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Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making: Etiquette

Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making: Etiquette

Most of us like to think of ourselves as being polite all the time. However, there are common etiquette mistakes all of us make, often without realizing we are doing so. When your social calendar is busy or even in ordinary situations you encounter socially, and at work, you want to avoid being in situations where you end up causing embarrassment for anybody.

Skipping Introductions Because of a Forgotten Name

It’s a situation that happens more often than we care to acknowledge: you are in a situation where you’re with a good friend, and you meet an acquaintance whose name happens to escape your mind at the moment. In your embarrassment, you skip introducing the two of them. Instead of skipping the introductions, which can end up being more humiliating for the one whose name you’ve forgotten, use a technique that bridges this gap. Instead of introductions with names, simply ask “Have the two of you met?”

Adding “Please RSVP” to Your Invitations

Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making: Etiquette RSVP imageMany people are using redundant phrasing in invitations to social occasions without realizing they are doing it. What many don’t realize is that this acronym stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”. When translated into English, this phrase means “Respond, if you please.” Keeping just the initials or choosing an alternate phrase without RSVP might be the key.

Inquiring About the Ethnicity of a Stranger or Acquaintance’s Surname

Calgary is a diverse place, and most of us might encounter someone with a last name that seems different from typical names in the area. Asking what type of name somebody’s surname is seems innocent enough, but could give the impression you’re prejudiced or more interested in their ancestry than their character. What you could do is ask them about how long they’ve lived in Calgary if they seem comfortable talking about their background. If not, you can look up their last name online to satisfy your curiosity.

Wearing Diamonds Before 6 PM

Diamond jewelry should only be worn after 6 pm unless it’s an engagement ring or wedding band. In the case of religious jewelry, wearing it before six is also acceptable in these circumstances. You might be proud of a piece of diamond jewelry that you own, but jewelry this formal is not suited to daytime wear.

Asking a Host for a House Tour

The only setting where it’s customary for a homeowner to show guests around the house is at a housewarming party. They may have only readied certain parts of the house for guests, or maybe they have children sleeping they don’t want to disturb. In any case, it’s rude to ask for a tour if your host hasn’t offered one.

Don’t Shake Hands While Sitting

It is always polite to stand when someone approaches to introduce themselves or greet you. The gender if the person doesn’t matter, standing is always appropriate. Even if you’re eating or drinking, put your utensils or cup down and stand anyway.

Even though it seems like there is a lot to remember with proper etiquette, everything will come a lot more easily if you start putting such practices into use. You’ll not only avoid awkward moments but will also be both a great guest and host at any party.


Photo credits: diamonds, rsvp

About The Author

Sereena S.

Mom of two, wife to one, and a dog lover, although cats can be okay too. Sometimes.

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