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Hey, Bright Siders! I bet everybody of you is a well-bred person. But do you always follow the rules of etiquette in the right way? You would be wrong thinking that only members of the Royal family have to watch themselves in public. Here’s a shortlist of etiquette rules that you break every day not even noticing it.
“Bless You!” It’s quite a common mistake to wish good health to a person who is sneezing. If it happens in a family circle or among the close friends it’s okay.
But if you’re, let’s say, on a business meeting trying to buy another perspective company, and somebody suddenly sneezes, it’s better not to say “Bless you!” or anything, but to pretend as if you noticed nothing. In some special cases, it can be appropriate to offer a handkerchief, but that’d be it.
Proper hand to use. Once again, when somebody sneezes or coughs, he or she usually covers the face with a hand.
It is normally the right one. But it’s a mistake of almost every person. Why? The answer is simple. The right hand is considered “social” because when we greet a person we stretch this very hand. And when you cover your mouth with it while coughing, a huge number of germs easily transfer to your hand, and later happily move to people who come into contact with you. This means that you ignoring this rule help microbes and bacteria to take over the world and rule it.
Here’s one more thing about hands. Did you, girls, know that the etiquette specialists have identified even the proper way to carry your bag? It turns out that you should carry it on your left arm of shoulder so that your right hand left free for handshakes.
The Gym Etiquette. Yep! That’s right! There are some norms of behavior to stay polite even in spaces where everybody workout. You already know you should keep a towel with you to wipe up your sweat. But did you know that it’s also good etiquette to re-set weight machines at lower settings when you’re finished using them? That way, the next person who uses the equipment won’t injure themselves trying to lift a weight that’s too heavy. And, perhaps, you’ll keep the next person after you safe from being jagged by the fact that you are way too stronger.
When it comes to business etiquette, a common mistake comes about when we introduce others. Here’s the proper way to make introductions: Say the person’s first name or Doctor, if such a designation is used, and introduce from highest to lowest rank. Like, “This is Dr. Jones, his associate Dr. Paul and their assistant John.”
Table etiquette. Yep, you’re right. Restaurant or any fancy dinner is one of the most common situations where you definitely need to parade. Hence, it’s important not only to be able to distinguish the salad fork from the desert one, for example but also know how to use them properly. Oh, get ready! This part’s going to be a long one.
First of all, remember to always enter your seat from the right side and never shake someone’s hand while seated. You should be passing food around the table in a counterclockwise direction, or to the right. This allows there to be a sense of order when food is being passed so that someone doesn’t have a dish coming from the right and another from the left. There is an exception though: if someone only a few places away from you on your left asked for something to be passed, pass it to the left.
I know that all of you know how to use the fork and the knife. But here is a little reminder: when you’re having a pause in eating, put your fork on the left side of the plate, teeth down, and the knife on the right, the blade turned to your plate. In case if you put your tableware on your plate parallel to each other, the waiter will think that you’re done with your meal and take it away, even if the plate is still half full.
Don’t put the soup spoon on a tablecloth or napkin. Just leave it in the plate when you’re finished. And here’s an interesting tip for you about a broth. If it is served in a cup with one handle, you can drink it like tea. If the cup has two handles, you’ll need a spoon to eat it.
For spaghetti and pasta, you will need both a fork and a spoon at a time. With the fork in your right hand, you will apply spaghetti and with the spoon in your left hand you will separate them from the rest of the dish.
When it comes to the tea make sure that when you stir sugar in a cup, you don’t produce any extra sound with a spoon. I hope you already knew it. But here’s another secret for you: move the spoon not in a circular motion, as you’re used to, but back and forth, like a small pendulum. This way not only allows sugar to dissolve better, but also helps you avoid rattling on the walls of the teacup.
Phew! And these are only a few norms among many which, to my mind, are necessary to be aware of. Now let’s have some more fun. Do you like traveling? To me going places is an essential part of every year. Just like me, many people often plan their vacation carefully. But it is important not only to learn about perfect places to take photos for your Instagram, but also be aware of at least basic norms and rules for not to be embarrassed or ashamed in public, and in some cases even manage to avoid getting into prison. Here is the short list of dos and don’ts for you to remember and follow while being far from home. Grab popcorn and enjoy!
While traveling to South Korea, be aware of their respectfulness towards the elder people. This is a national treat there. Thus, when one of your elders offers you a drink, the proper etiquette is to receive it with both hands, and then turn your head away as you take your first sip. By this, you can not only show your respect to their culture, but also please your Korean friends being aware of their customs.
If you’re traveling to Greece, Turkey, Montenegro or Egypt, to name a few, please note that the plumbing may not be designed for flushing toilet paper. Thus restrooms will have special waste bins to throw used TP instead. Failure to heed this bit of toilet etiquette could lead to clogs and even floods. I mean it! You can imagine any possible trouble you would be involved in this case.
While in, let’s say, Italy it’s normal to wave your hands back and forth while speaking, especially to look more Italian, so to say, you’d better be careful with gestures in the Middle East. For example, if you suddenly get lost in Egypt and don’t know the language, or you just trying to tell something in living color, try to avoid gesturing your hands much. Some people there may consider your over emotionality as a way to cast a wicked spell on them.
Now let’s move to Europe! I mean, here in our instructions, of course. My first tip will be: turn down the volume. This may surprise you, but for the majority of European countries it would be more common for people to use their library voice. Just try to imagine how your loud voice booms in the cathedrals, museums, and cozy restaurants of Europe.
Greet shopkeepers when you enter a store and say goodbye when you leave. It’s quite rude to not acknowledge them. Plus, the greeting gives you a chance to strike up a conversation. Chatting with a shopkeeper could lead to any number of wonderful discoveries, such as the best gelato nearby, and it can just be fun!
In some countries, like France, for instance, hugging can be considered more intimate than kissing. Instead, when you greet someone you’re not that close to, be prepared to shake hands or kiss them. Yep, no kidding! Meeting someone there kiss him or her twice – once on each cheek – or in some regions, even more. Along with the no-hug rule, you also should never bring your host chrysanthemums. No matter how beautiful these flowers might seem to you, in this country they are associated with funerals.
In Italy, while it’s still generally considered polite to allow a woman to go through a door first, that rule goes away when it comes time to enter a restaurant. By heading in first, the man can be the one to talk to the host and get a table. By the way, treat your server like a professional, and never gesture, snap your fingers, or do anything else, which can seem that you treat them as subservient. Actually, That’d keep you safe with etiquette not only in Europe, but in any other part of the world.
Okay, I’m done for now. Hope this information was interesting and useful for all of you. Adding these pieces of advice to your armory will definitely prevent you from winding up with egg on your face and leave a good impression no matter where you’ll apply them – during a business meeting, traveling abroad or trying to impress your soul mate’s folks.
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