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Etiquette: The Most Important Rules [& 37 Examples]

Etiquette: The Most Important Rules [& 37 Examples]

Etiquette is important for courtesy and respect. For example, how should you behave in a restaurant? For example, how should the cutlery be set? How should you greet someone? And are you even thinking about letting women go first? Here you will find all the important etiquette rules and examples. Read along…

Contents of this page:

What is etiquette? The meaning of etiquette

Etiquette stands for the culture-bound courtesy rules and manners. It simply means being polite, having good manners and acting the way you should. There are different types of etiquette. You have social etiquette, catering etiquette, wedding etiquette and professional etiquette.

Why etiquette?

If you show that you apply the etiquette – or if you at least don’t make a faux pas (wrong) – you show that you belong to the people who ‘get it’. It shows that you were brought up well and come from a good family – not an antisocial family. As a result, people want to be in your presence more often, prefer to become friends with you or much rather hire you for a job or a job.

Courtesy and etiquette make you attractive. It works like a magnet.

Now let’s look at all the important etiquette rules and examples …

Tip the staff if you have been served properly and attentively

give a tip

This does not only apply to restaurants. For example, are you a member of a car fixing service and will the mechanic come to help? Feel free to tip. However, do not tip everyone inappropriately and inappropriately – especially not outside of the USA.

“Do you have children? Here, this is to do something fun together.”

Thank people when you’ve been somewhere

A thank you is just part of the deal if you have been a guest with someone and if someone has made an effort to organize something and invite you.

“It was a great privilege and honor. I am grateful to everyone who listened and to {the hostess and whoever else}.”

Have people been to you, for example at your wedding? Thank everyone!

It has to come from both sides. Every hello has a hello. Every bye also has a bye. Your guests have had a long journey, it took hours, selected gifts, paid a lot of money for the trip and the gifts ….

When someone gives a gift, you say thank you. Just make an extra call afterwards to say thanks. Especially if it is your marriage.

Do you say goodbye, for example from your job? Provide a small gift

Don’t show up with a huge gift, because they should actually thank you for working for them. However, if you have really gained the trust and faith of your employers, then you can safely turn out a bit bigger.

Thank all the people who did something for you in the first place

thank you etiquette

For example, send them a card and give everyone credit and recognition if they helped you.

Dear Monique, Robbert, I proudly present my recommendations for company A. I was guided by supervisor B and C. I have worked on this with great pleasure.

Time for a gala? Take a gala course

Learn the gala etiquette, such as bringing a corsage for a woman. Here you will find all gala etiquette rules.

Don’t use dirty words

Avoid words like “toilet”.” Rather say: ‘small room’ or ‘sanitary stop’. Best of all, never announce when you have to go to the bathroom. Instead, excuse yourself for a moment.

Eating etiquette: shut mouth, no sound …

The most important eating etiquette?

  • Eat with your mouth closed.
  • While chewing, always put your food on one cheek, not both at the same time.
  • Do not make slurping and smacking noises when eating and drinking.
  • Place the napkin on your lap.
  • Finished eating? Place the cutlery side by side on the center of your plate, with them pointing down and the sharp side of the knife facing the fork.
  • Do not call and app at the table. Is your phone ringing? Excuse yourself and walk outside.
  • Always give dishes of food to the person sitting next to you. Even if you did not intend to brag yourself. Then take the bowl and pass it on.
  • Don’t be greedy when someone is bragging.

Greet everyone… with touch

shake hands etiquette

A no-touch greeting is not a greeting. Always touch them. So with a kiss or hand. Touch: Greet guests with a kiss or a firm handshake

Always get up when greeting someone

Just get up.

Are you higher in rank or the hostess / host? Take initiative in greeting

The host or superordinate, regardless of gender, must first extend his or her hand. If this person fails to do so, the lower-ranking person must immediately take on this task and still take the initiative.

Either way, the handshake has to be done. In the Netherlands, the handshake is the business greeting. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to shake hands and shake hands well.

Take good care of your guests (and everyone at all)

First serve others and then pour / pour for yourself. Here you will find more tips about hospitality

Personal care is always done privately

Want to spray deodorant? Want to brush your teeth? Walk to a place where no one sees you.

Always blow your nose out of sight of others

Should you blow your nose? Get out of the room for a moment. Then wash your hands. At the very least, make sure no one sees it.

Cough in your right hand… with a tissue

If you cough, do it with a tissue and your left hand. By the way, don’t do it with a napkin, but with a tissue.

Make others feel valuable and respected

listen and respect the other

Respect others. Be open to their ideas and become their biggest fan. Courtesy is a sign of respect and at the same time respect is also a means of courtesy.

Keep the door open to others

Especially for women. Revolving doors are the exception. Then you go first so that you do the pushing work.


Kindness is also part of etiquette – and a smile is ideal for that.

Be considerate of other people and be considerate

Constantly ask yourself, “How would this be for the other person?” For example, have a pleasant voice, so that you do not disturb others with loud talk. In addition, be helpful and considerate .

Do not interrupt the other person while he / she is talking

This shows that you find the other person’s opinion just as valuable as your own opinion.

Use at least two words

two words for etiquette

The following words are not just words. They are courteous expressions. You immediately indicate that you value other people and find their feelings important.

  • Please, Marie
  • Thank you, Marie
  • Apologies, Marie
  • Welcome, Marie
  • Yes please.
  • No thank you.

Above all, be polite and courteous to these people …

  • Your parents
  • Your teachers
  • Elderly

Be on time

15 minutes in advance.

Don’t say ‘thank you’ too often

“You only have to say it once or twice in a conversation … Otherwise, you can reduce its impact and possibly make yourself seem a little helpless and needy.

Never point with one finger, but with your whole hand

Point with an open palm and keep your fingers together. When you point with your index finger, it appears aggressive.

Whoever invites pays

pay if you invite

Once you have made the invitation, you are the host, and you have to pay the bill regardless of gender. The best way to do this is to apologize, walk away from the table, and pay the bill elsewhere in the room.

The bottom line, however, is that you don’t want to fight over a bill. If a male guest wants to pay despite the best efforts of a female host, make them pay.

Setting the table …

How do you set the table? This article will show you exactly.

Napkin: use it on the inner side so that no one sees the stains

If you want to wipe your mouth or hands, do it on the inside of the fold so that the napkin doesn’t look dirty on the outside.

Never let guests do the dishes

A good guest should always offer to help, but an even better hostess should never accept it. It is indeed hard work, but your goal is to make sure your guests feel relaxed and feel that they are taken care of at all times. They should not help in the kitchen or cleaning.

Be on time

Be punctual, be on time for every appointment.

Who do you introduce to whom?

who proposes to whom

  • Introduce the person with a lower rank to the person with the higher rank.
  • You introduce a man to a woman – except for business relationships.
  • Introduce the younger person to an older person.

Say hello and thank you to every employee

Don’t be a customer who just passes his / her order without greeting the employee. It’s rude. Just make a connection.

Do you receive prominent visitors? Be extra thoughtful

Does an important person come to your invitation? Then put a welcome card, flowers, etc. in his / her hotel room.

Some more bullets

  • Before you think about yourself, think about the others. In other words, be considerate.
  • Make sure everyone is comfortable.
  • Never arrive empty-handed if you are invited somewhere. Something small is enough.

To your success!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!