1. Being A Picky Eater Is A NO GO In Restaurants
We can all be picky when we don't feel like eating something, but when you've been invited out to a restaurant, the last thing you want to be doing is turning your nose up at what's on the menu. The polite thing to do is to just keep your opinions to yourself, especially if someone else is paying for your meal.
2. Announcing That You're Going To The Toilet
If you're at a restaurant, you don't want to be letting everybody know your toilet habits. Etiquette expert, Lisa Grotts says. If you excuse yourself, “announcing where you are going during a meal, such as to the bathroom or to make a phone call, is uncouth,” All you need to say is "excuse me" and get up.
3. Gossiping Is NOT Pretty
Always resist the urge to gossip, even if it's about something really juicy. Grotts says, “Gossiping about others is toxic behavior,” so if you're at a dinner table, or at someone's house, keep your gossip to yourself. It's not nice and nobody likes to hear that they've been gossiped about.
4. Slicing & Dicing Your Food
imagesource/Love that Max
“Cutting all foods on your plate at once is a food crime,” she says. “The rule is one piece at a time. You’re an adult, not a baby.” says Grotts. Unless you're a child, you should not be cutting all of your food up before you've eaten it. Plenty of people do it still and it's definitely not dinner table etiquette.
5. Passing Food To The Left
I bet you didn't think this would be something that was bad etiquette, but it is! If you're at a large table where food needs to be passed, you should be passing it to the right - counter clockwise. Grotts explains it: “People are [generally] right-handed; therefore, we go counter-clockwise. That way they hold the plate with their left hand and serve with the right.”
6. Passing The Salt & Pepper
“Salt and pepper are always passed together, just in case someone five seats away wants both,” Grotts says. When you hand the salt or pepper, you should be handing both according to proper etiquette. Pick both of them up and hand them to the person, even if they only asked for one.
7. Opening Your Hostess Gifts While The Guest Is Still There
So, most people already know that when invited to a house or a party, that they should bring a gift. But you should never expect it to be opened there and then. For instance, “bringing a bottle of wine as a hostess gift and then expecting it to be opened during the party because it’s your favorite vintage,” explains etiquette expert Lisa Grotts. “It’s a gift—not a gift to yourself!”
8. Using Titles When Introducing Yourself
“It’s poor etiquette to disregard rank in introductions,” Grotts says. “If someone has a title—think doctor, U.S. senator, admiral—then use it; they earned it.” You should never be introducing yourself using your formal title. But if someone uses theirs, use it back!
9. Drinking In Your Own Toast
imagesource/ape to gentleman
I think we're all guilty of this and this is a weird one, because whats the point in doing a toast when you can't drink your own drink? This is technically classed as a breach in etiquette, so if you're ever doing a toast at a meal or something, keep this one in mind!
10. Talking On Your Phone In Public Places
Sometimes you have to take a phone call, it can't be helped! But when you're in a busy , public spot, like a train carriage, then do try to hold it in...that's what texting is good for! “[It’s] disruptive and rude to the person serving you and others in line,” Grotts says.
11. Using Speakerphone In Public
Another rude thing to do is using your speaker phone in public. “Never keep your mobile phone on speaker while in public,” Grotts says. If you need to have a conversation with someone on the phone, nobody else should be able to listen into what you're saying to each other.
12. Using Too Much Perfume
This is one of those where 'less is more'. Try not to be too heavy handed when it comes to spraying your favourite perfume, just because you like the smell of it, doesn't mean everyone else has to be able to smell it too. Do a perfume check before you leave the house.
13. Not Replying To Your RSVP
Nowadays we don't really do the posting your RSVP off, but think Facebook or text chains. Either way, RSVP, especially if you can't make it. You should never leave your host hanging
“You have just received a promotion or purchased a yacht, but your friend might be unemployed and doesn’t even have a car,” Grotts says. “Good for you, but be humble about it.” This is a given really, no one likes someone who just constantly boasts about themselves. If you've been to Tenerife, they've been to Elevenerife!
15. Eating Too Fast
Sometimes it just can't be helped can it! But when you're starving, you should try not to shovel your food in your mouth at lightening speeds. When you've finished with your food, you should put your cutlery side by side so it points to where the number 11 would be on a clock face.
16. Putting Your Bag On The Table
imagesource/the vintage bar
This also includes your cell phone, purse, wallet, you name it. Your belongings should not be in the table, as leaving them there creates a cramped table, with less space to place the food. You could also make the server's job a little harder by having your things on the table.
17. Eating The Wrong Bread
When you're at a busy table, it can sometimes be a little confusing, with who's plate is who's etc. Remember the saying though, "liquids on the right, solids on the left" and that should help you remember which is yours when it comes to the bread on the table!
18. Spitting Out The Pits
You've bitten into one of the olives that have been placed on the table, so what do you do? There shouldn't be any spitting out onto the plate, it should be spat into your hands and onto the side of your plate discreetly if there isn't a little bowl or plate already for the pits.
19. Using The Wrong Napkin
If the napkin is not placed directly on your plate, yours can be found to the left of you. You just need to place it neatly on your lap once everyone has been seated. If you're in a nice restaurant, always avoid eating or drinking before you have a napkin on your knee.
20. Eating Right Away
No matter how hungry you are, you should always wait for everyone's food to arrive and wait for everyone to be ready to tuck in before you yourself begin eating. Your host should be seated if you're at somebodies house and everyone should be served, including them.
21. Talking With Your Mouth Full
When you're at restaurant, one of the hardest things to do, is to not talk with your mouth full. When someone asks you a question, finish your bite of food and then speak. If you've got a mouth full of food, give them a smile, gesture that your mouths full and then start the conversation once swallowed.
22. Trying To Eat Too Much In One Bite
We've all been there, it's so easy to do when you're absolutely starving hungry. But rather than shovel a load of food in your mouth, take smaller bites that fit comfortably in your mouth and you'll find it easier to chew your food without getting those hamster cheeks.
23. Eating Shellfish Wrong
If you're not sure how to eat shellfish, like Oysters, then ask somebody who knows how to! Oysters are meant to be picked up and slurped down (without making a sound obviously). Mussels can be eaten by putting a fork in and being pulled out. Lobster is probably the trickiest but also tastiest, so you know, it's worth it!
24. Passing Food The Wrong Way
When you're eating at a large table and food needs to passed around, there is a correct direction to do it in. You don't pass the food across the table, but pass it to the right or you can just designate one person to serve everyone.
25. Cutting Steak Or Other Meats All At Once
Unless you're cutting meat up for your child, you shouldn't cut up the piece of meat all at once. It's seen to be impolite and rude. When you have a piece of steak, you just cut it bite by bite. It seems like something really simple, but a lot of people just go in full force.
26. Licking Your Fingers
This one surely is a major no-no for everyone. Yes, everyone likes to lick their fingers after a tasty chicken wing or two, but stop yourself from doing that when you're around people or at a restaurant. Excuse yourself and go wash your hands in the bathroom.
27. Stacking The Dishes At The End Of The Meal
imagesource/the daily dot
When you're at a restaurant and you're all finished with your food, you might think you're being polite and helping the waiting staff by stacking your plates. But restaurants have a system in place for clearing tables so just be patient and let them do their jobs correctly.
28. Dropping Cutlery
It's one of those things that just can't be helped but if you find yourself at a restaurant and your drop your cutlery, just call over one of the servers and they will grab you a new one without you having to fish around for yours.
29. Blowing Your Nose
Even if you're feeling under the weather, you really should not blow your nose at the table, it disturbs everyone around you, it's loud and it's a bit gross. Take yourself to the bathroom and get all of that congestion out of your nose, alone, away from everyone else.
30. Adding Salt Before Tasting
We're all guilty of this, but, before you grab the salt shaker, you must taste test your food first. It's insulting to the chef and it makes you look rude to the people around you. Seasoning your food before tasting it is absolutely essential both out and about, as well as at someone's house.
31. Laughing With Your Mouth Open
You might think those natural laughs where you throw your head back, snort and cackle are the best kind because they're natural and you're not trying to cover your face. But in Japan, it's considered impolite if you laugh with your mouth wide open. They usually prefer it if you cover your mouth with your hand when you laugh!
32. Giving A Thumbs Up
We all do this, on a daily basis, right? Well, you might want to be careful where you're doing it... because in some places in the world (Greece, South America and the Middle East) it's considered the same as if you'd given someone the middle finger. So you can imagine how well that would go down. You might want to just try smiling your thanks instead...
33. Using Condiments In Your Meals
In certain restaurants in the world, you shouldn't ask for a single thing to be changed about your meal - including the condiments you add to it - because it's considered bad taste. In France, Italy, Spain and Japan you should always eat the dish exactly as it's served to you - so remember that before wanting to put a huge dollop of ketchup on the side of your fries.
34. Sitting In The Back Of A Taxi
Wait, surely this is the done thing, right? Well, not in all places in the world, apparently. It's actually considered rude in some countries because it seems like you think you're better than the driver by sitting in the back as though they're chauffeuring you around... which obviously they are doing, and you're paying for it, but it's more polite to sit in the front passenger seat on equal footing.
35. Finishing Every Crumb Of Your Food
When your meal is delicious, of course you want to eat every last morsel of it and lick your plate clean. But in some cultures, clearing your plate completely is actually bad manners. The reason it's shown as discourteous is because if you completely clear your plate it suggests you're still hungry and trying to imply the host hasn't given you enough food.
36. Showing The Bottom Of Your Feet
Think how many times you've been relaxing on the couch, or on a sunbed, with no shoes or socks on and displaying your bare feet to the world. You may want to rethink that. Because in some parts of the world, like Arab and Muslim cultures, the feet are considered the most dirty body part, which means showing off the bottom of your feet is considered in bad taste.
37. Crossing Your Fingers
For most of us, crossing our fingers is a symbol of good luck. We might cross our fingers and tell someone we have our fingers crossed for them, or even cross our fingers behind our back if we lie, if you were brought up with that idea. But in Vietnam, crossed fingers are a symbol for the vagina, which means they'd consider it offensive if your cross your fingers in front of them!
38. Eating In Public
Are you usually someone that grabs lunch on the go and sits on a park bench, or just stuffs their face during the commute or while walking the street? You might want to rethink that if you're going to Japan, because they consider it bad manners if you eat anywhere in public that isn't a restaurant, unless there's a specific sign that says it allows eating and drinking.
39. You Might Be Doing 'The Peace Sign' All Wrong
In countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand, making a V-sign with your fingers with the back of your hand facing outwards is a sign of swearing at someone. The peace sign is acceptable if you're making it with your palm facing outward instead. So make sure you're always doing the peace sign the right way or you might end up offending someone!
40. Putting One Hand In Your Pocket
Bad news if you're a fan of Alanis Morissette and you have one hand in your pocket AND you're giving the peace sign. In both Turkey and South Korea, having one hand in one of your pockets will give off an air of arrogance and be particularly bad manners if you're talking to someone whilst doing it!
41. Putting Your Hand Up To Get A Waiter's Attention
For most of us, this seems like the logical thing if it's a busy restaurant and the waiter hasn't been back to your table in a while. You might just want to give them a quick wave the next time they look your way. But in the US, this is bad manners - and even worse if you whistle at them or flap your hand around to call them over. You should always wait to get their attention when they're walking right by you.
42. Making That Metalhead Horn Sign With Your Fingers
How many times have you done this at a rock or metal concert, or at home when bopping to your own playlist? Well, in some countries of the world this means something completely different - and offensive. In places like Cuba and Brazil, if you show the horn hand symbol to a man, it tells them you think their wife is cheating!
43. Tipping Workers
imagesource/good news network
For a lot of people, tipping customer service or hospitality workers means that you want to thank them for a job well done - or just automatically add a tip to the bill. But in Japan and South Korea, it's actually bad manners to give a tip - and borderline offensive. This is because workers take pride in doing their job as they should, so anything else like a bonus or tip seems like you're giving them another reason to work hard when they don't need it.
44. Drinking A Coffee After Eating
In places like the UK, many people indulge in a coffee after a heavy meal at a restaurant in place of a dessert, but in Italy this is a huge no-no. So you might not want to order one the next time you go there, even though Italy is known for its great coffee. This is because Italians believe milky coffees like cappuccino can cause indigestion after eating, so it might not be the best idea.
45. Using Your Left Hand
This may come as a surprise, especially if you're left-handed and you don't usually have much choice. But you're going to have to think more carefully about using your right hand in a lot of Asian, African or Middle Eastern countries, because the left hand is seen as bad manners - such as eating with your left hand.
46. Saying No To Food
It's rare this happens because let's face it, who's going to say no to extra food? But that moment when you know you simply couldn't stuff your face anymore and you have to say no to dessert would be very bad manners in Arab countries. It's seen as an insult if you reject the hard-earned food that they put on the table.
47. Not Saying 'No' The First Time Someone Tries To Offer You Something
We've all been there - someone offers us something, like to pay for dinner or to buy us a drink, and we pretend to be modest or polite at first by saying 'no' even though we really want it. But it's actually very bad manners if you immediately say yes to a gift or offer in China and Japan - you're supposed to say no a few times first.
48. Opening A Gift Straight Away
Just like when you were a child on Christmas morning and you start tearing into your presents straight away - is there anything more fun than ripping open a gift in excitement? Well, actually, it's pretty bad manners in Asian countries, as it can be seen as particularly greedy if you can't wait to open a gift straight away.
49. Biting Into A Baguette
Or, cutting into a baguette. Which sounds silly because that's what most people do, right? Cut into a big baguette with a bread knife to make some slices. But cutting or biting directly into a baguette is a huge no-no in France. It's bad manners if you don't break bread - literally, by tearing it up with your hands, and not with your teeth.
50. Showing Up Early - Or On Time
This one is for those with social anxiety who arrive to a party at least an hour early just to make sure there's a parking space. But in Venezuela in particular, it's very bad manners if you're not late. You should be a tiny bit late, like 10 to 15 minutes, because if you're early it's a sign of 'greediness' and being overly eager!