Common Etiquette skills are very essential to everyday life. How are you conducting yourself in public? At work? At an event? On a date? Hopefully you are using the basic common etiquette skills, if not, here is your chance to improve that.

According to etiquette.about.com , we learn that “the foundation of etiquette is basically behavior that is accepted as gracious and polite in social situations. Good manners can mean the difference between success and failure in many aspects of life”.

Below I have compiled a Top 15 list of the most common etiquette mistakes. Of course I may not be able to cover everything, but these are the ones that came to mind. These items are NOT listed in any particular order of importance. Again we are all entitled to our own opinion, so feel free to agree or disagree with me.

  1. Talking loud in public on the phone – It is very obnoxious to talk on the phone very loud, as if you want the whole room to participate in your conversation. If it is a call that you have to take, excuse yourself from the situation and step out the room. But if you are in a supermarket or mall, try to limit the time you are on the phone. Please stop yelling into your phone in public, it is not a good look.
  2. Being late – We all have been late. Not once. Not twice. But probably too many times to count. We are usually late to things, that are not important to us. Or simply because it takes you a long time to get dressed, or you get caught it traffic. Always plan ahead, and plan to leave accordingly to arrive a little bit earlier than the expected time. Nothing looks worse, than to show up late for an interview. So plan ahead !
  3. Not giving up your seat for someone who needs it – If a disabled, pregnant woman, senior citizen, or even a mother with kids is in your midst, offer them your seat. It will not hurt you to give up your seat. I know sometimes we may turn our heads and pretend like we do not see them, but it really is the right thing to do.
  4. Say please or thank you– If you need a favor, say please. If someone does something for you, say thank you. Surprisingly, people forget these two common words when asking or conducting a favor. No one owes you anything, so remember to say please and thank you, it definitely goes a long way. It is also important to send out thank you cards, messages, or emails after an event or after people have given you money. It shows that you truly appreciated their presence and gift.
  5. Eating with your mouth open/ chewing gum loudly – If you are eating with someone, whether it is a friend, colleague, or date, please remember to finish chewing before talking. No one wants to see your mouth full of food while you try to talk and chew. And also watch how you chew gum. Everyone is not meant to chew gum. If you are one of them, just suck on peppermints. Chewing gum obnoxiously in public with your mouth wide open is rude and unappealing.
  6. Checking your phone – We live in a technology driven society, were people are constantly on their phone. There is a time and place for everything. If you are on a date, or group outing, limit the time you spend on your phone. If you want to use your phone so much, stay at home. I know sometimes I can be guilty of it as well, but let us all try and be better at limiting our time on the phone.
  7. Interrupting – Do not interrupt someone mid sentence. I know we all do it sometimes without even knowing, but that is a habit that we need to break. Sometimes we have the urge to cut into a conversation, because it may not be a conversation we want to engage in, but let the person finish their thoughts. Sometimes it is better to listen and talk less.
  8. Bad table manners – Not having table manners are the worst. It looks like you are not home trained and don’t know better. Do not have your elbows all on the table. Do not speak so loudly, other tables can hear your conversation. And do not speak with food in your mouth.
  9. Not leaving a tip– This is a big one. I’ve always been taught.. no matter what leave a tip. I have never been a server, so I don’t genuinely know how it feels, but I do know that it is not an easy job, and a lot of them work for tips. Now I know you are thinking, what if they have a bad attitude, or I did not enjoy my service, yes you still need to tip, it may not be a high amount, but it needs to be something. And also do not go to a high end restaurant if you know you do not have a tip to match it.
  10. Moderate camera use in certain settings– This one is so hard for many of us to do, including myself. We want to capture the moment, and get all angles of the event. But sometimes, it is ok to just sit back and enjoy the event for what it is. Everything does not need to be recorded or taped. Some places also don’t even let you use cameras, so please adhere to the rules depending on your setting.
  11. Don’t ask for something and never return it – If you borrow anything from anybody, please return it. Do not let the person who let you borrow it, have to chase you down. That is very inconsiderate. Whether it is clothes or money, do not forget to return what you have borrowed.
  12. Holding the door for someone behind you – This is one of my pet peeves. When someone is really close in front of you, and they slam the door in your face. Please let us be better at this. Yes, sometimes we may be in a rush, but common courtesy teaches us to hold the door for the person behind us. And like stated above, if the person does hold it for you.. please say THANK YOU! Nothing is more annoying than holding a door for a person and they walk right in, as if your are their personal slave.
  13. You did NOT RSVP.. yet you still came and tagged a friend along- I know a lot of people do not like to RSVP to events. But why? If someone is having any type of event, formal or not, it is rude to not RSVP. Sometimes they need to know for seating or food purposes. So now you don’t RSVP and you decided to tag along a friend or two. This is very inconsiderate for the person (s) who invited you to the event. Let us try to do better, and start RSVPing for events BEFORE the deadline date.
  14. Coughing/sneezing and not closing your mouth– Sometimes we are not able to control when we might have to sneeze, but if you ever feel the sense of a sneeze or a cough coming up, turn to the side, and sneeze or cough into your shoulder. No one wants to feel your shower of spit, hit them in the face, so please be aware of these manners in public.
  15. Failing to introduce someone – If you ever bring someone to a setting that they are unfamiliar with, do not forget to introduce them to the people there. Nothing is more uncomfortable then to be somewhere and no one knows who you are. Introduce everyone to create more of an easy going environment. Also do not forget to address people by their title and formal names out of respect.

Hope you enjoyed the TOP 15 Common Etiquette mistakes, and if you are making those mistakes, this is your chance to now change that, and if your are already implementing it.. great job!

-Madam Koverage