Etiquette Boss: Old New Year etiquette practices

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I wish you all a blessed and prosperous 2015.

As we welcome the new year, I thought it would be fun to look at some etiquette practices that we have left behind, and that which has become common practice.

Do you remember when it was considered a sign of ill breeding for  a man to remain seated while a lady was standing? Likewise, it was poor etiquette for the lady to  refuse the seat without a valid, stated reason. The 21st century woman is no longer seen as the weaker sex, but thankfully this practice still holds for the pregnant or elderly.

In 2015, it will still be considered poor etiquette for a man or woman to remain seated while having a conversation with someone who is standing; as a conversation should not be carried on while the two parties are on two different levels.

While being greeted, the man should stand, or if he is ill, the lady should sit next to him or stoop for the conversation to be at eye level. The woman may sit for a social greeting, but has to stand for a business greeting, or if a conversation ensues, whether socially or in business.

Do you remember when all men around a table stood, if a woman left the dining table for any reason? They did the same when she returned, and was seated. On the other hand, it was considered poor etiquette (still current practice in many societies) for a lady to leave the dining table while dinner was in  progress, as it caused too much inconvenience with men standing and sitting. Though this is rarely practiced today in the United States, it should be noted that it is very much alive in polite society in many countries.

In 2015, I would teach young men what was once common dining etiquette, because one never knows what type of company they may one day keep, or where they may travel. You would like them to fit right in without embarrassment.

BEAUTY TIPS will return next week.

Phillipa Morrish is the president of Etiquette Training International.

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