Etiquette is not just about which fork to use and the right way to introduce people. It’s about showing respect for yourself and everyone else in your corner of the planet. You don’t have to binge-watch The Crown to learn the rules, here are 20 ways to be more fabulous this this year, and go to the top! We give you the basics of good manners.
Use people’s names
A name is everyone’s most prized possession and you’ll be amazed how doors open: waiters and shop assistants will do anything for you when you greet them by name. It’s the magic word.
Be interested in others
Don’t fake it. Faux interest is worse than none.
If you pass someone you recognize, greet them. Don’t scuttle past like a cockroach. Saying hello makes everyone feel better.
Say thank you
They are the two hardest words in the English language for most people to say, but they work wonders.
Allow others to pass through doors first, take the credit, have the best room, or deliver the punchline. They’ll love you for it.
Make a fuss in a nice way, but never a nasty one
When people have accomplished something (brought a great present, passed an exam) praise them, but when they have done something they regret (spilt their wine, lost their license) don’t harp on.
Put others in the spotlight
Even if you’re only having coffee together. Ask about them, their children, their lives.
Look at the person who is speaking to you
Seriously. Look up from your smartphone.
Don’t do anything that makes others feel uncomfortable
Whether it’s swearing or talking about money.
Notice the special care people have taken over their hair and clothes and compliment them on it, be quick to spot if someone is shivering or upset, and take the action that you would want someone to do for you in the same position.
It’s always noticed and resented.
Be on time
We’re all busy, so don’t make anyone wait for you.
Don’t bring your smelly leftovers to the office
Dress for the occasion
Strict black tie for state dinners, formal attire for funerals and pyjamas only at home – not the corner store.
Listen, listen, listen
If all you can hear is your own voice, shut up.
Be kind in little ways
Give something small but gorgeous on someone’s birthday, take a bunch of sweet peas around to a sick friend, mark a significant date by sending a card.
About other people’s ideas, houses, children, business ventures, successes. This will go a long way.
When you do someone a favour don’t keep talking about it
Be generous. Shout lunch or coffee.
Never make someone feel they are a bother or a bore
Even if they are.
Put down that mobile
Even cradling it in your hand when you’re talking to someone in the flesh is a subtle sign that there’s someone you’d rather be chatting to.