Modern Etiquette For Dummies book cover

Modern Etiquette For Dummies

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Published: June 5, 2007

Overview

Improve your manners, navigate uncomfortable social situations, and show greater kindness to others

Our world is constantly changing, but something that always remains true? Manners matter. Etiquette is about more than just knowing which fork to use at a fancy dinner or how to write a thank-you note. Modern Etiquette For Dummies shows you how to navigate tricky interpersonal scenarios and tough workplace dilemmas with ease. With the help of Dummies, you'll toss aside stuffy old notions of etiquette and discover how to conduct yourself in various environments. This book is full of helpful tips on tackling today's unique challenges, including how to use the right pronouns, how to behave on social media, how to maintain professionalism in hybrid work settings (like when is it okay to turn off your camera during a Zoom meeting?), and how to put your phone down so you can focus on what matters.

  • Learn important social expectations in informal, formal, and workplace settings
  • Discover how to navigate pronouns when unsure of someone's gender identity
  • Get up to date on the etiquette surrounding remote work, video calls, and more
  • Improve your reputation and communicate better with friends and family

This Dummies reference is great for anyone who wants improved manners. Entering the business world? Traveling overseas? Hosting a dinner party? This is the book you need.

Improve your manners, navigate uncomfortable social situations, and show greater kindness to others

Our world is constantly changing, but something that always remains true? Manners matter. Etiquette is about more than just knowing which fork to use at a fancy dinner or how to write a thank-you note. Modern Etiquette For Dummies shows you how to navigate tricky interpersonal scenarios and tough workplace dilemmas with ease. With the help of Dummies, you'll toss aside stuffy old notions of etiquette and discover how to conduct yourself in various environments. This book is full of helpful tips on tackling today's unique challenges, including how to use the right pronouns, how to behave on social media,

how to maintain professionalism in hybrid work settings (like when is it okay to turn off your camera during a Zoom meeting?), and how to put your phone down so you can focus on what matters.

  • Learn important social expectations in informal, formal, and workplace settings
  • Discover how to navigate pronouns when unsure of someone's gender identity
  • Get up to date on the etiquette surrounding remote work, video calls, and more
  • Improve your reputation and communicate better with friends and family

This Dummies reference is great for anyone who wants improved manners. Entering the business world? Traveling overseas? Hosting a dinner party? This is the book you need.

Modern Etiquette For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Practicing proper etiquette means knowing the mechanics of dining, the correct amount to tip for a service, giving a gift graciously, and traveling with ease while exercising good manners.

Articles From The Book

11 results

Etiquette Articles

Phone Etiquette and Safety Guidelines for Children

Teaching your child phone etiquette and phone safety requires good sense and firm guidance. You want your children to learn how to communicate effectively, but you don't want them to take over the phone as their own personal property.

Safety is another consideration. Every child who is old enough to manage a phone should know how to dial 9-1-1 and stay on the line. Don't overlook your responsibility to teach your children when and how to dial 9-1-1.

Here are some suggestions regarding children, phone etiquette, and phone safety:

  • Don't inflict toddlers on others via the phone. When Grandma (or anyone else!) calls, don't put your 2-year-old on the line unless that person asks to speak to the child. You may think that it's cute, but Granny and others may not be thrilled to get an earful of silence or babbling when calling long-distance. Even if the call is local, remember that the person called to speak with you, not your child. Similarly, avoid prolonged conversations with your child while your caller waits (patiently or impatiently) on the other end of the line.
  • Discuss with other parents your desires regarding child-to-child calling times for preteens and teens. Establish the best time of day and a maximum duration for calls between kids, and then enforce the rules. Even though most kids have their own cell phones these days, the parents are still usually the ones who pay the bills and should have the final word in regard to when and for how long talking on the phone is appropriate.
  • Teach children how to take a message. If a child is old enough to answer the phone, the child is old enough to take a name and number and promise a callback.
  • Make sure that teenagers participate in equal access to telephones in the same way that they participate in equal dessert at dinnertime. Establishing a time limit for each call and a between-call time interval is fair. Otherwise, you won't receive incoming calls for anyone else in the house.
  • Don't worry if your Shoshanna dials up her friend Justin to arrange a meeting at the coffee shop. The old business about girls not calling boys has pretty much disappeared.
  • Examine your monthly telephone bills carefully. You may discover that one of your children is using the phone in a way that displeases you. Kids tell each other about little scams and pranks that they can play with the phone. Discuss exceptional charges and notations with the child.
  • If your child has her own line or cell phone, consider placing limits on it. Your telephone or wireless phone company can provide useful limits on a telephone to keep your children — and your phone bills — safe. For example, you can arrange to block all outgoing 900-number calls and all long-distance calls. In other words, the youngster can use the home telephone only for local calls. Purchasing a calling card for cell-phone use can also limit large phone bills.
  • Display positive cell-phone behavior with your children and teenagers. Remember, children learn by example.
  • Even if your children are old enough to stay home alone, it is still wise to ask them not answer the home phone when you're away. As an extra safety precaution, tell them to let the calls go to the answering machine or voice mail.

Etiquette Articles

Empowering Yourself through Good Manners

No matter what you call it — manners, courtesy, etiquette, or civility — you can associate it with leadership. When you take the lead in putting people at ease and making every situation pleasant, you exhibit poise. Poise comes from being self-confident.

In today's climate, etiquette and civility are sometimes seen as snobbery. Others view polite behavior as a sign of weakness, and some professionals actually believe that it's impossible to get to the top while being gracious and polite. None of this is true. Knowing how and when to ask for what you want in a polite manner means empowerment.

When you need to ask for something, be sure to remember the following:

  • Speak up. Even if you feel intimidated or nervous, you can get around these roadblocks that undermine your efforts by speaking with confidence.
  • Invite reactions, making it easy for your allies to respond to your request or expectation. Be open to constructive criticism.
  • Be specific, focus clearly on what you really want or need, and ask for it. You may even want to jot down a few notes or rehearse mentally before making your request, especially if you're about to ask someone on a date.
  • Don't undermine yourself. Adding on demeaning tag beginnings or endings — such as, "I know this is a stupid question, but. . ." or "I'm sorry to have to ask you this.. ." — makes you sound like you lack self-confidence.

Being assertive doesn't equal rudeness. Take responsibility for nurturing and maintaining your own self-esteem. When you're competent in using basic assertive skills, you can feel confident to handle most situations and can achieve the respect you deserve.

Etiquette Articles

Family Etiquette: What to Call Your Parents-In-Law

The way you initially address your parents-in-law can have a lasting effect on them and can shape the future of your relationships. Every family is unique, so here are some basic guidelines of etiquette to keep you in safe territory until you figure out what works best in your own extended family.

If you can bring yourself to call your parents-in-law Mom and Dad, they'll probably be pleased. In many families, parents consider sons-in-law and daughters-in-law to be as close to them as their own children, and they appreciate that affectionate regard in return. But some people find this practice difficult, at least at first.

The safest tactic is to confess your uncertainty and ask your parents-in-law how they wish to be addressed. Be prepared to honor their response. If they ask you to use their first names, do so. If your mother-in-law asks to be called Mother Smith, so be it. If the answer is Mom, call her Mom. When everyone's parents are present, you may call your own parents Mom and Dad and your spouse's parents Mother Jones and Father Jones.

In all cases, using a pronoun instead of an actual name is an absolute no-no. When the person is within earshot, using words such as she and her is definitely not courteous, and the more you use them, the more rude they seem.

You can usually address your spouse's grandparents with their last names appended, as in "Grandma and Grandpa Smith" (unless there is no ambiguity, in which case you can call them simply "Grandma and Grandpa"). Some grandparents don't wish to "sound so old" to their adult grandchildren, though. Ask directly what the grandparents prefer to be called.