If you want to derail a business deal, a burgeoning romance or be considered a jerk, ignore the power of etiquette.
From ancient Greece when a handshake was a sign of equality and mutual respect (and proof that the parties came unarmed) to Emily Post’s thoughts that good manners reveal “a consideration of others and respect for self,” practicing proper etiquette sets the tone.
Let’s begin with dating:
1. If the date was your idea, pay. If it was a more mutual undertaking, offer to pay but don’t insist. If she wants to go 50-50, so be it.
2. Take the initiative and organize the first date; don’t leave it up in the air.
3. Offer your date the best view or whichever seat she wants.
4. Put your phone away.
5. If in a restaurant, treat the wait staff respectfully. (Rudeness on your part is not a show of manliness but rather arrogance).
6. Message the day after a date or sooner — even a disastrous one.
If you’re in an office:
- Return phone calls/emails.
- Stand up when introducing yourself or being introduced.
- Shake hands firmly — not too crushing, not too weak.
- Don’t refer to anyone as “dude,” “pal,” “buddy.” Your co-workers and business associates have names.
- Don’t complain about co-workers. If you have a concern, ask for a meetings or coffee to talk.
- Never throw someone under the bus during meetings or out in the field.
- Never bring stinky food to the office.
In everyday life, hold the door for women, other men, children, dogs, anybody and anything just behind you who would be inconvenienced or possibly hurt if a door hit them. Don’t speak loudly on your phone when out in public on the street or in a coffee shop.
In the gym don’t hog machines, wipe down equipment after using it, put away those barbells and don’t loudly grunt while lifting weights.
And men, getting down to the nitty-gritty, when wearing a suit jacket leave the bottom button unbuttoned. This practice originated at the turn of the 20th century with King Edward VII when he unbuttoned his jacket after a large meal, and it stands today as a fashion must that leads to comfort.
And, always remember, good table manners never let you down.