Manners: A Refresher Course

 Manners are the core principle of being a gentleman. Nowadays, they have slightly disappeared from one’s education, and the world in which we live in, slowly forgetting what people took centuries to learn.

I was brought up in a family where manners were important, without being too strict. My dad used to tell us that we were lucky, that when he was growing up, kids were not allowed to speak at the dinner table.

The manners I have been brought up with are pretty simple but, I believe, necessary – if you want to be able to fit into any social situation. The first rule is: always be mindful of others and this is the common thread of all the ‘rules’ on the list below.

If you want to make a good impression on a first date, I believe these tips are as important as brushing your teeth:

  • Always hold the door for others (Not only for women).
  • Let ladies go through the door first.
  • Let the woman go first everywhere except up stairs.
  • Keep your nostril explorations for when you are on your own.
  • When invited somewhere, never come empty handed. Bring wine, chocolates or a small gift.
  • Always wait for the other to be finished before talking, interrupting is rude.

At the table:

  • The host has to arrange a table plan (Those things are not only for weddings !), but this doesn’t need to be too formal.
  • Nobody starts eating before everyone is served (unless the host says otherwise).
  • Never put elbows on the table (not too enforced anymore, but useful in presence of older and very uptight people).
  • Never speak with your mouth full.
  • Never chew with your mouth open, making a noise is very rude.
  • Eat everything, at least a little bit even if you don’t like it.
  • Never lick your knife.
  • Always serve the ladies first! (This makes me crazy at a restaurant. I usually go against the waiter(ess) when they serve me first, and make sure my date has her plate in front of her first).

I might be missing out on a few, but following these principles really make a difference in everyday life. Apply these principles to your life and see how people’s perception changes! What other politeness mistakes can you think of? Let us know in the comments section.

Claude Sullivan,

Country manager, Zoosk Marketing

Claude is a traveler, surfer and eternal romantic. French Native, he loves to cook and enjoys every minute of the life on this world.

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