Etiquette and Manners with Surabhi Pillai


There’s more than just looks that makes a personality. One of the key ingredient of having an awesome personality is having proper etiquette and manners. Actually etiquette and manners are acquired in schools, it is the schools that should teach proper manners and etiquette. Sadly, not many schools take up this responsibility and the students grow up to be uncouth professionals.

So what all do etiquette and manners entail? Is it merely the use of polite words (thank you, excuse me, sorry, please, welcome…) that makes a person well- mannered? No, not just this, but a whole of other things too make a person well- mannered. To make it lucid, I am classifying etiquette and manners. Every Sunday, I shall take up one of these:

  1. Social etiquette and manners
  2. Party etiquette and manners
  3. Dating etiquette and manners
  4. Professional etiquette and manners
  5. Email etiquette
  6. Dining etiquette

This week, I start with ‘social etiquette and manners’.

First of all what is the difference between etiquette and manners?

Etiquette is a prescribed set of rules given by society. For an example, a family may want its children to wish elders by folding hands and saying, “Namaste!” Whereas some other family may want its children to wish by saying, “Hello!”

Manners on the other hand are mostly common across cultures. Something like saying thank you or please or not bumping into each other. In short, etiquette may differ from culture to culture, but manners mostly remain the same. It is for this reason that each one of us make an effort to learn the etiquette of the culture we are engaging with. To be accepted ‘You must do as the Romans do’.

So what’s social etiquette and manners?

Unfortunately, we live in a society, so we can’t do what we would actually like to do. Therefore, both you and I must adhere to the rules of etiquette in the society we live in. As for the manners, it’s not tough as most of the societies follow similar pattern of manners. Let’s discuss each separately.

Social Etiquette

For this, you have to check the etiquette of the society you are living in. If you’re travelling you must find out the etiquette accepted and liked by that particular culture. Same ways when a couple gets married, both the groom and the bride must make efforts to understand the difference in the etiquette of each other’s families. There is no such thing as right etiquette or wrong etiquette. One family may prefer touching the feet of elders, the other family may not. The best way to deal with this difference is to follow the etiquette of the family you’re with as much as you can. Obviously, sometimes you can’t too. All the same, different etiquette can co- exist and learn from each other.

Social Manners

It’s easier to learn manners as they are standard. Since children imitate elders, teach your kids manners by following them first. At home:

  1. Always be polite and assertive, instead of rude and aggressive.
  2. Frequently use words like thank you, sorry and please.
  3. Do not yell at each other or use bad words.
  4. Remember to be polite and gentle with domestic help.
  5. Do not differentiate between genders. What a girl can do, a boy can do too and vice versa.
  6. Listen and understand each other.
  7. Give space, don’t breathe down each other’s neck.
  8. Do not be on your mobile all the time.
  9. Greet elders.

Can social etiquette and manners be learnt? Yes, sure, they can be. In Ahmedabad Words Vibe has excellent course on etiquette and manners for children, teenagers and adults. You can call up on 9099501686 and find out more.

This is it for this week, next Sunday I’ll take up party etiquette and manners.

Bye for now.

Keep smiling…

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