12 Etiquette Habits We Don’t Realize Are Crucial for a Well-Mannered Person

The word “etiquette” seems to be so old-fashioned. Most of us probably think that it has disappeared into oblivion together with gentlemen who used to take their hats off in front of women, but in fact, it still exists. The thing is, the rules have changed, but we still should follow them in order to not feel awkward.

Bright Side thinks that all polite people want to know and observe etiquette rules, especially when some of them aren’t that obvious.

12. Public restrooms

Polite people know that after using the bathroom, we have to wash our hands. But there are some other rules:

  • Don’t try to open the door of a closed stall. The door could open, and there could be a person in there. If that happened, you’ll both feel awkward.
  • Men are recommended to keep some distance between each other and by skipping urinals.
  • If you need to reapply makeup, don’t occupy the mirror next to the hand dryer. You will be making people who have already washed their hands wait.

11. Hold your cup correctly.

It may sound surprising, but a cup of tea and a cup of coffee should be held differently.

While holding a tea cup, you never loop your index finger into the handle. Instead, your index finger should meet your thumb through the handle as if you were pinching something, and your middle finger should support it by being placed under the handle.

The proper way to hold a coffee cup is totally different: you loop your index finger into the handle and keep your thumb on the top of the handle. Your remaining 3 fingers — middle, index, and pinkie — are tucked into the palm of your hand.

10. If you need to blow your nose

Etiquette experts recommend blowing your nose really quickly and quietly enough so that people won’t notice it. If you feel it’s going to be loud, it’s better to leave the public place and do it when you’re all alone.

The most strict rules are applied to blowing your nose during dinner. Don’t do it at the dining table, even if you’re really close to your relatives or friends. Go to the bathroom, blow your nose, wash your hands, and go back.

True ladies and gentlemen don’t use paper handkerchiefs, they prefer handkerchiefs made from fabrics. Of course it’s not a good decision when it comes to hygiene, but in this case, you should observe all the etiquette rules.

9. If your food is stuck in your teeth

It’s prohibited to use a toothpick at the table. If you realize that food is stuck in your teeth, try to rinse your mouth (and make sure no one notices it). Didn’t work? Go to the bathroom then.

But if this has happened to another person, and they don’t know it, there’s a trick you can do that is based on mirroring:

  • Move your tongue over your teeth (keeping your mouth closed). Maybe then your tablemate will start to repeat the same movement and understand what’s going on.

But if the person doesn’t understand your hints, don’t stay silent. Tell the person about their problem (again, make sure no one else can hear you).

8. If someone’s fly is down

If you find out your fly is unzipped in public, go to the restroom and zip up your pants. If there’s no opportunity to leave this public place (or room), you can just turn to the wall so that no one can see you and zip up your fly.

If you notice someone else’s unzipped fly, experts say that you have to inform the person. You just have to make sure no one else can hear you.

The “fly rule” works for other clothing issues as well: for example, if you notice a price tag.

7. If your colleague smells bad

As a rule, big companies have rather strict hygiene rules, and foods or perfumes with strong smells are prohibited.

But if your colleague doesn’t want to follow even the simplest rules, you have to act as a good negotiator. Ask your colleague to listen to you and let them know that the conversation is going to be kind of unpleasant. Go ahead only after the person agrees to listen to you.

You’ll find a detailed conversation plan here.

6. If your food is too hot

If you suddenly realize that your food is too hot, don’t spit it out on a napkin. You also shouldn’t breathe with your mouth wide open. Just drink some cold water or any other beverage. By the way, it’s also prohibited to blow on your dish. Your only option is to sit and wait until it gets cooler.

5. Your boss pays too much attention to you

Both men and women suffer from sexual harassment at work. If you face this problem, don’t stay silent and don’t be afraid. Let your boss know that you find their compliments or remarks unpleasant. If it doesn’t work, inform their boss.

Sometimes it’s difficult to identify harassment. Here’s an example:

  • “You look great in that dress!” — is a compliment.
  • “Your booty looks great in that dress!” — is inappropriate behavior.

4. If you want to take a selfie

Yes, to take a selfie you should follow some etiquette rules. Always ask for permission, even if you want to take a pic with your friend. Let them prepare for the photo: we all want to look good in our pictures.

Don’t take selfies in the bathroom, in extreme or dangerous situations, or near accidents. These are signs of bad manners, carelessness, and even cruelty.

3. You need to split the bill with your friends, and they’ve eaten more than you

While it might be unfair to ask someone to pay for a whole meal they haven’t eaten — it might also be awkward to bring this up to your friends. Just add up the approximate sum of your dinner, round it up to a bigger sum, and leave that amount. And remember, if you’re spending time with your friends, it’s could be better to just split the bill evenly.

2. Tell the difference between a pregnant woman and an overweight woman

Offering a pregnant woman a seat is an important rule. But it’s really awkward if you confuse a pregnant and an overweight woman.

Here are some signs that can help you:

  • For the most part, pregnant women don’t wear high heels and their ankles are usually swollen.
  • Consider their position. If a woman’s holding their lower back or transferring her weight from one leg to another, she’s probably pregnant, and it’s better to offer her a seat.

If you’re still not sure, it’s recommended to stand up silently so that the woman can decide whether she wants to take a seat or not.

1. If you rip your pants

Internet users give different pieces of advice: staple along the inner seam, cover the hole with a sweater by wrapping it around your waist, or call someone and ask for help.

The methods are so different, but there’s one rule: you shouldn’t tell anyone that you’ve ripped your pants and you should avoid showing your underwear to the public.

Have you ever found yourself in these situations? How did you handle them?

Illustrated by Alena Sofronova for BrightSide.me