The essence of etiquette: complete and clear analysis

The essence of etiquette and its foundations in different situations. Let’s consider what is the essence of etiquette using the example of standard life situations.

There are a few concepts that cause less excitement in today’s audiences than etiquette. In terms of its importance, etiquette is now somewhere between belly dance and nail polish.

But knowing etiquette is very important.

Etiquette is as much a part of your appearance as your clothes. It affects how you are perceived. 

After reading the article to the end, you will find out:

  • What is etiquette?
  • The most basic rules of etiquette and their essence;
  • The basics of business, social and everyday etiquette.
The essence of etiquette: complete and clear analysis
The essence of etiquette: complete and clear analysis

Etiquette and good manners: the same thing?

Thick guides on correct behavior in different situations negatively affect mentally healthy people.

If you are a nice and benevolent person, what difference does it make which spoon you use for your soup? 

Good manners are different from etiquette, although they are an important part of it in some circumstances.

Etiquette is your general behavior. 

Manners are customs and rituals accepted as rules in a particular society

You can make a list of manners (rules) for a particular situation, but you cannot make a list of “etiquette”.

When it comes to manners, the basic rules are to say “please” and “thank you” and chew with your mouth closed. These are the things that everyone learned in elementary school. You don’t need to pore over them, unlike, for example, situations where you need to deal with two dozen cutlery. 

Manners have one thing in common: they need to be studied mechanically.

Forget soup spoons when it comes to etiquette. Think about how you behave in everyday life. 

Etiquette is not a set of rules, but common sense principles of how to think and behave like ladies and gentlemen.  

The purpose of this article is to educate you about living etiquette, not dead manners.

“Now a good upbringing is only a hindrance. It closes too many doors for you. “

Oscar WildeEtiquette is not a set of rules, but common sense principles of how to think and behave like ladies and gentlemen.

The purpose of this article is to educate you about living etiquette, not dead manners.

“Now a good upbringing is only a hindrance. It closes too many doors for you. “

Oscar Wilde

Basics of etiquette

Good etiquette is a way of thinking and behaving. At the heart of etiquette is a conscious attempt to make a positive contribution to human society.

Great minds of the past have offered different meanings of etiquette, but they all boil down to three simple basics:

  • Awareness;
  • Thoughtfulness;
  • Confidence.

1. Awareness

Awareness is understanding the overall situation.

Consider an example with a spoon: in everyday life, no one expects a person to understand the arrangement of cutlery. 

However, if the situation calls for it, a true gentleman will take the time to prepare for a fancy dinner and learn the “kitchenware” basics. Or he will refuse to meet in advance.

It is the art of reading a situation and knowing how best to act in it. 

2. Thoughtfulness

“Will this action has a positive or negative effect on the world?”

This question applies to any act. If the answer is no, you need to think 100 times before taking action. 

We cannot make everyone happy, there will still be dissatisfied people. But there is a big difference between deliberate actions and chaotic ones. 

Thoughtfulness means understanding how your actions affect yourself, the people around you, and where you are.

It is important to note that thoughtfulness is not about avoiding rudeness or aggression. This is the principle of changing lives for the better. Avoiding conflict is a good start, but it is hardly the pinnacle of thoughtful behavior and the essence of etiquette.

3. Confidence

Not to be confused with aggression or overconfidence. Confidence must be invisible – it is the driving force needed for thoughtful, polite behavior to unfold on its own.

As controversial as it may sound, one of the most important rules of etiquette: never take a steam bath because of etiquette.

It is important to do the right thing without making a big deal out of it, to behave calmly, and not be afraid of mistakes. This is the essence of all the rules of etiquette.

Fundamentals of social etiquette

How should a person who knows behavior etiquette behave in everyday life?

Features of everyday etiquette 

1. “Others first, then you”

The happiness of a loved one matters, and your actions can affect it. If you follow this point, you have grasped the essence of etiquette.

2. “No” to complaints!

Don’t let yourself go negative. Complaining in public won’t make you better, even when it comes to something that everyone around you hates.

The essence of etiquette: complete and clear analysis
The essence of etiquette: complete and clear analysis

Smile, shrug and change the conversation to something more positive. 

3. Small steps

Do small good deeds with awareness. People will notice. They will be surprised these days.  

This could be:

  • Hold the doors ; 
  • To meet people with a smile, boldly looking into their eyes. It doesn’t matter who is in front of you, the cashier, the clerk, or the bartender, acknowledge their presence. Offer a handshake inappropriate situations;  
  • Dress neatly ; 
  • Use names when referring to someone. 

These small acts are the difference between ethical and unethical people. Ethical people are insanely easy, they do all these actions without even noticing them. 

The basics of business etiquette

One of the benefits of business etiquette is that it is clear and consistent. The basic “politeness” is always applied in it, from a conversation with a boss to a business meeting to conclude a major deal. 

Business etiquette:

1. First of all, do no harm

In fact, this phrase is not in the Hippocratic Oath. But it is fantastically true to business etiquette.

No matter where you are or what your profession is, it all depends on the goodwill of other people, your superiors, or your subordinates.  

Every impression counts. Weigh your actions and choose only those that have a positive impact on your team.

Another good principle to keep in mind: 

“It takes a lifetime to build a reputation; one moment is enough to destroy. ” 

Be a little conservative in your actions and deeds. This saves you from potentially catastrophic mistakes.

A few things to avoid in a business setting:

  • Raising your voice. When you scream, you are most often wrong. In addition, this way you dishonor not only yourself but also your partners;
  • Foul language. Your swearing teaches people not to listen to every word you say;
  • Physical contact. Aside from shaking hands (firm, clear, eye-contacting ), you should not touch colleagues, clients, or anyone else in the office or at a business event. This is true for both sexes.
  • Negative comments. Anything: a rainy day, the kids lost your credit card, the deal fell through and cost you thousands of dollars – it doesn’t matter. Take a deep breath and move towards constructive solutions.

2. Listen, then speak

A polite businessman is a good businessman. Don’t let assertive coaches convince you that listening, thinking, and then speaking is a weakness. 

People like to talk. Let them do it. This will give you a double advantage: the other person will feel good in your company and share important information with you. 

Your own answer should be business-like and clear. In practical terms, it is the skill of etiquette that will make you a better negotiator.  

Aggressive business negotiations and deals are conducted with people who are easily intimidated. But you will not find such people among those who are in charge of really important matters. 

The best path in a business environment is the path of courtesy, which indicates wisdom, long-term thinking, and the ability to navigate difficult situations. 

3. Show Respect

We are talking about showing respect to the world around us, and not bowing to everyone we meet. This is the essence of business etiquette.

Taking on mini-tasks to make life easier for people in the office or in meetings is common sense and a practical way to be thought well of you.

Hold doors for people. Bring a couple of spare pens to your presentation in case someone needs it. Bring donuts for your morning meeting.

However, be careful not to overdo it. Business etiquette is very conservative. Some gestures may be considered inappropriate, for example:

  • Gifts are not suitable for a business atmosphere. This is always a hint of obscenity. Exceptions can be holidays and corporate parties. 
  • The payment for a business dinner rests with the person who initiated the meeting. If you are a dinner organizer, you should not split the check or accept someone’s offer to pay.

Fundamentals of secular etiquette

Weddings. Children’s matinees. The funeral. Parties. They all have their own rules, but who can remember them all? 

Fortunately, this is pretty easy. The etiquette of communication between ladies and gentlemen invited to participate in special events boils down to the following distinctive features:

1. Find out what to expect

Each event will have its own rules. Take some time to study them.

2. Carry some cash with you

For example, in restaurants or bars, the bills are sometimes paid by the organizers and sometimes split between the guests. Ideally, organizers should inform about this in advance.

But it’s best that you always have enough cash to share the burden of payment if need be.

3. Speak little

Resist the temptation to be the person who makes toast after toast. Of course, if the situation requires it – do it, but otherwise, leave the conversation to others.  

Your input should be limited to the polite conversation with other guests.

4. Give the organizer credit

Thank the organizers for the invitation and give them your smile.

Final thoughts

Etiquette is a state of mind and a way of life, not a set of rules. 

An ethical person sees the whole situation, thinks about other people, and does the right thing without hesitation. 

Simply put, an ethical person:

  • Aware;
  • Thoughtful;
  • Sure.

That’s all there is to know about The essence of etiquette and its foundations in different situations.

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