Do you think you have a good grasp of good manners and etiquette? We all know someone as an adult that has horrible manners and no etiquette. Learning basic manners is usually done as soon as children can understand you. The ones most pressed upon them are 'sharing and taking turns', 'no staring', and 'please and thank you'. Unfortunately, adults can forget these basic social rules.

The following is a short list of manners and rules that help guide our daily living so that we are more appropriate in social settings. Review them and see if there are any you don't know. Feel free to volunteer others in the comments!

Ten Basic Manners

  1. Waiting your turn and not interrupting other people when they are speaking.

  2. No name calling. Even if it's in "fun", name calling hurts.

  3. Always greet someone when they come over to your house. Depending on your level of formality, you can shake hands with adults who come over, but it's not necessary to shake hands with children. But, you should always say, "hello" or "hi" when someone visits so that the guest feels welcome.

  4. Say, "Please" and "Thank you" often. It shows respect and appreciation. In addition, if you are thanked, then say "You're welcome".

  5. Clean up after yourself. Whether at home or at a friend's house, always pick up after yourself.

  6. Good sportsmanship. After playing a game (sports, cards, board game), no matter the outcome, be pleasant. Be a good sport.

  7. Take compliments courteously. If someone praises you, be gracious and say, “thank you”, and avoid putting yourself down or pointing out flaws.

  8. Opening doors for others. When going into buildings, allow elders to go first and open the door for them. When preceding others into a building, don’t let the door slam in the face of those behind, but hold the door until the person behind can grab it. If someone holds the door for you then remember to say "thank you".

  9. Exiting/Entering etiquette. Elevators: allow those in the elevator to exit first before entering the elevator. Same with buildings or rooms - if someone is exiting the building or room through the same door you are entering, let them exit first.

  10. Respect differences. If people look or act differently than you do, don't point it out.

Table Manners

  1. Eat with a fork unless the food is meant to be eaten with fingers. Only babies eat with fingers.

  2. Don't stuff your mouth full of food, it looks gross, and they could choke.

  3. Chew with your mouth closed. No one wants to be grossed out seeing food being chewed up or hearing it being chomped on. This includes no talking with your mouth full.

  4. Don't make any rude comments about any food being served. It will hurt someone's feelings.

  5. Always say thank you when served something. Shows appreciation.

  6. If the meal is not buffet style, then wait until everyone is served before eating. It shows consideration.

  7. Eat slowly, don't gobble up the food. Someone took a long time to prepare the food, enjoy it slowly. Slowly means to wait about 5 seconds after swallowing before getting another forkful.

  8. When eating rolls, break off a piece of bread before buttering. Eating a whole piece of bread looks tacky.

  9. Don't reach over someone's plate for something, ask for the item to be passed to you. Shows consideration.

  10. Do not pick anything out of your teeth, it's gross. If it bothers you that bad, excuse yourself and go to the restroom to pick.

  11. Always use a napkin to dab your mouth, which should be on your lap when not in use. Remember, dab your mouth only. Do not wipe your face or blow your nose with a napkin, both are gross. Excuse yourself from the table and go the restroom to do those things.

  12. When eating at someone's home or a guest of someone at a restaurant, always thank the host and tell them how delicious it was, even if it wasn't. Again, someone took time, energy, and expense to prepare the food, show your appreciation.

Other Basic Etiquette Rules

  1. Turn off cell phone completely during a meeting, social function or on public transportation.
  2. Bring a gift for the hostess -- preferably something that doesn't require her to drop everything she is doing.
  3. Keep to the right on sidewalks and stairs.
  4. Keep food or drink, folders, and briefcases in your left hand; your right hand should be free for handshakes.

Resources Online for Etiquette and Manners

The Pink Teapot

A to Z Guide to Manners and Etiquette

The Emily Post Institute

Do you have any manners or etiquette to add? Please share them in the comments!