17 Old School Etiquette Rules That Prove People Were More Well-Mannered In The Past

Etiquette used to be the glue that held society together and allowed people to get on without causing offence or harm. And while some rules of etiquette are painfully old fashioned today, there are many that are just as relevant and worth revisiting. After all, good etiquette is simply thinking about other people’s feelings before maximizing your personal convenience.

Here are some rules of etiquette that we think everyone should know.

#1. If you say, ‘I invite you to ___ resturant,’ that means you pay. If you want to go dutch, say, ‘Let’s go to a restaurant.’


#2. Never turn up at someone’s door without calling in advance first. They might be in their bathrobe and hair curlers!


#3. When dining out, give your full attention to your dinner date. In the modern context, this means don’t invite a girl/guy on a date if you’re going to be texting all evening.


#4. Write thank-you notes. In the past, whenever a person received a gift, they would write a thank-you card as soon as possible.

This rule was true even if the giver was a relative.

#5. If you’re walking with someone and your companion greets a person you don’t know, you should also greet them.

And if you bump into someone, make sure you introduce them to your companion.

#6. Always keep your shoes polished and clean.

First impressions count and many people still pay a lot of attention to shoes.

#7. If someone offends you, don’t sink to their level by offending them back.

Just smile and leave the ill-mannered company.

#8. Drivers, don’t puddle-splash passers-by!

This is so basic but it still happens all too often.

#9. Respect other people and their boundaries.

In the past, a man was never supposed to touch a woman without her permission, unless he was helping her get out of a car for example. While things have moved on a bit from there, paying attention to what people are comfortable with is still important. If in doubt, ask!

#10. Whoever you are when you enter a room you should be the first person to greet everyone.

This applies whether you’re a company director, a professor, a child, or a student.

#11. Learn the basic rules of dinner etiquette — this will help you out at formal dinners and professional events.

#12. And here’s what all the cutlery is for! Remember to work from the outside in.


#13. Chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk with food in your mouth.


#14. Keep your elbows off of the table while eating.

A classic etiquette rule many of us are familiar with.

#15. Don’t reach across someone’s face. Diners should always ask for items to be passed along the table to them.

It makes sense, you don’t want someone to hit someone accidentally in your face now do you?

#16. Don’t show up at a party empty-handed, unless you’ve been instructed to — and sometimes not even then.

Good options are wine, dessert or a plant.

#17. If you bump into someone, say excuse me.

Even if you have your earphones in!