Whether you are eating at home or at a fine restaurant, there are basic table manners that should always be followed. Having good manners at the table will ensure that everything has an enjoyable eating experience. Meal times should be relaxing for everyone. It is a great time for conversation but can be ruined by someone who has bad manners.
Here is a guide to the most important table manners:
Keep your elbows off the table. This is basic table manners that nearly every mother has taught her children. Keeping your elbows on the table is disrespectful for several reasons. You look as though you are bored, which is rude. It is body language that closes out the people whom you are sitting with, especially those on either side of you. To top it all off, it just looks bad.
No Reaching Across
Do not reach across other people to get what you want. If it is not within your reach, ask for someone to pass it to you. No one wants to suddenly be faced with your armpit while they are trying to eat. It also cuts into any conversation that is going on at the table.
When asking someone to pass something to you, always say please. Once they have handed the item to you, be sure to thank them for it. That is politeness rule number one. It is rude to demand something or reach across for it. Saying thank you is just a way of showing appreciation for the effort of the other person. There aren’t many people that don’t like to be shown a little bit of common courtesy.
Like The Meal
Never tell someone that they don’t cook well while you are eating it. Never say that it’s burnt, dry or has no taste. Eat your meal without making any suggestion that the food isn’t what it should be. Someone took a great deal of time in preparing the food and you should appreciate that fact.
There should be no playing with your food. It makes you look bored and as if you don’t like the food that is on your plate. It makes the cook feel as though he/she has not lived up to your standards thus unnecessarily hurting feelings. Food fights are out as well. This makes a bigger mess for someone else to clean up, it’s a waste of food and the cook may not appreciate their hard work being thrown about.
Do not answer the phone when you sit down for a meal. These types of interruptions take away from the entire experience because it cuts into conversation time. It also means that your food will get colder by the second. That was not the intent the cook had when placing the food on the table.
Make good use of your utensils. They are there for a reason. Unless a food is actually a finger food, don’t use your hands to eat it. It will make you look like you are a caveman for one thing. It also makes a mess and nobody wants to see it.
Chew With Your Mouth Closed
Seafood is good, see food is not. No one wants to see the food in your mouth. Close your mouth when you chew. This is a disgusting habit that should be tamed. It also gives way to many germs being spread about other people’s food.
Passing gas at the table is not funny. It smells horribly and it usually comes with noises that most people don’t want to associate with their food. If you burp, place your hand over your mouth and then say excuse me. Bodily noises don’t belong at the dinner table.
These are the most important basic manners for the table. Use common sense to guide you so that others don’t look at you as though you were an alien from the planet Zog. It will ensure a nice meal experience that everyone can enjoy.