etiquette manners
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 25, 2024 ·  6 min read

25 Rules Of Etiquette To Know

To this day, etiquette is unavoidable, it is a part of our everyday lives. Many of the basic etiquette rules are based on morals and keen judgment of social situations. According to Binghampton University etiquette is ‘practicing good manners, knowing how to behave in a given situation, knowing how to interact with people’.

Why you should follow these rules of etiquette

Amy Vanderbilt says that “It is axiomatic that as we mature and grow in years and experience, we must be able to meet more demanding social situations with confidence and ease.” Through learning about etiquette, we will be able to do so. Below is a list of 25 etiquette examples everyone should, in general, live by.

How to RSVP

Word rsvp. Wooden small cubes with letters on the table
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Make sure you RSVP with your host or hostess so that they know how many people to be expecting. The hardest thing about trying to organize a party or get to gather is not knowing how many people are actually going to show up. We all know how annoying it is when friends or family don’t RSVP but then show up anyways.

Warning Signs

Cropped view of collector knocking on door with hand
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This is, to me, one of the more important rules of etiquette. Always warn a person who you may not be close with before showing up to their house. Whether it’s dropping them a text or giving them a ring, a little can go a long way.


soft focus women in jean,white sneaker sitting outdoor on wooden floor background.looking at watch on hand, watching time. concept for punctuality, appointment
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Being on time is highly important in both your professional and social life. If you run late for a meeting or a social occasion, you run the risk of upsetting the people you’re meant to be meeting or missing out on something important. I’ve even had to resort to telling one friend we are meeting half an hour earlier than we actually are each time so that she doesn’t arrive late!


Happy african American young woman in glasses stretch hand for handshake greeting introducing to someone, smiling black biracial millennial female hr agent in spectacles get acquainted at meeting
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One of the classic rules of etiquette! Always introduce the person you are with to people you may run into at random. Or if you are with people who may not remember your name, take a step forward and introduce yourself. Confidence is key!

When Entering a Room

Curious woman looking out the door
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If you are the person entering the room, then you are the person to greet everyone. Don’t turn up and sulk in a corner expecting people to notice you have arrived.

The Distraction of Your Cell Phone

Close-up of a young blonde woman with a mobile phone in her hands in the pink neon light
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Try not to have your cell phone in sight when you are engaging in a social setting. It is distracting and looks like you are not interested in the person or people you are with but rather has your mind on other things- as well as having many unwanted side effects!

Say It In Person

girl at home using cell phone looking hopelessly at window
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Avoid talking to someone on the phone; if there is something important you need to discuss it’s better off doing it in person.

Thank You Notes

Women's hands with a letter in his hand with the words thank you
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Always reply to a present, no matter how small, with a thank you note. Whether it is a post-it note on the fridge or a quick text to you mom, a thank you goes a long way; it shows that you are grateful for what you’ve received.

Avoid Rudeness!

Close up serious young indian woman showing stop sign
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Don’t reply to rudeness with like-for-like. People who are rude to you should not be entertained so don’t shout back! As much as you want to give that person a piece of your mind, sinking to their level is always worse.

The Dinner Table

Young woman in a fine dining restaurant eat a hamburger, she behaves improperly
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Make sure you do not start eating until your host or hostess has picked up their fork, spoon or knife. Obviously, you might not do this at home watching TV with your family. However, it is a good idea to make sure everyone is prepared for all situations. Also take note of cutlery- always start from the outside in.

Don’t go snooping!

Picture of young woman snooping phone of her husband while lying on the bed
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One of the vital rules of etiquette to follow. Your family or friends deserve your trust and respect when it comes to their privacy. Don’t go looking through their pockets or phone to find anything they may be hiding as it may bring that person to resent you.

Pay Politely

woman paying bill contactless with debit card
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When ordering something from a bar, barista or approaching the checkout in the shop- put your phone away. Anyone working in hospitality will know the feeling of waiting for someone to finish their conversation before talking to you. It’s horrible!

Unwanted Lending

Photo of girl bite lip sorry guilty expression think isolated on blue background
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Do not lend someone something unless they have asked you for it! It makes them feel guilty if they don’t use it and will probably encourage them to ignore your texts or calls in case you bring it up.

The Importance Of the Handshake

Business people shaking hands.
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Your handshake is usually the first thing people will judge you on. Too limp and they’ll think you a push over but too hard, and they’ll never want to lock hands with you again. Discover how to do the perfect handshake in the video below.

Fashion Faux-Pas

Cool hipster student woman wearing eyewear glasses
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Remember that being fashionable is always great if it looks good! However, if being in the fashion means you might look worse then just avoid it. Wear something that makes you look and feel great even if it isn’t fashionable. They’re your clothes- your choice.

Keep Secrets

 man in glasses, making gesture with hand, zipping lips, promising to keep secret
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Nine things should be kept secret: age, wealth, family quarrels, religion, medical problems, love affairs, gifts, honor, and disgrace.

Avoid Repeating Arguments

couple have bad difficult relations. arguing
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Ever had an argument with a loved one and then forgiven them or been forgiven only for the subject matter to be brought up once more? We all know how annoying it can be! Once the topic has been forgiven, and the argument resolved; don’t speak of it anymore!

Seize the Day

person taking photos with phone at concert
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Try to minimize the number of photos or videos you take at social events. No one likes to be around someone who isn’t actually appreciating the moment because they are too busy getting the best photo!

Keep It Down

Loud voice. Nice bearded man being very loud while speaking on the phone
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Try not to talk too loudly as it may intimidate people and not give them a chance to have their own voice listened to. Try and reel it in if you know you can be quite outspoken just to give other people the chance to be heard.

Show Appreciation

Happy Indian woman in saree receiving flowers from the man visiting for celebration
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Don’t show up to a party empty-handed- bring a small gift to show appreciation for the invite!

Avoid the Internet

confused unhappy businessman looking at screen
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Keep personal information and conversations off the public internet! No one wants to hear you whine about your life on Facebook or Twitter.

Say Thank-You

Executive Holding card with Message Saying-Thank You
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Always appreciate what family and friends do for you and always show them your appreciation!

Clean Your Shoes

A clean shoe stands next to a dirty one.
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Keep your shoes clean; you will be surprised by how many people judge you on your shoe choices and their cleanliness.

Get Invites Right

Food eating resturant
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By inviting someone to a restaurant, you are insinuating that you will pay for the meal. However, by merely saying ‘let’s go to this restaurant’ you are hinting at the idea that everyone will pay for their own part. So remember: an invitation is your decision but a gesture is everyone’s agreement.

Close That Mouth!

Close-up shot of handsome young dark-skinned man in checkered shirt having tempted look opening his mouth widely, ready to bite doughnut during lunch at restaurant. People, food and leisure concept
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Finally, the last one and the one form of etiquette I literally cannot budge on. Chew with your mouth closed! I do not want to see your sushi flying around, and I certainly do NOT want to be hit by flying rice. It’s just uncalled for, so don’t do it.

Having good etiquette is important- no matter who you are or where you live so double check to make sure you’re putting your best self forward!

Read Next: Etiquette For Kids – 11 Things I’m Teaching My Kids By Age 10