So you’re in your 20s. It’s this confusing time when nothing seems to be set in stone, and yet you feel like you’re expected to have everything figured out and ready to go. As someone who is on the latter half of their 20s, here are 10 social etiquette mistakes I’ve made, and noticed how counter-intuitively they can impact your future success in life.
Inviting another guest to an event – No matter what the occasion, you should always ask your host before you bring someone who wasn’t specifically invited along to an event. If someone is hosting an event, usually they cater for all those they have invited, and by inviting another guest you could be placing an additional, possibly financial, burden on the host.
Forgetting to RSVP – As busy as our everyday lives have become, it’s often difficult to schedule a date far in advance for fear of something else popping up. Well part of getting older is learning to keep a schedule and sticking to the social contract of going to the events that you accepted invites to. Not only this, but you should actually reply and not leave your friends waiting on a response from you.
Not bringing something to a party – While it’s safe to assume that your host isn’t expecting you to bring a prepared dish or enough wine for everyone at their party, showing up empty-handed is a mistake. If you’ve been invited to an event, bring something to show your appreciation. It could be anything from a bottle of wine, flowers or even chocolates.
Not offering to clean up after someone cooks – So this particular social grace is not common place for most. However just because you didn’t cook, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least offer to clean. Think about it, if someone was gracious enough to prepare a meal for you, the least you could do is offer to wash the dishes afterward. Assuming that someone will both cook and clean is a sure-fire way to ensure you aren’t invited to their next dinner party.
Not Introducing People – We’ve all encountered those awkward situations when you’re with a friend and you run into someone whom you friend doesn’t know. Due to the spontaneity of it all you totally forget to introduce your friends to one another and just jump straight into conversation, leaving the third party casually waiting around for you to finish. This can make everyone involved feel very uncomfortable, or worse, make them feel like you don’t think they’re worth introducing. If you can’t remember your friend’s name, simply introduce the friend’s name that you do know. You can say: ’This is my friend, Sharon.’
Tipping too little – Whether tips are expected or not, it doesn’t mean you can skip it. Most of the time your waiter/waitress is counting on that money to support themselves. Not to mention that failing to tip appropriately in front of friends or worse – colleagues or clients, could paint a portrait of the type of person you are from a very young age. The rule of thumb for tipping is usually 10% of your bill.
Ghosting – For those of you who don’t know what ‘Ghosting’ is, it is the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication. Let’s face it. In your 20s not every date or relationship you start is going to go the distance however, ghosting isn’t an option, especially when you’re well out of your immature teenage years.
Instead, regardless of how the date went, follow up within 24 hours to let your date know that you’d either like to see them again, or don’t see things working out. If you have an issue with one of your friends, let them know what upset you and why you may want to take a break from the friendship. ‘Ghosting’ them reflects your poor character as you are seen as heartless or a coward. You also leave them in a pained state as they are left second guessing or doubting themselves, which can tear someone apart. It may be an uncomfortable conversation, but throughout your life you will need to have difficult conversations. If you can’t master this, you will forever be pushed into doing things you either don’t want or causing hurt feelings.
Texting while in conversation – We live in an always connected world where there is an expectation that we are always meant to be on call. We’ve all done it at least once before. You’re hanging out with someone, but the lure of your phone proves too strong, and before you know it, you’re shooting off a quick text while the person in front of you looks at you with a slightly bewildered facial expression.
Let’s get this clear off the bat. People in front of you take precedence over whoever is on the cellphone. However if you are expecting an important call or it’s an emergency, warn the person and ask their permission to use your phone.
Good manners are an extremely attractive personality trait. You may not notice when someone’s manners are slightly out but you always notice when someone is well mannered. It’s those moments when that ordinary person goes that little bit further to make you feel extraordinary.
if you have something you would like to end it off with, go ahead. Otherwise I’m happy for it to go.