13 Etiquette Rules Even Experts Don’t Follow Anymore

The rules of etiquette change with the times. Here's what you need to know right now.

Etiquette for etiquette's sake alone

Italian dinner table with cutlery, plate, glass, napkins and naperies with salt and pepper on the table. Artit Wongpradu/Shutterstock

According to etiquette expert Peggy Post, times change, but manners, which she defines as a "sensitive awareness of the feelings of others," remain constant. "If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use." The rules of etiquette are there to help smooth social interactions, but they aren't intended to take the place of "manners." That's why etiquette rules that cease serving smooth social interactions eventually cease to exist.

A man must stand to greet a woman

Man kissing woman's handAndrew Angelov/Shutterstock

It wasn't all that long ago that it was proper etiquette for a man to stand when greeting a woman entering the room. But nowadays, standing up is proper etiquette whenever anyone greets anyone. The body language of standing sends a signal to the person you're greeting that you're eager to greet that person, etiquette expert, Maralee McKee explains. Consider it "rising to the occasion," whatever your gender. Once you sit back down, don't forget these other important table etiquette rules.

Ladies are served first


Traditional etiquette holds that at a seated meal, women are served first, going clockwise around the table. The men are then served, also going clockwise. But as you may or may not have noticed, the restaurant industry is quietly redefining the etiquette surrounding who gets served first to a more gender-neutral and overall efficient model, reports Eater, and that will likely affect the order of service in private homes as well as in restaurants.

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