Advertisement

Kissing a woman’s hand as a greeting

Kissing a woman’s hand as a greeting
Getty Images

Although many see obviously gendered displays as cringe-worthy, there are some holdouts that still think that acts previously considered good manners – like kissing a woman’s hand or pulling a handshake in for a hug – are simply them ‘acting like a gentleman’. Stop it, Lipstein says. “There should be no difference in how one greets different genders in a professional setting,” he explains. Also, steer clear of doing things that may be perceived as too intimate for a first introduction, like grasping their hands with your second hand, touching their arm or shoulder, or hugging them, he says.

Taking your neighbour’s wine glass at the table

Taking your neighbour’s wine glass at the table
Getty Images

Cutlery, napkins, bread plates, and glasses are not up for grabs at the dining table in a restaurant, Lipstein says. “Knowing how a dining table is set and what belongs to you vs your neighbour goes a long way in making a good impression,” he says. If you do find you’ve accidentally taken someone’s item, flag down a waiter and ask for a replacement.

Here are some little etiquette rules you should always practice.

Drinking to your own toast

Drinking to your own toast
Getty Images

If you’re being toasted, then you’re the one being honoured or celebrated – so let people celebrate you, Lipstein says. It’s a very common mistake to raise your own glass and then drink out of it with the others but resist the urge. “If you are being toasted at a dinner, you do not drink to your own toast,” he explains.

Failing to RSVP

Failing to RSVP
Getty Images

If there is a manners sin that gets experts worked up the most, this one may be it: people who either RSVP late or not at all. Late or missing RSVPs cause unnecessary logistical and emotional stress for hosts, says event protocol and etiquette expert, Emilie Dulles. “Send in your reply as early as possible – the reply by date is not a challenge for you to eke out at the eleventh hour,” she says. “If you do miss the reply by date, RSVP anyway and also follow up via phone or email with a brief apology for your oversight and express gratitude for their kind invitation.” RSVP via the method you received the invitation, so if you got a reply card with an invitation, use that. If it’s an e-vite, it’s fine to respond electronically.

Showing up with an uninvited guest

Showing up with an uninvited guest
Getty Images

Some parties are informal gatherings and anyone is welcome or you’re given a ‘plus one’ with your invitation, but unless either of those is explicitly stated then assume that the party is only for people who are invited, Dulles says. “If your invitation does not include a guest or date, don’t try to add one last minute. Be an adult and go to the celebration on your own,” she says. “If there is a change in your relationship status, you can reach out to the hosts and see if your fiancé or spouse might be included. Respect their answer either way. You can always opt not to attend if they say no, but you can’t force them to say yes.”

Forgetting to write a thank-you note

Forgetting to write a thank-you note
Getty Images

Too many people forget the most important rule of receiving a gift: thanking the giver. For big gifts, like for birthdays or weddings, it’s not enough to simply say ‘thank you’, you need to send a nice card, Dulles says.

Advertisement

Putting your fork down on the table between bites

Putting your fork down on the table between bites
Shutterstock

“Once an item of silverware is lifted off the table to be used, it should never touch the table again,” Lipstein says. It’s common practice to put a dirty fork back on the table between bites but not only is that unsanitary it’s bad manners. Instead, rest any cutlery you’re still using on the plate; it will be taken away with the plate when that course is finished, he adds.

Don’t miss these forgotten manners every parent should teach their child.

Waiting a year to acknowledge wedding gifts

Waiting a year to acknowledge wedding gifts
Getty Images

The old etiquette rule was that a newlywed couple had up to a year to formally thank people for their wedding gifts but no more, thanks to modern communication technology, Dulles says. The new rule is all gifts need to be acknowledged, whether on paper or electronically, no more than three months after your wedding, she says. “Otherwise, guests may worry that their gift was not received or, even worse, not appreciated,” she explains.

Check out these fascinating wedding traditions from around the world.

Greeting your boss with ‘Hey’

Greeting your boss with ‘Hey’
Getty Images

Most companies are moving towards a more casual atmosphere which often means less formal manners but that doesn’t mean you should abandon all the old rules, says expert in workplace civility and business etiquette, Rosalinda Oropeza Randall. “There is real power in a formal greeting, especially when interacting with other cultures or countries, a person from an older generation, or someone with a higher title or position,” she explains. You don’t have to don a top hat or curtsey but instead of a casual ‘hi’ or ‘hey, what’s up’ she suggests ‘Good morning, Ms. Rubio’ or ‘Hello, how are you today?’

Spilling your guts to anyone who will listen

Spilling your guts to anyone who will listen
Getty Images

Reality TV can make it seem like nothing is off-limits and the best policy is to share everything going on in your life, preferably to a camera. But the truth is you are not a one-man show that the rest of the world is watching; real relationships need a balanced give and take, Randall says. “Regularly sharing your ever-changing moods while expecting others to always listen gets old real soon,” she says. You should be listening at least as much as you talk and choose carefully what you choose to share and where. For example, oversharing at work makes you look like someone who can’t control their life and is unpredictable – traits not likely to land you that promotion, she says.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: