11 Must-Have Manners Many Women Don't Use but Should ...


11 Must-Have Manners Many Women Don't Use but Should ...
11 Must-Have Manners Many Women Don't Use but Should ...

When it comes to being a lady, there are some must-have manners we all need to make regular use out of. I thought I grew up learning all the manners I needed until I was required to take a manners class for a modeling job I had once. Surely I had learned everything I needed by age 22, right? I found out I was quite wrong. Since then, I’ve kept these must-have manners on hand to practice on a regular basis. While these might not seem necessary for everywhere you go, they are definitely important if you’re out for a dinner with your job, on a job interview, meeting your boyfriend’s parents, or anywhere else you want to make a top notch impression. After all, there's nothing more appealing than a lady with real genuine class!

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Extend a Hand

Whenever you meet someone, one of the must-have manners that I learned was that you should extend a hand to greet someone. This may be a little strange considering we live in such a germ-fearing world these days, but it is one of the best ways to seem personable, kind and professional at the same time. Don’t shake the person’s hand off, but offer a small, polite handshake. This breaks down barriers when first meeting someone, and it lets them know you’re personable at the same time.


Extending a hand goes beyond the mere physical action; it's a symbolic gesture that conveys openness and connectivity to the person you're meeting. Even a simple handshake can communicate volumes about your confidence and receptivity to new relationships or opportunities. In a professional setting, a handshake is often the first judgment someone will make about you, so ensure it is firm—indicating that you're grounded and assertive—yet brief enough to respect personal boundaries. Remember, it's important to offer a smile and maintain eye contact, making the experience mutually respectful and affirming.


Show Respect

One manner every lady should remember is that no matter whom you’re speaking to, be sure to say, “Yes ma’am,” or “Yes sir” if the person you’re meeting, dining with, talking to, etc. is older than you, or you even suspect they’re older than you. You should also use this professional gesture if the person is someone in a higher position than you, such as in a place of employment or an organization. This shows that you’re respectful and that you acknowledge their authority or seniority over you. Even if it seems outdated, or unnecessary, it is actually very important and will be appreciated.


Additionally, never underestimate the power of a polite 'please' and 'thank you.' These small words carry immense weight and effortlessly convey graciousness. Even in casual settings or when interacting with peers, upholding a respectful demeanor can fortify relationships and establish a positive impression. When in doubt, opt for formality; it's better to err on the side of courtesy than to come across as blunt or dismissive. A respectful attitude not only reflects well on you but also nurtures a culture of mutual respect.


Use Good Table Manners

I thought I knew how to properly sit at a table with others until I took a manners class. What I learned was that I just thought I knew how to eat like a lady! Using good table manners is one of the best ways to show you have manners. To do this, be sure to keep your napkin in your lap, chew with your mouth closed, don’t talk with food in your mouth, don’t start eating before anyone else at the table does so, offer to pay for your own meal, and don’t reach over someone else’s plate when reaching for the bread basket, salt and pepper, or anything else on the table. Instead, ask the person closest to the item to pass it to you. If you need to use the restroom, ask everyone if they mind you being excused for a moment. Don't announce you need to go to the bathroom! Just ask if they mind you leaving the table for a moment and place your napkin in your chair when you get up to leave, not back on the table, which can appear as unsanitary.


Good table manners are essential for making a good impression in any setting. Not only should you keep your napkin in your lap, but you should also chew with your mouth closed, not talk with food in your mouth, and wait for everyone else to start eating before you begin. Additionally, offer to pay for your own meal and don’t reach over someone else’s plate. If you need to use the restroom, ask to be excused and place your napkin in your chair before leaving the table. Furthermore, it is important to use the correct utensils for each course. For example, start from the outside and work your way in when using multiple utensils. Following these rules of etiquette will help you make a good impression in any setting.


Send a Thank You Note

One thing I learned was how much thank you notes are appreciated, no matter whom you’re dealing with. Whether you have dinner with someone’s parents, at a neighbor’s house, with a potential or current employer, with a client, or have an interview with a potential employee, be sure you send a thank you note afterwards. Even if you’re just thanking them for their time and company, people appreciate getting an old-fashioned thank you note by snail mail in today’s high tech world. It shows you take time to appreciate others and make the extra effort to send an official thank you note. Even if it seems old fashioned, trust me, it works!


Don’t Chew Gum

I love chewing gum, but learned quickly that I would need to get rid of my habit when around others at a formal occasion, or anytime I was trying to be on my best behavior. Chewing gum can be seen as sloppy, rude and can be distracting if you’re at an event like a speaking event, dinner, etc. It is fine to have an after dinner mint if you wish, but leave the gum smacking to nights out with your friends.


Don’t Overindulge in Alcohol

If you’re out at a dinner party and at the age to drink, be sure you don’t overindulge yourself. Having one too many will not only make you seem rude and disrespectful, but it can also take away your integrity and professionalism to those that don’t know you well.


Don’t Interrupt Others

One last manner that is important no matter whom you’re with or where you’re at, is not to interrupt others. Interrupting others can make you seem rude, disrespectful and could even make others hesitant to talk to you in the future.


Have Money on Hand

A lady never goes anywhere without having enough cash to pay her own way. If someone ends up picking up the tab for you later, then great. But never assume someone will lend you money or pay your way or you could end up stranded and embarrassed!


Be on Time

Being punctual has become somewhat of a rare quality in people. I know we all mean to be on time, but sometimes things just don't go as planned. Traffic, family obligations, transportation issues as well as some random occurrences can keep us from being where we said we would be. Clearly, the simple solution is to leave earlier. No one ever loses face from being too early!


Open Doors

Opening doors for someone isn't just reserved for gentleman, ladies can do it, too! You don't have to open the door for every person that walks by, but it's always nice to keep the door open for people behind you. It's thoughtful, polite and people appreciate it.


No Gossiping

You can't turn on the TV, your computer, phone or open up a magazine without celebrity gossip being practically thrown in your face. While it might be entertaining to read about the latest celebrity breakup, gossiping is bad manners. Gossiping about co-workers, neighbors or frienemies can hurt relationships both personally and professionally so it's best not to engage in it. It can be fun, but honestly, the people you gossip to might eventually lose trust in you and it can make you appear petty.

These manners might seem outdated or a little uptight, so don’t look at them as rules, but more of a courtesy to other people. You’re not supposed to be perfect by any means, but these rules will help you offer a great first impression each time you use them. Others will be reminded that you have true grace when it comes to etiquette skills and that you have social class. I can tell you that this is one quality that will make you stand out above the crowd and in the minds of others for a long time to come. It also helps you be more confident around others, believe it or not. What is the one manner than you try to abide by?

This article was written in collaboration with editor Lisa Washington

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I say yes ma'am or sir to everyone I respect. It isn't meant to imply they're old or anything less than I look up to them and I'm trying to show it with the way I speak. If you want to take it as someone calling you old, fine, just don't get offended if someone's trying to show respect in a way that's common in our culture.

DO NOT SAY "Yes ma'am" to someone "older than you." God I hate this! U don't know that I'm older than you, so this is a presumption that is offensive and makes me feel so old!! I prefer Miss!

Gum is the worst!

And always remember to smile and maintain good eye contact!

I work with the baby boomer generation, their just as likely to be offended by ma'ms and sirs as to like it.

Not lol

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