The original etiquette manuals of Western civilization were in fact success manuals. As author Steven Pinker notes, they taught knights and nobles how to conduct themselves in the court of the king—which is where we get the concepts of “courtly” and “courtesy.”
I asked some tasteful and civilized friends and colleagues what an updated manual for 2014 would look like. Here are 27 rules to help you, whether at an office lunch, the company gym or the birthday party of your child’s schoolmate.
You’ll notice a common denominator in all of them: Think about other people’s feelings first because it’s not all about maximizing your personal convenience.
Checking your phone constantly while you’re with someone could be interpreted as disinterest and boredom. Dedicate yourself to the person you’re with, instead of scrolling on your Instagram. Don’t ask people out if you tend to spend the evening texting or calling others.
Avoid having empty conversations over the phone and answer only when it’s very important.
If you’re a male, you can use your hands, instead of chopsticks, to eat sushi.
It may be common sense, but chew with your mouth closed and do not talk with a mouth full of food. Even if you are asked a question with just having taken a bite, quickly, yet respectfully, finish the bite you have taken and promptly reply to the question.
Never forget to thank people when they help you because this is a sign of appreciation.
Ladies should never allow men carry their bags, whereas men should always take a lady’s coat to the coatroom.
Polite men respect all women equally.
Out and about
You should never stare at people, laugh, and talk loudly. Respect other peoples presence as they should respect yours.
If you’re a driver be careful not to splash pedestrians.
When you’re at the cinema, theater, etc. while walking to your seat, your face needs to face the people you pass on your way.
Regardless of your age, profession, or status, always greet everyone when you enter somewhere.
If you apologized and the apology was accepted, you should never do the same mistake.
Facts of life
Keep these 9 things to yourself: age, religion, disgrace, honor, affairs, wealth, medical problems, gifts, and family problems.
If you’re the only one following a trend, people might find it ridiculous, regardless of how good it looks.
That may seem like a lot, and to some it may seem like an uptight way to live. But just remember the basic success principle underlying all manners: Think about other people’s feelings first because it’s still not all about you. Following these rules is an excellent way to make the world a better place for all of us. Although some of them are not easy, it’s crucial to make them a part of your personality as good manners are never out of style, right?