Social Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Do you have any personal etiquette rules you like to follow?

Asked by SuperMouse (30785points) September 16th, 2010

I’m talking about rules that aren’t necessarily dictated by Emily Post but that you made up or someone taught you that you tend to follow. For instance I don’t know if it is a true etiquette rule but when I am being treated to a meal I make sure my entree costs less than what the person footing the bill is ordering and I never order dessert unless my host does. Do you have any rules like these that you like to follow?

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37 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I never wear my shoes in someone’s home.

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t like sitting or getting comfortable in someones house until they ask me to.

muppetish's avatar

Whenever the bus is full, I will offer my seat to the people who end up standing. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female, young or old, juggling packages or wandering free – I will ask whether they want to sit. It makes me shake my head when people on the bus put their backpack / purses / feet on the seat next to them and never even ask whether other passengers would like to sit.

I also say thank you to the bus drivers when I exit… unless they were rude to me.

@TheOnlyNeffie I’ve always removed my shoes when entering homes, too. I don’t care whether visitors remove their shoes in my house, but I feel absolutely strange walking in someone’s home with shoes on.

eden2eve's avatar

I always smile and thank everyone who does me a service. Doesn’t cost me a thing, and it might make their lives a little bit more pleasant.

ucme's avatar

I always, as a matter of course, leave a door open for women or allow them to pass through ahead of me.

rebbel's avatar

I always let at least five persons answer a question at a Q&A sites before i do.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@muppetish I feel very strange wearing my shoes in anyone’s home, including my own. I know that I was raised not to wear shoes in the house.. but it literally feels wrong after so many years of practicing it.

I agree 100% with your attitude toward other passengers on the bus. (Or anywhere comparable, for that matter.) :)

MissAnthrope's avatar

Like @muppetish, I was taught to give up my seat for those more needing of it than my spry, unpregnated self. I was taught to respect the elderly and to try to help them if needed. I’ve carried grocery bags, helped steady an older lady as she walked down a rocky path, offered to let elderly people go ahead of me in line, that sort of thing. It just feels right, I mean, they’ve been around a lot longer than I have, not to mention they probably don’t have the same strength and stamina.

I’m exceedingly polite.. but that I think is just me (none of my parents or relatives taught me this.. some are outright rude to people). Working in the service industry, I know how hard it is to deal with people. I try to be one of the good customers. I treat all my waitstaff, counter people, etc. with full respect, a smile, and maybe a joke. I try to make their jobs easier.

I generally won’t pry into someone’s personal business. So, if someone mentions something, I don’t ask questions or pursue the topic. I figure if they want to talk about it, they will. I wonder sometimes if people take this the wrong way (i.e. disinterest), but it just seems respectful to me. (exemptions from the ‘no prying’ rule being people with whom I have long-standing, established relationships)

I’m sure there are several more.. I have a weird little code of conduct for myself that I live by. :P

Austinlad's avatar

I’m fortunate to have had parents who placed a heavy emphasis on what they called “social graces, which I guess is why you see me referring so often in my comments to “civility.” My list of personal etiquette choices is long and includes rules about cell phone usage, smoking, driving, thank you notes, dining with others, and many other things.

TexasDude's avatar

I always shake hands upon meeting someone firmly and sincerely, I always open the door for women (yeah, I know, I’m a tool of the evil patriarchal hegemony, sue me), I always offer my seat to the elderly, women, people with children, and I always shake the hand of people who are obviously combat veterans and thank them for their service. I met a POW from WWII that way

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If I’m the host in a group or have asked a friend out with me to a restaurant then I try to give them the best seats to view the place.

People coming to work on my home for whatever service always get offered some cold water to drink.

When expecting people to come home then I like to get up and go greet them as well as have some lights left on for them.

For my partner or anyone else in the house with me, if I cook and prepare plates then the best pieces/portions/best looking bits to go everyone else first.

When visiting older family people then I wait on them hand and foot to give them some spoiling.

chyna's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard‘s mom and dad have the nicest son. They must be very proud of him.

TexasDude's avatar

@chyna, I’d like to think they are! And thanks!

prolificus's avatar

Offers seat to others in need. Opens and holds door for others, whether male or female (I’m a woman). If someone drops something, I pick it up for them. I try to make people feel welcomed and wanted. If I’m at the office, I’ll ask my coworkers if they need anything while I step out to get something. Oh, and if I’m around someone other than my partner, I try to be discrete or go elsewhere to deal with flatulence. :D

iamthemob's avatar

This is kind of the opposite of etiquette…but I when I meet people, I often will tell them straight off that I will probably forget their name in five minutes, particularly if it’s a group and there’s “mingling.” This is at social, not business, functions of course.

I’ve tried to do the whole “repeat the name back” thing, but it doesn’t help. So I admit defeat, and have managed to somehow be charming while I do it.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I have to admit that I had no idea that most of these were not common etiquette. I always open and hold doors for people, offer my seat, say please and thank you with a smile, waiting to be invited to sit before I sit, etc…. Are these things not considered common courtesy?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@iamthemob Gad…the name thing. Many of us experience this, especially when in the business of meeting many people over a period of time. Remembering a name and connecting it to a face is a talent. I always introduce myself by name to someone, even if I have an inkling that we’ve met before. I am a proponent of name-tags.

SuperMouse's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie I am surprised myself that many of the things mentioned are not considered common courtesy/etiquette, but I continue to be surprised by how few people actually do these things on a regular basis!

Brian1946's avatar

I almost always let people finish their sentences without interrupting them.
The only exception to that would be if something was about to fall on them or hit them, in which case I would interrupt them with a hearty “Watch out!”, or with the appropriate physical action.

When I park I try to center my car between the lines so that there’s adequate space for whomever parks next to me.

I return a shopping cart to a cart rack rather than leaving it where it will be in the way of someone else.

If someone behind me in a store has just a few items to buy, and I have many, then I offer to let them go ahead of me.

sliceswiththings's avatar

As a 22-year-old, I feel like a total hooligan if I don’t use “ma’am” and “sir” while talking to those significantly older than me.

Also, a couple years ago I decided that “take care” is pretty much the best thing to say. After much effort, I know automatically say it when leaving interactions.

LuckyGuy's avatar

When eating with others, I never complain, send back or comment negatively about the food. the food is secondary to the company.

@TheOnlyNeffie I also always take my shoes off. It is so much more comfortable and cleaner. It creeps me out when I see someone wearing shoes resting on the couch.

Wearing high heels on a bed is a different story. When worn correctly, the heels never touch the ground.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@worriedguy I would never dream of putting my shoes up on someone’s couch, even my own. Really bothers me to see it, too.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie I also don’t like to put my feet on someone else’s chair. It seems like I am making their seat dirty. Does this mean I have a touch of OCD?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Don’t we all?

Berserker's avatar

Yeah I’m sincerely not trying to be funny, but I will never enter one’s abode unless they invite me in first, whether this is my roomie’s bedroom or a someone’s house.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Symbeline that is a good one, if it isn’t a standard rule of etiquette it should be.

Trillian's avatar

I always say “May I?” before I sit in someone else’s office. I make it a point to allow people pulling out of parking lots to go ahead of me and I keep from blocking exits. I know it’s a law, but rarely observed by most people, or so it seems. I also take my shoes off when I enter another person’s home. And I do not allow my children to speak rudely to other adults.

NaturallyMe's avatar

I make sure to taste the food someone has cooked before i throw salt and other condiments on it. Because i HATE it when people throw that stuff on without even tasting the food first, that i had made. It’s like they’re assuming i made it tasteless or are not able to cook a sufficiently flavourful meal. I just find it plain rude.

However, if my dad takes us out to eat, i may order things that i wouldn’t have ordered otherwise because they’re so expensive, but my dad can afford it and he doesn’t mind, so. :) I gotta take advantage of it, hehe.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This question is our Question of the Day!

iamthemob's avatar

I realized another – when I’m smoking on the sidewalk, I make sure that I’m walking on the street side, holding the cigarette in the street hand, and when someone walks by, I blow the smoke to the street side.

And when there are children around, I hide the cigarette behind me.

Seek's avatar

@Symbeline I’m a human vampire as well. ^_^

I will never be the first person to dig in, whether it’s a buffet or a plated party. I will also never take the first or last slice of cake or pizza, or the last beer in the cooler.

SuperMouse's avatar

@iamthemob I like those rules, they are incredibly respectful.

iamthemob's avatar

@SuperMouse – I know it’s gross. So I try to limit how much I expose others to it directly.

it’s really gross

SuperMouse's avatar

@iamthemob I have a step-daughter who, if she can’t find an ashtray, puts out her cigarette then picks up the butt and carries in her had until she finds a trash can to drop it in. It is a lot easier to deal with smoking when smokers are respectful of others.

krose1223's avatar

I always tip 20% or more, unless service was just terrible! But I can’t even remember a time that was so bad… I also bus the table to the best of my ability, ESPECIALLY if my 3 year old decided to be messy. (Which he often is)
If there is a person walking and I am about to drive over a puddle I will come to a complete stop if I have to, in order to prevent from splashing them.
For some really weird reason I wipe down the countertops at public restrooms if they are super wet… And I’ll throw away paper towells if someone didn’t make it in. (I wash my hands after doing all this.)

Rhodentette's avatar

I always make a point of acknowledging people I know if I bump into them on the street. (I’m not talking about long conversations – just a wave, smile and “hello” will do. It amazes me how many people “blank” people they know because they can’t be bothered.)

When I’m invited to dine in someone’s home, I’ll never offer criticism (constructive or otherwise) about the food or any other aspect of the host’s home. (Yes, I’ve had people come to dinner at my house who offered unsolicited advice on how I could improve the food I’d made and no, I’m really no slouch in the kitchen.)

I return shopping trolleys and baskets to their racks.

I never assume that I can smoke in someone else’s house or even their outdoor spaces. Most of the time I won’t actually smoke anywhere near non-smokers and children. If I feel that desperate for a cigarette, I ask if I may smoke outside and if we’re already outside, I’ll stand away from the group. I won’t ever leave cigarette butts in people’s gardens or pot plants.

I’ll never offer suggestions to people on how they can “improve” themselves unless I’m asked.

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