Mastering Table Manners

Ever wondered what does etiquette mean? “Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential”

What are table manners and why are they important? Table manners are actions and behaviors at the dining table. Table manners are essential as they put the other person in a surrounding of ease and comfort. This leads to better conversation and creates a lasting impression. It speaks volumes about our social skills, character, refinement and self-awareness.

“Food is the best ingredient that binds people together”

Let’s understand some quick and easy tips to follow table manners and be a master at it.

When to start? — Always begin your meal once everyone has been seated and served food. You can also start the meal once the host asks you to.

Be a gentleman- A man should extend special courtesies to a woman. These may include opening the door for the woman and drawing a chair out for her at the dining table. These are the signs of courteous behavior.

Follow my lead- Follow the lead of the host for where to be seated. It is always a good idea to blend and interact with different individuals.

Body Pose- Refrain from yawning or sitting with a slouch back. Do not cross your arms. In order to make sure there is enough space for you to be comfortable, avoid placing your bag or any other belonging on the table. Make sure to sit upright and be interactive during the conversation.

Napkin Style- Once you are seated, always place the napkin on your lap. Fold and leave the napkin on the chair in case you need to leave the table for some urgent work. At the end of the meal, make sure to fold and position the napkin on the left-hand side of your plate.

Passing the passing- When you want to reach out for certain food item on the table, ask someone to pass it to you unless it is placed right in front of you. When someone asks you to pass the salt, make sure you pass salt and pepper both together. Always circulate the food from the direction left to right.

Be Reasonable- Always count how many people are there at the table and serve yourself accordingly. Even if you don’t like something and if the host insists, put in the effort to at least try.

How to eat? — You must chew your food with your mouth closed. Avoid making any loud noises while eating. This may bother the people around you. Act civilized.

Excuse me! — When you need to leave in between always say excuse me and then leave.

Participate- Keep away from using your phone. Since dinners are usually in a group, use the time to participate and socialize.

Knife and fork technique- The two styles to use knife and fork are the American and the Continental style. In the American style, to cut off something you place the knife on your right hand and the folk in your left hand. Once your done cutting, you place the knife on top of the plate and transfer your fork from left to the right again and then eat. It is also known as the zig-zag method. With the Continental style, you keep the folk in your left hand and the knife in your right hand. This is easier than the American style and something that I prefer to follow.

End the meal- Do not place the used knife and fork back on the table. Place the knife and fork parallel at a four or five o’clock angle. This signifies you’re done with the meal.

Thank you- Thank your host personally. It is always nice to write a handwritten thank-you note to your host.

“Good manners reflect something from inside — an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.” Emily Post