12 Important Etiquette Tips That Will Make You Seem More Mature

Reading etiquette tips doesn’t seem like the most fun thing in the world. Personally, it reminds me of many years ago, when it was pretty standard for young women to be sent to etiquette classes to learn to “act like a lady,” which was code for slut-shaming and perpetuating rigid and unfair gender stereotypes. It also always reminds me of Viola from She’s The Man, only one of the best movies of our time:

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That said, etiquette is actually still important – it’s just that it’s more important in how you act towards others, rather than which fork you’re using at the dinner table. If you’re someone who wants to start being seen as more mature and grown up, and you’re having trouble getting people to take you seriously, one way to work on this is to have better manners. Learning how to treat people with respect gives off a very mature vibe that is hard to match in any other way. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but nothing says, “I have no idea what I’m doing” like ignoring the basic rules of being polite.

A lot of the older generation likes to wax poetic on their time growing up while complaining about how youths these days have no idea how to act. It’s annoying to hear, but as someone who graduated college a little too long ago, I can tell you that I see a lot of people who seem to have never been trained in respect, and it’s jarring. Knowing some basic etiquette rules can help you look more mature, get what you want faster, and gain the respect of others. All of that is important, so don’t knock it! If you’re curious on how to be more ~polite, check out these super helpful tips that came from this Ask Reddit thread:


Don't Always Share Your Story

We all have that one friend who we consider a "one-upper." This is the person who always has a story to share no matter what you're talking about, who seems to have done and seen everything, and who knows everything you're already about to tell them. Whether it's done on purpose to take attention or done with good intentions to keep the conversation going, one thing is for sure - it's annoying. User ur_tears_r_tasty says, "It's easy to ruin a good conversation or friendship by only talking about yourself or constantly referring back to your own experiences (ie, oh I know just how you feel, it's like when ______ happened to me! etc). Sometimes it's necessary to put on an interested face when someone is talking about themselves, and to ask questions about them even when it's not 100% interesting. Communication goes both ways."

This is really true - sometimes it's great to share your own story and contribute to the conversation, but you have to learn when to stay silent. Is your friend crying about how horrible her ex-boyfriend is? Now is not the time to share your own even WORSE stories about your ex-boyfriend - now is the time to listen and be sympathetic. Are with a group sharing funny party stories? Now is the time to share yours. Get it?

Source: iStock

Don't Always Compliment Someone Because They Complimented You

There are too many people - especially women - who don't know how to take compliments. I say this as a total hypocrite because I don't know how to take one either. I always inevitably say some version of, "OMG no!" or "You look better!" User BOOBERRYSNOOZEBERRY says, "If someone gives you a compliment, don't give them one back immediately because it comes off as ingenuine. Learn how to take compliments!"

It seems like the most polite way to respond to a compliment is to give one back, but it's true - it does come off as a little phony sometimes. If your own compliment isn't 100 percent genuine, then just learn how to say "thank you!" and move on.

Source: iStock

Pay Attention To Dress Codes

By this, I don't mean the unfair dress codes your school might inflict on you, like not showing your shoulders or a calf muscle or something crazy like that. I mean the kinds of dress codes that are important in society. User kizoa says, "Be mindful of dress codes in order to respect the host and the occasion. Also, stop wearing white to weddings you heathens."

Showing up to an event wearing something way too casual or way too formal is indeed considered rude, and it's also an easy way to look very clueless. If you're not sure what to wear to something, ask someone! Ask the host or ask other people going. Don't just wing it.

Source: iStock

Always Be A Little Early To Work

This is my favorite work tip ever: always arrive a little early. It makes you look so dedicated, even if you're just sitting there on social media (but, like, don't do that). User MereExtraordinaire says, "Always be a few minutes minutes early for work, particularly if you are a shift worker. (I shoot for 10-15 minutes.) Employers and coworkers both appreciate someone who is punctual and dependable. I have heard from several different people in my life: 'Early is on-time, on-time is late.'"'

Even if you think no one is noticing, I promise that someone is. Get there 10-20 minutes late every day, and not only will it make you look good, it will also help you be more productive.

Source: iStock

Let People Know When You're Running Late

Again, I say this as a total hypocrite, but seriously - being late to everything is rude, and it's much worse if you don't give a heads up. User a7rcana says, "Be on time to your shit and let people know if you're going to be late or not show up to something no matter how trivial the engagement. I can't believe how many functional adults skip out on commitments without at least shooting an email or a text."

I'll never forget the time I showed up 10 minutes late to my eye doctor with no call. He scolded me for being rude (and yes, he actually used that word), and I felt like I was going to throw up I was so taken aback. But then I thought about it and realized he was right - it was rude of me. If you're running late to something, the least you can do is send a quick text about it.

Source: iStock

Listen To The Opinions You Don't Agree With

In 2017, it seems almost impossible for people to have a healthy debate about something. It feels like everyone is convinced that their opinion and only their opinion is the right one. It's like we've forgotten how to talk about issues we disagree on, which is not good! User SarfChar says, "Listen and take in other people's opinions and ideas. Just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean it's wrong." abqkat adds, "Also, learn to disagree without being disagreeable. There's a big difference between "no, that's not right" and "I can see your POV, but see it differently myself." That's a seemingly lost art when everything exists in 'likes' and replies to news articles"

It's so true - you have to learn how to disagree with people. You shouldn't sit there "yessing" someone mindlessly, but you don't need to argue every single point in an angry way. And please, can we stop alienating people just because they don't agree with us? I am not a Republican by any means, but I'm sick of seeing tweets about how someone isn't worth being friends with if they ARE Republican. It's incredibly immature.

Source: iStock

Stop Over-Sharing

It's easier now more than ever to totally over share about your life - and while it's sometimes okay, it's sometimes... well, not okay. User the-umop-apisdn says, "Always leave others with questions, not more information than they wish to know. I've noticed that with the advent of social media, the 'confessional culture' has become even worse, where people endlessly volunteer their feelings, unsolicited updates on themselves, unnecessary boring/gross/stupid details. Or they inform you on every horrible thing that's ever happened to them as casual conversation. Some things are best kept to oneself, or to only certain individuals on a need-to-know basis. And I don't mean a return to the days where everything was swept under the rug and no one could ever talk about feelings. But there's a time and a place and the public at large is not your therapist."

This is really good advice! I can't tell you how many times a random acquaintance has told me something I really didn't need to know.

Source: iStock

Ask Permission Before Taking Someone's Stuff

My biggest personal pet peeve is when someone helps themselves to my stuff without asking. Maybe it's from having a younger sister who took everything I ever owned, but it drives me insane. I think it's unbelievably rude when people help themselves to your food, or grab your stuff without asking. User Redhaired103 says, "Ask for permission if you want to drink from someone's glass, or use their make-up products."

It's really, really rude to just take people's stuff, even if you're the best of friends. Just ask!

Source: iStock

Say Thank You

This seems like such an obvious tip, but so many people still haven't gotten the memo! I can't tell you how many people ignore me when I hold a door open for them in New York City, or how many people don't say "thank you" for other little things. User reagan92 says, "Say thank you every time someone does something for you. Every time. And if someone thanks you, acknowledge that."

Another good point - always respond to the "thank you," even if it's just a nod of your head. It's polite!

Source: iStock

Make Introductions

In my opinion, few things make you seem more young and immature than not introducing people to each other. I hate when I go out with a friend, and they start talking to someone, and I'm just standing there like a doof. User abqkat says, "INTRODUCE people! If you're at a party or anywhere, don't let people stand there awkwardly! Introduce from the 'outside, in.' So the person that's the 'outsider of the group' or the newbie gets their intro first. So if my boss came to my house (boss being the outsider), it'd be 'Husband, meet my boss, Mr. Boss' whereas if my husband went to a work thing, it'd be 'Mr. boss, meet my husband, Mr. Spouse.' Optional, too, is a brief blurb about how you met and/ or what the two might have in common. Really, though, the height of manners is to make other people feel welcome and warm. This changes by setting and audience - it can mean your Sunday best and a 5-course meal, or eating spaghetti off of a paper plate on a porch. Know your setting and context"

That's all really great advice! Too many people don't follow it, but it's time to stop that.

Source: iStock

Put The Phone Down

I am sure you hear this from everyone in your life, but guys, seriously, being on your phone when you're out with others is so incredibly rude. I cannot stand when I'm talking to a friend, and they are sitting there staring at their phone. Or when I'm in the middle of a conversation with someone, and they get a text that they have to look at immediately, and then they very obviously zone out as they answer it. At least say, "Oh, I need to check this quickly, I'm sorry!" And if it's not important? Ignore it.

User kaeorin says, "I get that phone etiquette is getting a little more lax, but please, please put your phone down when you're interacting with someone, and in academic settings."

Source: iStock

Send Handwritten Thank You Notes

This is pretty old-fashioned, but it's actually still the nicest way to say thank you to someone - a handwritten note for a gift or something else that was really nice. User salamander_fart says, "Handwritten thank-you notes are rare these days but I feel they are a pleasant surprise. If you get a gift, get an interview, anything, send a thank-you note afterwards. Do not @ me about how antiquated this is; I don't care."

Source: iStock

Which one of these rules do you follow? What do you disagree with? Share in the comments!

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