You’re no fancy guy, just an ordinary Joe, right? Well, you might not fit in with a room full of snooty people but you still want to fit in around your own little world, don’t you? There are those guys who are pigs, who are aware of that, and who really don’t care. But you’re not like that, are you? You care about what people think of you – you just may not be aware of what you’re doing wrong. Here are a few tips for helping you have a little etiquette without being a snob.
Most guys know that it’s proper to put the toilet seat down after using. Some guys just forget, though. Don’t be one of those guys! Make a conscious decision to always put the seat back down – at your house or someone else’s. Even if you live alone, but occasionally have female visitors, it’s important to practice putting the seat down in case of guests. Your mom will be appalled if she visits and it’s up!
Belching and gas-passing is not acceptable under any circumstances unless you’re alone in a cornfield! Sure, our bodies are designed to allow air to escape from our digestive systems but it’s not something that’s done in front of others – no matter how long you’ve known them or what your relationship with them is. Pass gas in the bathroom, or away from others; belch quietly, and if it’s heard, excuse yourself.
Never scratch private parts of your body in public. Private parts aren’t the only no-no, either. Don’t scratch your armpits, buttocks, or inside your nose! Don’t pull your pants out of your buttocks in public, either. Don’t rearrange your furniture – if you get my meaning – in public. Grabbing your private parts is ape-like and not cool. There has been a trend of guys holding or grabbing their private parts in front of others but that’s a trend most of us would love to see come to an end! The same goes for pants that hang down to the point of showing the underwear.
How you treat your woman in pubic is another etiquette issue that many men have. Always, always introduce your wife or girlfriend when she is in the presence of people who don’t know her. It’s not absolutely necessary that you introduce a girlfriend as “my girlfriend” but your wife should always be introduced as such. If you don’t want to tell everyone that a girl is actually your girlfriend (it could be a first date) just introduce her by her name.
Never turn your back on your woman when you are in a group of friends. Many guys will turn and talk to a certain friend, or group of friends, and leave the woman standing there alone. Even though it’s okay to mingle without her never turn your back on her to talk to others – particularly another woman!
At the dinner table – or anytime you’re dining with others – do not chew with your mouth open. Don’t talk with food in your mouth but wait until you’re in between bites to speak. Take small bites so you can finish chewing before answering a question from someone or responding to a statement from someone at the table. Speak to everyone at the table, when possible, rather than conversing with just one or two people.
Never pick foods up with your fingers unless the occasion calls for it. For instance, things in a sandwich form, or on a bun, can be picked up with hands. Any bread can be handled with bare hands. Other foods require silverware. The exception is certain foods with a bone in them, like chicken wings, or foods that are made in the form of finger foods, like crackers with toppings.
Do not turn your plate to get to each food. Leave the plate as it is set in front of you. Do not use your fingers to push certain foods, like peas or corn, onto the silverware. If you must gather scattered vegetables or other foods use a knife to keep the foods steady while you scoop them onto your fork. No matter what you are eating there should be no slurping or other such noises. Avoid scraping your silverware against the dishes and creating scraping noises. Don’t continue sucking on the straw of an empty drink to “hint” that you’re empty!
When you’re seated with others keep your napkin in your lap. It’s unattractive to be talking to someone who has a grimy napkin lying in front of them. Place the napkin on the table, beside the plate, when you are finished eating. Do not throw the napkin in the plate. Don’t pick at your teeth while seated at the table – or in front of anyone. If others are smoking after the meal, you can too, but don’t put your cigarette out in any of the dishes! If no one else is smoking don’t be the one to light up. You may put the host in an awkward position of having to ask you to step outside. If you wish to go outside to smoke ask permission from the host. Some people don’t allow smoking on the grounds whatsoever.
Other things you should never do in public: pick your nose, wipe your nose on your shirt sleeve, dig in your ears, call people names, curse, make sexual references to a woman, tell lewd jokes in mixed company, make lewd comments to people passing by, spit, pat women on the rear, or throw trash down on the ground. How you act in pubic says a lot about you. You might not be a prissy guy but you’ll be well liked if you display proper etiquette around others.