Handshaking - The Ultimate Greeting: Shaking hands creates a favorable impression and influences others to do the same. The handshake is important because it is the accepted greeting in almost all countries. Always shake hands when: introduced to a person and when you say goodbye, when someone comes into your office to see you, when you meet someone outside your office or home, when you enter a room, when you leave a gathering, when you congratulate someone who has won an award or given a speech, and when you are consoling someone. Hand shaking is not exclusively for males. Women, too, are encouraged to offer their hand when an introduction is made. A firm but not overpowering handshake is usually a good idea. Be especially careful of how much pressure you exert if you are shaking hands with an elderly person or if you are wearing heavy rings which might bruise, but be sure your handshake is both firm and brief. Count to three and let go.
Say Hello to the hostess before you accept any drink.
Taking Your Seat At The Table: Men and women are expected to enter and sit in a chair from their left sides. This prevents bumping the neighbor when seating. The exception is when the chairs are too close to enter from the side and must be pulled out to sit. Exit the chair the same way you entered. Do not forget to push the chair back in when you leave. A gentleman should seat a lady by standing behind her chair and pulling it back with both hands. When she is half-seated, the chair should gently be pushed forward so that her chair is under her hips. After seating her, the gentleman takes the seat to her left. Good posture is important; do not slouch. Put your back against the back of your chair. Whenever possible, pushsleeves up above the elbows before eating.
NOTE: Men are seated to the left of the woman so as to have their right hand available to assist the woman.
Sit Up Straight. Push your back against the back of the chair.
Push Sweateror sleeves up above elbow before eating.
Rest Your Wrists On The Table. No elbows on the table.
Your Space At The Table: Your spaceshould be confined to the imaginary box around you. If you must move your feet, do so in your own foot space (close to the floor and within the chair legs). If you are not eating, your hands should be on your lap or on the table right in front of you. While you are eating, try to put your non-eating hand on your lap. If you must rest your hands on the table, do so with your wrists only. Place your wrists in front of you on the edge of the table. Do not put your elbows on the table.
Purses, Briefcases, Eyeglasses, And Eyeglass Cases: Do not place any item on the table. A small purse should go on your lap, under the napkin. A large purse, briefcase, and other personal items should go under your chair, out of the way. Never block the path of other guests or the serving staff. An eyeglass case belongs in your purse or pocket. Never put your eyeglasses on the table. Your cell phone should be set to vibrate or switched off and put away. It is extremely rude to make or accept a phone call (or text) during a meal.
Lavatory: Women go to the “powder room” and men go to “freshen up.”
Proper Way To Leave A Dinner Party: The general rule for leaving a dinner party is approximately forty-five minutes after dinner is over.
NEW ONLINE TEA ETIQUETTE TRAINING AVAILABLE!
Ms. Bernadette M. Petrotta
Founder & Director
Polite Society School of Etiquette
The Art of the Social Graces
The Art and Proper Etiquette of Afternoon Tea
EMMA The Etiquette Cat: Meet Emma