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How To Practice Good Social Etiquette

May 01, 2024

By My Growing Pains

As the internet becomes more and more explicit, we see how it bleeds into our regular lives. There seems to be a lack of social etiquette being demonstrated. From recording random strangers to getting mad at people walking in front of your video or picture in public spaces, we have lost the plot.

There are some social skills that seem to be a miss. It doesn’t hurt to be polite and have manners; it feels good to be on the receiving end of a polite person.

We’ve all heard the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated. So, how should you treat others? Let’s discuss.


Please, Thank you and Excuse Me

For some odd reason, I have noticed that people rarely say excuse me when I am out and about. I do because that’s just what is right, but I have been bumped into and have had people reach over me to get something they need.

It is important to say please when you are asking for something, thank you when you are expressing gratitude and excuse me when your actions could be seen as a hinderance to someone.

Be Kind to Service Workers

Service workers are individuals who provide services to the general public. Services such as serving food and checking you out.

It is often said that you can see someone’s true colors depending on how they treat service workers. They are not there for you to disrespect; they are there to do their jobs and go live their lives. Remember that they are human beings.

Hold the Door

When someone is walking behind you and you both are entering the same room or building, hold the door behind you.

Imagine your hands are full and you are walking behind someone. You both get to the door, and they don’t hold it for you. How would you feel? Help someone out and hold the door.

You do not have to stand there for hours holding the door for every person entering or leaving, no, have one hand on the door and your body facing away from it. I guarantee you’ll get a thank you.

Don’t Answer Your Phone in Public Spaces

A big pet peeve of mine is when I am in the nail salon and there is a customer talking on the phone. I am there to relax; not hear why you don’t like someone.

It’s obviously different when you come in with a friend, but it’s the epitome of rudeness, talking on the phone in a closed space. Circumstances are different, yes, but it’s best practice that if you must answer the call, do so and excuse yourself.

Be Punctual

Don’t waste any one’s time if you don’t want your time wasted. Being on time or 5 minutes earlier can always do you better than you think.

You can create a good reputation for yourself with your friends and employers as they will deem you a reliable person. Plan your time accordingly and be punctual.

Don’t Be Flaky

Just as you should be punctual, do not flake on your friends or commitments. Especially at the last minute. If you constantly flake out on your friends, it can get to the point where they just stop inviting you.

If you know you cannot make it to an event, tell your friends at least 3 days ahead of time so they do not waste their time getting ready. If it’s an emergency, then of course, that’s different.

Be Sensible

Be conscious of your surroundings and be careful with what you say in public. Learn to read the room and understand that certain topics should not be spoken about in public.

Trust me, you may think you are a good whisperer, but you are not. Don’t talk politics, don’t talk personal life details, and most definitely, don’t belittle others in public.


These are just some of the basics of practicing good social etiquette. There are plenty more, but you can always start with these.

With a lot of these tasks, you should always empathize with someone to at least get a better understanding of why you should do these things. If you do not want it happening to you or anyone you love, start by being the example.

Written by Doreen Chirwa · My Growing Pains