When you practice basic etiquette (also known as manners or social skills), you can carry yourself with a certain grace and confidence—one that most people don't even aspire to.
But what about those who ignore basic etiquette? The ones who talk too loud, lick their fingers at a business lunch, or whose idea of "bring an appetizer" is to show up with corn dogs? (See Point #3 below) It turns out we all expect good manners. So in true holiday spirit, let's all do our part to move the needle.
9 Ways to Be the Ideal Holiday Guest
- RSVP. If you're saying yes, say it with enthusiasm—and of course promptly. Make the other person glad they invited you, even if it's "just family."
- Treat your family with as much warmth and respect as you would a friend. If they don't reciprocate, hold your head high and let them own that.
- If it's a meal at someone's home, ask what you can bring—and bring it. Yes, even if it's corn dogs. The point is to fit into the occasion.
- When in doubt, ask. For example, if you're asked to bring dessert, make sure your host approves your choice. Choose something that will complement the rest of the meal.
- If you have food limitations, cover that with your host well ahead of time. Most will be happy to adjust, especially if you present it as a request.
- Dress for the occasion. At the very least, how hard is it to iron a pair of khakis and put on a nice sweater? We feel better when we dress well. It's also a way to show respect and appreciation.
- Show up at the requested time. Text if you'll be more than ten minutes late.
- Never ever show up early.
- Don't leave without saying goodbye to your hosts—and thanking them.
P.S. Decorum in the workplace isn't optional.
As a certified corporate etiquette consultant from The Protocol School of Washington, I have taught business etiquette to new hires nationwide and I know how to make it fun. If you're ready to make your workplace more polite and professional (and you've got the authority/budget to do so), please let me know how I can help!
Ideal Guest Tip #2: Treat your family with as much warmth and respect as you would a friend.
— Gina DeLapa