20 Etiquette Rules You've Totally Broken

Diply 3 Jul 2018

For most of us, etiquette seems like something from an era long past. We still say "please" and "thank you," but those are just good manners, right?

It turns out that etiquette takes care of many of the smaller things that we consider rude, and offers advice on all fronts. The aim is to do everything as kindly as possible, which just makes sense. Even the seemingly silly rules have a reason behind them.

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1. You're clapping incorrectly.

Giphy | Giphy

Don't clap in front of your face. Instead, clap in front of your chest, slightly to the left. And obviously, don't clap in front of someone else's face!

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2. You're climbing into the car wrong.

Jalopnik | Jalopnik

Sit down first, then swing your legs in. This prevents a myriad of problems, such as flashing your friends and hitting your head on the roof.

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3. You're using butter straight from the dish.

AllPosters | AllPosters

The correct (and sensible!) way to do this is to take some butter and put it on your plate, then butter your bread. It's more polite and also prevents the dreaded crumbs in the butter!

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4. You're pointing with your finger.

FlickRiver | Express Monorail

It's OK to use your hand to point something out but always do it in a gesture with an open hand.

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5. You're coughing into your right hand.

YouTube | Iko Boy

The idea here is to keep your "social hand," aka the one that does shaking and waving, clean. Use your left hand for all of your, ahem, unmentionable tasks.

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6. You're returning dishes empty.

The Oreo Experience | The Oreo Experience

If someone loans you a Tupperware or casserole dish, always return it with some sort of treat inside. Whether it's cookies, your homemade granola, or a casserole, it's the polite way to do things.

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7. You're drinking during a toast to you.

NerdSpan | NerdSpan

If you're being toasted, don't drink. Instead, return the toast with a thank-you toast to those who toasted you.

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8. You're passing the salt without its mate.

YLiving | YLiving

Salt and pepper always, always go together. They're like that couple who always shows up together, even if you only invited one of them.

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See how sad they are when they're separated?

Giphy | Giphy

These poor little buddies just want to be together. Remember her face next time you pass one without the other!

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9. You're not making eye contact during a toast.

Giphy | Giphy

When toasting, it's polite to hold eye contact with the person with whom you're clinking glasses. It's considered rude not to.

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10. You're wearing your handbag on your right shoulder.

PurseBlog | PurseBlog

Again, this is a problem when you need to keep your social hand free. Carry your purse, drink, etc. in your left hand to keep your right one unhindered.

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11. You're congratulating the bride.

The Plunge | The Plunge

This one is pretty unexpected, but you should only congratulate the groom for landing the bride. To congratulate the bride insinuates that she wouldn't have had her choice of suitors. It's better to say "best wishes" to her and save the congrats for the groom.

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12. You're sitting however you feel comfy.

Reddit | mc_dad

You should ideally be sitting with your legs together. Not crossed, not spread — just together. It's most polite.

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Queen Elizabeth is out here searching for our manners.

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For real, though, while most of these are technically proper, they just don't fit in our society anymore.

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13. You split the bill when you've invited someone to dinner.

The Economic Times | The Economic Times

While going Dutch is popular with millennials, it's not the proper way of doing things. If you invite someone to dinner, you pay for them.

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14. You call someone by their first name when you meet them.

WorkflowMax | WorkflowMax

The first time you meet someone, you should call them by their last name, preceded by Ms. or Mr.

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15. You say, "I'm going to the bathroom."

Indscoop | Indscoop

While we all say this, it's not the proper way. Simply saying "excuse me" is the correct way to excuse yourself to use the washroom.

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16. You're consistently late.

Odyssey | Odyssey

While the occasional slip-up can be forgiven due to unforeseen circumstances, being late on a regular basis is very impolite to your hosts.

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See? Being late is rude.

Giphy | Giphy

Judge Judy ALWAYS tells it like it is, which could be perceived as being rude, but she's just being honest, imho.

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17. You've listened in on someone else's conversation, private or otherwise.

Flickr | Mayank Austen Soofi

While eavesdropping may seem innocent enough, it's very rude. Think of how you would feel if you knew you were being listened in on.

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18. You've forgotten to introduce acquaintances. 

HowStuffWorks | HowStuffWorks

We've all had that awkward moment where we forget someone's name, but it's better to admit it and be temporarily embarrassed than to completely avoid introducing them.

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19. You've held off on RSVPing.

notonthehighstreet.com | Aimee Willow Designs

I get it, sometimes you don't quite know if you can make an event. Rather than leaving your host hanging for weeks, give them a heads up that you're not sure as soon as possible, and if you still don't know after a few weeks, send your regrets.

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20. You've asked for a to-go box after a business dinner.

1000 Awesome Things | 1000 Awesome Things

While it's certainly painful to leave those leftovers on the plate, it's not professional to take them with you.

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That's a lot to take in all at once, right?

Giphy | Giphy

My advice would be to choose one or two points to work on at a time, and integrate the changes into your lifestyle over a period of time rather than trying to do too much at once.

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