Category Archives: Etiquette

handshake

7 Ingredients to a Confident Handshake

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Just like we form an impression about someone by what they’re wearing (yes, we do assess a book by its cover), how we shake hands speaks volumes about our self-confidence and personality. Different cultures have different greetings, but here are some basics:

What are the 7 Ingredients to a Confident Handshake?

1. Eye contact. Look into the other person’s right eye (the one on your left if you’re looking at them). Good eye contact shows self-confidence and receptiveness. Eyes are the windows to the soul!

2. Introduce yourself. Speak up before you extend your hand. Shoving your hand out before introducing yourself appears too aggressive.

3. Match their grip. Now is not the time for a power struggle, or to show-off the hand strength you’ve built with your Gripmaster Hand Exerciser. Match the other person’s grasp, keeping in mind that they may have some sort of hand injury or arthritis that prevents them from clasping your hand too tightly.

4. Avoid extending the “fish hand”. Yeah, you know the kind. ‘Nuf said.

5. Use your entire hand. If you’re at a débutante ball, a woman may use the “kiss the back of my hand” type of handshake. In general society, a ‘lady finger’ handshake isn’t appropriate.

6. 2-3 pumps. A handshake should only last a few seconds. More than 2-3 pumps is considered too personal, intimate, and intrusive.

7. Pump only an inch or two. Shake from the elbow (not the shoulder) and only go up and down a slight bit. You don’t want to rip someone’s arm off.

Don’t worry if you make a mistake. A smile can ‘end wars and cure cancer’!

What’s your biggest frustration when you shake hands?

 

Image courtesy of MorgueFile.com

Party Etiquette: How to be a Great Guest

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Party Etiquette

How to be a Great Guest!

Hold your drink in your left hand, and only set it down on a coaster.

Hold your drink in your left hand, and only set it down on a coaster.

Invitations, how to hold your drink, participating in games, what to do about mistletoe, and when to leave… Navigating these ‘once a year’ holiday events can be daunting. Here is a cheat sheet for how to be a spectacular guest!

  1. Take the invitation seriously. An RSVP (from the French phrase répondez s’il vous plaît) is a request from the host/hostess to “reply, please” and let them know whether or not you’ll be attending. Even if no RSVP is indicated on an invitation, it is still thoughtful to let them know as food and seating requirements are based on the number of invitations sent. And if something comes up at the last minute, do let your host(ess) know of your change in plans. And don’t bring a guest with you unless you’ve cleared it with the host(ess) first, or your invitation includes a “plus one”.
  2. No matter how spectacular a party promises to be, don’t attend if you are sick. (Regretfully, this needs to be mentioned. Can you guess why…?)
  3. Arrive on time (no later than 15-minutes past the time listed on the invitation), never early, and bring the host(ess) a gift! Flowers are always appropriate, but be sure to bring them in a vase–don’t cause extra work for your host(ess)! If you know them well enough, feel free to bring a bottle of their favorite libation, a gastronomic contribution that would add to the celebration, a scented candle or soap, book, or a gift card to their favorite restaurant which would be a charming gesture.
  4. If the host(ess) wasn’t available to greet you upon your arrival, find them immediately to say hello and present your gift.
  5. Don’t use your phone. Keep your devices stowed and muted, unless you need it available for emergencies. If one arises, apologize and excuse yourself from the party to take care of it in private before returning to the festivities.
  6. Mingle! And make sure to hold your drink in your left hand. That way, your right hand is warm and dry when greeting people and shaking their hand.
  7. As a guest, it is your moral obligation to be agreeable, flexible, and pleasant. Participate in all arranged activities (even if charades, sing-a-longs, or party games aren’t “your thing”), and keep your hands off the television controls.
  8. Be cautious of overindulging–whether in food or drink.
  9. Use excellent eating manners.
  10. Mind the mistletoe–it’s meant to be a peck on the cheek.
  11. If you spill or break something, let the host know immediately. Offer to pay for damages.
  12. Be diligent about observing the host(ess) and be willing to pitch in and help. Instead of a vague, “Is there something I can do?” ask specifically, “What can I do to help?” But know when to get out of the way. If your offer to help is rebuffed, remember that “no means no the first time”. When orchestrating an event, there’s nothing worse than too many cooks in the kitchen.
  13. Always use a coaster for your drink. Improvise if no coaster is available.
  14. Don’t snoop. What’s behind closed doors, in medicine cabinets, or in cupboards is none of your business. Doors are closed for a reason. Respect their privacy.
  15. When to leave: if you were a dinner guest, stay for one hour after the meal. If there was a time on the invitation, leave a few minutes before the ‘ending’ time. If no ‘ending’ time was indicated, look for clues:
              -Are others leaving?
              -Did the host/hostess mention ‘last call’ or ‘one last drink’?
              -Has the host/hostess started to clean up?
  16. Always say goodbye to the host/hostess when leaving, and thank them effusively for their hospitality. Make sure to follow up with a handwritten Thank You note.

Question: What are your party pet-peeves or suggestions? Share in the comments!  

Table Manners: A Top Ten List

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Table Manners Aren’t Just About Making Your Mother Happy!!!

Whether care to acknowledge it or not, how we eat is an outward sign of our inner personality and character. By teaching table manners early and often, they’ll become second nature.

Has you family mastered these basic table manners?

Table Manners

“Don’t blow bubbles…”

Rule Number One

Before beginning your meal, store all electronic devices.

Rule Number Two

As soon as you sit down at the table, put your napkin in your lap – and don’t forget to use it during the meal if you need to blot your lips or wipe your fingers. After the meal, the napkin is to be loosely folded (soiled parts hidden and placed left of your plate.

Rule Number Three

Wait until everyone is served before picking up your cutler and beginning to eat.

Rule Number Four

Cut one bite of food at a time, sit up straight, and bring your food up to your mouth rather than lowering your head to the food, and never talk with food in your mouth.

Rule Number Five

If you need to rest your hand, prop your wrist on the edge of the table, or put it in your lap. No arms or elbows on the table.

Rule Number Six

Eat as quietly as possible. Avoid making noises of any kind, either with implements against the plate or teeth, or bodily noises such as slurping, lip-smacking, or burping.

Rule Number Seven

Ask for food to be passed to you. Salt and pepper are always passed together, and food is passed to the right.

Rule Number Eight

When you’re finished eating, place the knife and fork parallel to each other (tines up, knife blade in) with the handles on the right rim of the plate in the four o’clock position. (Six o’clock position in Europe.)

Rule Number Nine

No grooming at the table — this includes picking your teeth, blowing your nose, or fixing your hair and makeup.

Rule Number Ten

Always say, “Excuse me” when leaving the table. It isn’t necessary to tell where you’re going or what you’re doing.

In today’s seemingly casual world, people are paying more attention to the importance of etiquette so it is essential to master this valuable skill! Practice and encourage these simple manners daily to make them a habit so that you and your family will have table manners befitting royalty.

Read more of my guest Blog post for DYNAMIC WOMEN OF FAITH here!

Photo courtesy Photl.com

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