Social etiquette

-Rujuta Joshi

You must have always heard that people won’t praise your good deed as much as they will criticize your one bad flaw.  We all know that the society around us continually watches us and judges us. The way we behave, the way we carry ourselves, what we wear, what we eat , how we talk is constantly been scrutinized by people around us. They are just waiting for one bad move on our part and the news will spread like wildfire. If you show up to an event wearing something not suitable or talk to someone in a way you were not supposed to, you will become the news of the day. No one will notice how nicely you behaved but they will definitely notice that you wore sandals with a suit in a black tie event.

Even one flaw on your part can destroy the hard earned reputation you must have gathered through the years. It is necessary to know some basic etiquette for such social gatherings. 

Importance of social etiquette

Have you ever found yourself in a dilemma during a social situation? While dining you don’t know what to use when or you have been invited to an event but you don’t know how to dress. You are meeting many important people but you don’t know the correct way to greet them or talk with them. You have been asked as guest for a weekend and you don’t know how to behave or what to do. In such situations it is good to have some basic knowledge of good manners that work everywhere. Though there are some specific etiquettes for specific situations but some set of rules are common everywhere.  Good manners never hurt anyone; it is good to have a grasp over the ever changing rules. Try not taking advice from social media as it can be ill informed, it is better to ask someone you know you can trust and has an experience in such matters. 

Basic social etiquette-

  • Have basic manners of saying thank you, please and sorry. Have a positive and cheerful attitude in a party even though you don’t like it much, compliment the host and never say anything negative about them or the party.
  • Be on time, whether it be to a gathering, a meeting, an interview or a party always be on time. Punctuality is always appreciated.
  • Never go empty handed to a dinner or when you are invited to any event. Always take a meaningful gift for the host. The gift can be according to the party or something common doesn’t take something absurd.
  • Everyone has their personal space, don’t invade it. Different cultures have different rules on personal space always respect them.
  • Don’t be racist or misogynist it’s a big no. never differentiate between people always act equally to everyone.
  • Be courteous in your manners. Respectful to everyone and talk smartly. Never beat around the bush if you want to put your point come straight to it.


  • Hold a decent conversation. Listen to other people and answer thoughtfully. Never be the only person speaking, let the other person also have a chance to talk.
  • If someone is speaking make sure your attention is fully on them. Make eye contact with the person you are talking to and do not look around when the other person is talking. It makes you look disinterested.
  • Never cut someone when they are talking. Listen to them, let them finish and then put your point forward. It is very rude to cut someone; it shows a lack of respect.
  • Do not gossip. You should not meddle in someone else’s affair or talk about their failures. There is a high chance that the person you are talking about might come to know it will give a bad impression.
  • Remember people’s names when they talk to you especially in business or social meetings. People appreciate it when you know their name and address them with it. If you tend to forget names try to write them now inconspicuously to avoid any unpleasant situation.
  • Do not use your phone when talking to someone. It is one of the rudest things you can do. Try and keep your phone away in gatherings and meetings as such. No one likes waiting to talk you you while you are busy texting.
  • If there is a subject you don’t want to talk about graciously change it very subtly instead of saying it to them on their face.

Business etiquette

  • Wear proper business formal attire in offices, meetings and interviews. Your attire matters a lot in a business setting. It gives out your first impression. You can take the help of internet to search for proper attire to wear.
  • Have a proper handshake, it should not be too firm or too limp. It should be not more than 3 seconds long. When you meet a person greet them, introduce yourself and shake their hand.
  • Even if it is urgent don’t barge inside the office of your colleague or boss. The doors are closed for a reason. Knock first, make them aware of your presence and then enter.
  • Maintain and from business relationships. They help in future and form a strong base for you. Try not to talk a lot about your personal life in the office or ask your boss about theirs, keep things professional and avoid small talk.
  • After a presentation or an interview send thank you notes to the people present there. It shows your respect foot their time and that you have good manners.

Dining etiquette

  • Sit yourself after the host has seated in a dinner party. And if you are in a restaurant sit after the seniors have seated down.
  • If it is professional meetings do not pull out chairs for anybody however you can do so when it is a personal or social gathering.
  • Always appreciate the food the host has made and compliment them. Arrive with a gift and never arrive empty handed.
  • Know which forks and spoons to use when. Where the cutlery goes and how to hold it properly.
  • Do not put your elbows on the table. Chew with your mouth closed and don’t make rude noises while eating. 
  • Thank the host for a wonderful dinner and if it is in a restaurant thank the waiting staff.

Proper etiquette and good manners can take you far. Everybody appreciates a polite and pleasant person. Whether it is for business or social gatherings having proper manners will always raise you in the eyes of your peers. Understand the above points and learn them they will not only help you in succeeding but will also make you a better person overall.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *