Manner Monday®: Manners and Etiquette, it’s about Hospitality not Formality

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by Carey Sue Vega in Classes, Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners

I love my job as an Etiquette Expert!  I love almost everything about it.  One of the only things I don’t like are the ‘assumptions’ associated with the title.  After getting to know someone new, they confess how they thought that I’m “Polly Perfect” all of the time.  I’m happy to announce for anyone wondering… I’m not! Just ask any of my friends 😉

I’m on a mission to debunk the notion that Etiquette is about Perfection.  I like to think of Manners and Etiquette more along the lines of Hospitality not Formality.  Yes, there are rules involved, but those rules are in place to make people feel comfortable and confident.  If we’ll start thinking of Manners and Etiquette from a perspective of Hospitality vs. Formality, then we’ll be in a better position to make others feel comfortable vs. uncomfortable.

Knowing the rules of etiquette does not give you a ‘hall pass’ to correct someone else’s mannerly misstep. If anything it arms you with the grace and knowledge to know you don’t point out the mistake and instead, it’s ‘Move along, there’s nothing to see here’.

When I speak to groups and ask them what they think of when the hear the words ‘Manners’ and ‘Etiquette’, I’m usually met with answers like:

  • ‘snobby’
  • ‘rich’
  • ‘old school’
  • ‘rules’
  • ‘stuck up’

Those are the LAST things I want people thinking of when it comes to manners and etiquette!

I then ask the group to tell me words that come to mind when they hear the term ‘Hospitality’.  And I get answers such as:

  • ‘inviting’
  • ‘generous’
  • ‘warm’
  • ‘welcoming’
  • ‘making people feel comfortable’

Now, we’re talking! By implementing and practicing the rules of manners and etiquette, we end up making others around us feel comfortable. We treat them with respect; we make them feel comfortable. That’s what it’s all about, hospitality not formality!

Just in case you don’t believe me… a ‘picture’s worth a thousand words’:

This is the day one of our students dropped something off at our house.  She looked a little shocked when I opened the door in ‘workout gear’.  I guess she thinks I wear heels and pearls around the house all day 🙂

normal tennis shoes

Here I am with the ‘Hub’ and ‘Cub’ and a Scouting trip.  Yes, I camped in a tent!!!

normal hiking

Click to Tweet:  Manners and Etiquette; it’s about Hospitality not Formality! #MannerMonday

Thanks for reading!!!
– Carey Sue

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