Etiquette is a topic that doesn’t get discussed much these days, but it should be.  Here is a list of the top 10 common mistakes people are making, sometimes without realizing it.

Are you guilty?

No.10 Being Flakey

No, I’m not talking about dandruff.  If you commit to something – calling someone back, attending an event, anything you said a solid YES to, please make sure to do your best to make it happen.  We all get busy and there are events that we don’t know if we’ll make – but make sure the person expecting you knows that it’s a maybe on your part.

No.9 Not looking people on the eye during a Cheers

This may be a personal pet peeve of mine but it really stands out to me when people go to “cheers” and someone is looking away or down.  To Cheers someone means that you’re consciously acknowledging & sharing this special moment with them.  Please make eye contact.  Every person you cheers, yes.  Look them in the eye and smile.

No.8 Failing to introduce people 

This one applies to any situation where you’re the common denominator and the other people haven’t yet met.  It’s your responsibility to introduce the other people.  At a party, at an event, at a random run-in.  If you don’t remember a person’s name, please introduce the person you know first and allow the forgotten name to introduce themselves.  Avoiding the intro is way more offensive than forgetting a name. 

No.7 Doors/Doorways/Elevators

Open the door for others.  It’s common courtesy.  Allow people to exit buildings, elevators, or walk through doorways before you.  ESPECIALLY if you’re male.  And hold that door for them.  This really should be common knowledge but for some reason people keep making this mistake. 

No.6 Treating service staff poorly

Servers, bartenders, and hosting staff are there to serve a job, not be your slave.  They are not lower than you on the totem pole and most of the time they’re a lot more qualified human beings than the douchebag who disrespects or yells across the restaurant for attention.  You’re only embarrassing yourself by behaving this way and LOSING not gaining respect from EVERYONE around you.  Show respect, tip well, and you’ll get better service and attention. 

No.5 Using your phone w/o excusing yourself

This one applies to all sexes and especially the younger people.  Seriously – if you’re at an event, dinner, and most importantly a DATE, put that cell phone away and keep it off the table.  We are all important and get tons of texts/emails/notifications.  Don’t answer or make calls while you’re in front of someone without letting the person know that you must make or take an important call (and make sure that it really is that important) in which case step away after excusing yourself.  Be courteous people!

No.4 Not really listening

I see this more and more these days.  People are constantly zoned out. They’re half-assing conversations and only engaging when the topic is about them.  In order to be Interesting, you must BE INTERESTED.  The other person is listening to you, wanting to learn – give them the time and attention they deserve.  If you’re not in a listening mood, then do everyone a favor and stay home.  It also doesn’t count as listening when you’re already desperate to respond before the person is finished talking.  You’re being selfish and making everything about yourself.  Listen.  Stop thinking, stop coming up with what you want to say next, it’s not all about you – just Listen.

No.3 Talking solely about yourself

Similar to the Listening mistake, is only talking about yourself.  Not only do you come across selfish and narcissistic, people get bored listening to others talk about themselves.  If you’re struggling with listening – the person on the other end is most likely struggling too.  Please don’t make everything about yourself and ask questions of the other person.

No.2  Not Making Eye Contact while talking

A lot of shy people do this as well as the kind that solely talks about themselves.  The shy ones – please get over it and make eye contact.  You’re showing respect by connecting with the person(s) you’re conversing with.  To the people who are listening, please also Really Listen and look at the person talking. 

No.1  Interrupting

When you interrupt, it means that the person talking isn’t worth the respect in your eyes.  This is very clear to them, and everyone around them.  Please refrain from disrespecting others without maybe realizing it, and also learn to actually LISTEN.  Yes, listen without coming up with a response yet.  Let the person talking Finish first, then say your part if you want.  It’s not a race.  Show respect and you’ll be respected in return.

Let’s all commit to being  a little more aware. A little more polite. Give a little more kindness.