Common Social Etiquette Rules

Social etiquette has evolved to encompass a whole new world of technology, with cell phone etiquette and texting etiquette included in how to meet and greet people politely. From how to handle a basic introduction to what to do with your cell phone in a conversation, there are plenty of reasons to review some common social etiquette rules.

Social Etiquette

When you are at a business function, be ready to interact with others. If you begin with the right mental state, you will be more confident and interesting. Start by introducing yourself with your full name, even if you think the listener already knows it. Extend your right hand for a handshake, both men and women. Make good eye contact and smile as naturally as you can.

When shaking hands, find the balance between a grip that is too tight and one that is too loose. Grip the other person's hand, palm to palm, and hold the contact for two or three handshakes. Several decades ago, it used to be standard social etiquette that a man should not shake hands with a woman unless the woman offered first. Today, men can start a handshake with both men and women with no breach of etiquette.

Conversing in public is both a skill and a social etiquette requirement. While hot button topics such as religion, politics and company policies should not be brought up, it's important to be well versed on a few interesting topics so that you can instigate a social conversation and keep it lively and flowing.

Intrusions from cell phones, whether texts or calls, should never be taken in front of another person when you are in conversation. If you forget to turn off your phone and it rings, immediately silence it and keep talking. If it is an emergency, the best cell phone etiquette is to make excuses and head to a hallway or a corner of the room to take the call. Never text while in a gathering or in the middle of a conversation-it has quickly emerged as one of the big no-nos in social etiquette. 

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