Etiquette is a word that simply describes set of rules that tells us what society thinks is acceptable behavior. Following these rules may lead to longer, more comfortable relationships with others. When we understand what others expect of us we tend to feel more comfortable. Therefore making our relationships with others more significant and most of all more personal.
Etiquette we use in everyday life can be related to the etiquette we use when sending a letter. Be courteous and use common sense. Common sense is the foundation of etiquette. If you are inviting people to a wedding, a party, or any other event…there is specific information that must be included. The guests need to know who is inviting them to what function, time and place. Courtesy is vital to etiquette as well. Some would include courtesy with common sense. However, they can and often do exist independently. You need to be sure to include both in any correspondence. Courtesy goes a long way in strengthening a relationship.
Etiquette is our societal standards, so keep in mind that customs that were considered proper 20 years ago might seem a little out of place today. Times change and so does etiquette. As old customs fade, new ones take their place. For example, many years ago, sending reply cards with a wedding invitation was improper. Invitees were expected to reply on their own personalized stationery. As life in our society got more hectic, we reach a point of no longer taking the time to sit and write a long acceptance letter. Preprinted reply cards made for a quicker, less daunting reply process for guests. As the world changed, reply cards became common practice and are now considered proper. The use of reply cards is a common sense solution to the problem and therefore became acceptable. Today, reply cards are mailed with almost every invitation style.
Reply cards are just one example of etiquette evolving in our society. If common sense ever fails you or your event is important enough to want to be sure, there are always experts you can get advice from. Following proper social etiquette will lead to a lot fewer mishaps and mistakes in your correspondence. It will lead to less hurt feelings, fewer lost opportunities, better personal and professional relationships and so much more.
See our Everyday Etiquettesection for more etiquette tips