What is Etiquette? When you think about Etiquette is it something you’ve seen on T.V. or is it something you learned at home? Unfortunately, etiquette is not about YOU, but about the world we live in today. It is about conducting yourself in a way that is respectful. Manners are about the way you connect with your friends, community and soon your workplace. There is a place for everything and how you may act with your friends is not how you would act with a new friend. Knowing how to adapt to different situations is a large aspect of knowing proper etiquette.
I live in Queens, New York which is probably one of the most multi-cultural places in the entire world. Amongst the many cultures, it is important to know how to conduct yourself when interacting with different people. You have to be considerate, polite and awake to be able to react in any situation because you don’t know what will happen from one second to the next.
We are inter-acting with each other in close proximity. On the bus, subway, restaurant, take-out, taxis, cell phones, news-stands, beggers in the street, homeless people, bicycles, subway entertainers, city entertainers, different types of religions, homosexuals, trans-sexuals, gangs, sports events, concerts and concerts in the park. It is everyday circumstances to have manners to know how to conduct yourself. Try IT!! When you model positive behavior you will get it back and stand out from the crowd.
The list is long there are many people where you live and we all need to get along and that is what Etiquette is about. Being able to respect and treat someone with courtesy and acceptance as you would like to be treated.
Unfortunately, this was often a battle of wills with the young people that I worked with, because they felt they already knew how to greet people by using “high fives”, special handshakes, “Yo, Sister” and unfortunately, even using the “n” word. as an introduction. I must say, when the knowledge was passed down to them, the “light bulbs” were indeed bright – almost blinding! Knowledge was the key, and new power was suddenly ignited within them. The confidence was contagious and they felt they didn’t have to put theirselves in an awkward situation.
I’m from Canada; people take their shoes off when entering someone else’s home to show respect and not bring dirt from the street. When in another country, you must respect the customs that people have, as different or strange as they may seem. Remember, you are not in your house. When I was in Thailand, people bowed when they said: “Good day” and “Good bye.” Before I knew it, I was bowing out of respect for the people in this country. In return, I received some wonderful hospitality. Manners are everything. Just starting with these 4 words can make a “HUGE DIFFERENCE” in making a friend all the way on the other side of the world.