The Real Meaning of Etiquette

Etiquette may sound like a bunch of rules that you’re supposed to follow, though at the end of the day, etiquette is simply guidelines for making our personal and professional relationships more relaxed and successful. We are far more likely to feel at ease when we know what others are expecting from us. The use of etiquette when writing a letter, like the etiquette used in other areas, centers around three essential ideas: common sense, civility and practice.

Common Sense

Common sense is the basis of etiquette. For example, when you’re writing an invitation you need to include the essential information if your want your guests to actually come to the party. They need to know the specifics, like time, date, and location. An invitation, if worded properly, includes all that information and announces it in a way that is to the point and easy to understand. The rules of etiquette are there to help you accomplish just that.

Civility

When civility is used, relationships are strengthened and become more rewarding. It requires us to be more understanding of others. The guidelines of etiquette might not always seem proper. If the guidelines you’re trying to use seem like they might offend someone, let civility take over. Find a way to be proper in your actions and wording that also takes the unique audience and situations into account, since the last thing you want to do is offend a loved one.

Practice

The third idea is practice. The old adage, “practice makes perfect,” has certainly proven true in your life, so why not in your use of etiquette. By practicing, you make proper etiquette more common and people who do not use etiquette in their correspondence may indeed take up the practice as well. Practice also helps you take an etiquette guideline that civility says disagrees with your situation and vary it to fit without doing extra research.

 

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