-go-go society.
During National Etiquette Week this year (which began Monday, Monday, May 9, 2022), Florida-based etiquette consultant Jacqueline Whitmore shared her latest insights and tips for smoother sailing in all sorts of everyday situations.
She told Fox News Digital, “Etiquette is more than knowing how to use the right knife and fork. I define it as the ‘art of knowing how to treat other people.’ In a nutshell, it’s being mindful of how your behavior affects others.”
Let’s be more mindful, suggested etiquette consultant Jacqueline Whitmore, “of how [our] behavior affects others” — no matter what we’re doing, where we work or who we engage with on a day-to-day basis. (DragonImages)
For the “next few days” especially, said Whitmore, let’s take “the opportunity to practice those good manners that may have fallen by the wayside. This is a chance to bring back those common courtesies such as saying, ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’”
While etiquette practices vary around the world, Whitmore pointed out that no matter where you are, “kindness never goes out of style.”
“No one has the perfect life. The person who irritates you is either going through something, is currently going through something, or will go through something.”
As an etiquette expert who has advised individuals as well as companies and organizations for decades about a range of situations to navigate, Whitmore said she somehow “witnesses bad behavior every day. And most of it is unnecessary,” she added.
“Kindness costs nothing,” she said. “Try to be that one person who says or does something nice for someone.”
Says a Florida-based etiquette consultant, “Try to be that one person who says or does something nice for someone.” (iStock)
“No one,” noted Whitmore, “has the perfect life. The person who irritates you is either going through something, is currently going through something, or will go through something. If you pause and think about it, you might think twice about spouting off and being rude.”
Also important: “Being kind doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat. You can be direct, diplomatic and assertive without being impolite.”
Whitmore of Palm Beach, Fla., shared with Fox News Digital her 40 tips for good etiquette, adding, “Many of these tips are common sense.”
Yet as we know — “common sense isn’t so common anymore,” she said.
40 tips for good etiquette that make great sense every day
1. Hold the door for the person behind you.
2. Never lick your knife.
3. Keep a supply of thank-you notes on hand for those times when someone gives you a gift.
4. Offer the bread basket to your neighbor first before serving yourself.
Whitmore of Palm Beach, Fla., shared 40 timely tips on etiquette with Fox News Digital. (Amalie Orrange)
5. Be punctual.
6. Let someone go in front of you in line.
7. Put your phone away during meals.
8. Always RSVP — and do it right away, before you forget.
9. Dress for the occasion. It’s better to be overdressed rather than underdressed.
10. Use your turn signal.
Remember to use your turn signal when driving (and teach your kids to do so, too). It’s not only the right thing to do — it’s required by law. (iStock)
11. Return your shopping cart to the corral instead of leaving it in the parking lot.
12. Push your chair in when you leave the table.
13. Offer to help clean up.
14. Ask before bringing a guest.
15. Apologize when you are wrong.
16. Wait until everyone has been served before you begin eating.
It may seem obvious — “many of these tips are common sense, but common sense isn’t so common anymore,” said Whitmore — but don’t put your feet on someone else’s furniture!
17. Be kind to your server.
18. Don’t put your feet on someone else’s furniture.
19. Let people get off the elevator first before you get on.
20. Don’t groom yourself in public. This includes clipping your nails, brushing your hair, or picking your teeth.
Treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.
21. Don’t talk with your mouth full of food.
22. Return money that you borrow before the giver asks for it.
When people show you photos on their phone — don’t swipe left or right, advises an etiquette consultant based in Florida. (iStock)
23. Never order the most expensive item on the menu if you’re not paying the bill.
24. Never give advice unless someone asks or pays for it.
25. Treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.
26. When someone shows you a picture on their phone, don’t swipe left or right.
27. Don’t spit in public.
28. Pick up after your dog.
Make sure to pick up after your pooch.
29. Offer to help someone who is struggling to stow their luggage on an airplane.
30. Don’t double-dip at a party.
31. Respect everyone’s personal space.
32. Don’t correct someone’s grammar in public.
33. Talk less; listen more.
34. Don’t stare.
At the airport, let others get to the baggage conveyer — and allow enough room for other people to reach their bags, advises one etiquette consultant. (iStock)
35. Keep your word.
36. Don’t block the baggage conveyor while waiting for your bags at an airport. Allow enough room for others to retrieve their bags.
37. Avoid finishing other people’s sentences.
38. Keep your voice down when walking down a hotel hallway. And don’t slam your hotel door.
39. Say “excuse me,” if you happen to belch or pass gas in public.
40. If someone offers you a mint — take it.