You leave your elbows off the dinner table and understand the importance of a nice, firm handshake. Congrats!
You’re a generally well-mannered person. But do you know which hand you should wave with? Or which seat to offer your boss in the back of a town car? There are tons of little-known etiquette rules that most people break every single day. Etiquette expert Joy Weaver, author of How to Be Socially Savvy in All Situations, lets us in on the 10 most common blunders—and provides a crash course on being proper.
1. You’re coughing into your right hand.
Covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough is good manners. Using your right hand to do it? That’s bad. “Your right hand is your social hand,” Weaver says. “It should be available for shaking hands, waving, and blowing kisses.” Your left hand, meanwhile, is what she dubs your “personal” hand: “That’s the hand you use for coughing, scratching, sneezing, whatever it is we don’t want to talk about.” The reason for the distinction, she explains, is simple politeness—you don’t want to sneeze into one hand, then absentmindedly use that palm to shake hands with a new colleague.
2. You’re wearing your handbag on your right shoulder—and slinging it over the back of your chair.
To keep your “social” hand free for greetings, it’s best to keep your handbag — or cocktail! — in your left hand. That way, says Weaver, “you don’t have to take the time to switch it over to the other arm when you’re reaching out to shake someone’s hand.” (Of note: Queen Elizabeth always keeps her tote on her left.) While you’re at it, never place your handbag on the back of a chair when you’re seated at a table. The proper spot, says Weaver, is on the floor to your right.
3. Also, you’re calling it a “purse.”
That term is reserved for any clutch, tote, satchel, etc. that costs less than $100. “A purse is something that is relatively inexpensive,” notes Weaver. “A handbag is more expensive. You should never go into Neiman Marcus and ask for their purse department. They don’t have one.”
Source: Mental Floss |