Remember the last time you were talking on your phone at the dinner table—ignoring your guests—your elbows were firmly placed right beside your plate, and you laughed so hard your gum fell out of your mouth? Well, we have three words for you: LET’S STOP THAT! In our never-ending quest to spread the word on social etiquette and eradicate bad manners from our world, we have some gentle reminders on seven offensive behaviors that we all might want to erase from our lives.
Chewing gum: When it comes to a very common behavior that can make us look a little too common, chewing gum tops our list of behaviors to ditch. Loud gum smacking and open mouth chewing are indefensible in our humble opinion and although we won’t ever go as far as saying gum chewing should not be allowed, at least try to be more subtle and chew gently and in private, if possible. And, never, ever, park your used gum on the side of your plate in preparation for a meal.
Elbows off the table: Elbows on a table can make a dinner guest not only look uncouth—like a wild person seeing their first plated food— they can also disrupt a table setting or food dish. So, when it comes to putting our elbows on the table, Let’s Stop That!
Heavy perfumes or cologne: This next anti-etiquette behavior is one that many people may not even be aware of – and that’s wearing too much cologne or perfume. How could someone not be aware, you may ask? It’s because everyone has varying sensitivity with what and how much you can smell, so you may not even be aware that the extra dose of Chanel No. 5 might be offensive and even causing allergic reactions. So, when it comes to dabbing on the scents, use good sense and remember less is more. (And for job interviews and other first meetings, it’s usually a good idea to skip the perfumes and colognes altogether so your first impression doesn’t linger after you have left the building.)
Inappropriate phone use: Now, this is a big one and perhaps one of the most offensive things that all of us have done at one time or another and that is texting or taking calls at inappropriate times. So, Let’s Stop That! We’re talking about texting or talking while you’re at dinner with friends or family, doing so in meetings with colleagues, when you’re supposed to be engaged in serious conversations with your loved ones or even in the movie theatre. When you’re around the important people or places where it may be distracting to others, learn to step away from the phone.
Offensive Commentary: There are three little words that can absolutely ruin a good day and that’s when someone tells you, “You look tired.” Listen, we all DO look tired from time to time, but even on our best days, our bodies can show some wear and tear and we do not need someone telling us we look worse for wear. We never know what’s going on with someone else and telling someone they look tired or stressed or sick only makes someone feel self-conscious. So keep the commentary to yourself and only offer up positive reinforcements or compliments when it comes to someone else’s appearance.
Forgetting to RSVP: For everyone who has ever planned a dinner party, wedding reception or any other special occasion, how much do we all dislike people who fail to RSVP or do so at the very last minute? Yes, let’s say it together…LET’S STOP THAT! Event planning takes a lot of time, energy and money and when you either have a surprise or last-minute guest that you weren’t planning for, it can throw the event off. When you see those four little letters be sure to RSVP and do so in a timely manner.
Being late: Finally, as we mentioned late RSVPs, we should also try and do our best to be on time in both social and business occasions. No one likes to wait around for anyone and being late shows a lack of respect for whoever you are meeting…so when it comes to running late, LET’S STOP THAT!