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While in a social gathering, every person is supposed to follow a code of conduct. To act and behave as defined by these codes is not mandatory. However, if a person does follow them, it only shows that he has a good understanding of how to present himself in front of other people.
The word “Etiquette” comes from the French language and it means a label or a tag. Thus, in an interpretative sense, a person with etiquettes would be labeled as a person fit to be a part of a social gathering. Possessing etiquettes becomes a label or a tag.
It is believed that in the English language, the word etiquette was first used in 1750. Thus, the whole concept of modern Etiquettes must have developed during those times. However, if one looks closely, one will find that the concept of social etiquettes have existed in human society ever since the very beginning. During the Victorian Era, it was mandatory for every man to bow to his lady with his hat removed from his head and provide her with a kiss on the hand.
Similarly, another weird 17th century French Etiquette was that men and women were not allowed to sit with crossed legs in public. Also, people who wanted to talk to the king were not allowed to knock on the king’s door. Instead, they were supposed to scratch on it with their finger. Yet another 17th century tradition was that women could not get up and dance on their own. They had to wait for a man to escort them to the dance floor.
With time, the etiquettes also evolved. During the earlier times, the social etiquettes were tough and quite stern. However, they have now evolved to become more relaxed. Social etiquettes are not the only kind of etiquettes though they everywhere.
There are many different types of etiquettes other than the social etiquettes. Some of them are – manners, netiquettes (the social conventions that are required for socializing through computers), concert etiquettes, military etiquettes, diplomacy, table norms etc. Thus, one should realize that etiquettes are required everywhere.
However, most important of all the etiquettes remain the social etiquettes, a code of conduct that defines how a person should carry himself or interact with other people in a social surrounding. Some of the important etiquettes that people should remember while in any kind of social gathering are:
Dressing is a very important part of social etiquettes. The dress that you wear should suit the occasion. If you are going out with your friends, it is taken for granted that you will dress casually. However, if you are going out on any kind of formal occasion, formal dressing would be apt. Similarly, if you are going for an office meeting, you should wear a suit. Thus, the way you dress up should always be according to the occasion or you will start feeling out of place as soon as you walk in.
Your unconscious and conscious habits are also a part of your social etiquettes. Some people like to bite their nail, shake their legs or even apply make up in public. These things are generally considered to be rude and thus, anyone doing the same is generally granted the status of being ill-mannered. Also, some people like to shout out in public. This is against social norms. Similarly, some people also have the habit of speaking loudly over a phone and thus, compelling an entire social group to become a part of the conversation. This is also against norms of social behavior.
The gestures of people speak a lot about them. When in a social gathering, a person should always keep himself open to all kinds of conversation and with every person. Discussing personal issues in public is considered rude. One should not make others feel alienated while indulging in a conversation with a particular someone in a group. Also, gestures like standing with closed arms and folded legs shows that the person is uninterested in any kind of conversation. Any such gestures should be voluntarily avoided.
Table manners are a very important part of social etiquettes. When you are dining with a group of people, it is must that you should remember these table etiquettes. Apart from this, every person should always leave their seat for an elder person. Similarly, when a woman is sitting down or walking out of the car, a man should pull out the chair or open the door for her.
The list of social etiquettes is non-exhaustive and it is virtually impossible to remember everything. However, there are certain things, like the ones stated above, those are commonly observed and should be practiced. Similarly, a person should always say thank you when someone does anything good to them or when they are appreciated.
Similarly, a person should also say sorry when he makes a mistake. These are some of the very basic and common things that all of us know but sometimes forget the practice. Remember your etiquettes, practice them and make a social impression.
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