Manners & Etiquette

Bad Manners

teaching children manners

Bad manners are annoying. But sometimes we don’t realize it may be us. Check to see that we are not annoying to others! What is this page about? How not to be rude.

teaching children manners


It is good to do a self check on ourselves for possible offending behavior.

Here are some common mistakes that we are ALL guilty of!

Actually most of these appalling manners are really BAD HABITS IN DISGUISE.

Self-awareness is the first step to elegance.

Here are some examples of bad manners that are common.

#1 – Interruption

bad manners to interrupt

Despite how painful it can be, especially if the person rambles, never ever interrupt a person when they are speaking.

Worse still, never turn away and talk to someone else when the person is in mid-sentence. Learn more about the art of conversation.

If you are short on time, or if they suddenly spun off their own comments, look at the person in the eye and say nicely, do you mind if we talk about ____. Or I’m really sorry I don’t have much time but let me get back to you on _____.”

This happens frequently when talking on the cell phone.

#2 – Assumption

Do not make assumptions. It is considered bad manners to make assumptions of others especially when it is to your own benefit

#2.1 – Assumption when it comes to Transportation – Bad Car Manners

Lift Home

If you want a lift home, kindly ask in an accommodating manner. Don’t simply follow the person with the car to her car. Suggest the less option for instance to be dropped of at the main road for you to catch a cab or at a train station/bus stop.

Getting picked up

Never make the person who is picking you up wait! Don’t take your time even though the very very nice person say they are okay to wait in the car.

Be a clean passenger

If the person is giving you a ride, ensure your shoes are clean. Careful not to leave your stuff behind. You don’t want to give any more trouble to the person who went out of their way to pick you up. Don’t bring food or eat in the car.

Repay your favors

If the person repeatedly gives you a ride, offer to pay back in little ways like buying coffee, or paying for parking or toll. Offer, even if you know she won’t accept it!

#2.2 – Assumption when it comes to paying

Depending on who your good friend is, never assume because she earns more than you, looks like she has more than you that you can always let her pay (even if she offers).

Who should pay?

Generally the rule of thumb is, if you have initiated the dinner and picked the restaurant, you’ll graciously foot the bill. Its more or less acceptable to go dutch. I think its more elegant to alternate, especially if you often meet regularly.

* It’s more elegant to pay for your friend especially if she is a good friend. To prevent friendly squabbling about who gets the bill, take them to your club or I’ll simply leave my credit card with the restaurant when I step in.

#2.3 Assumption when traveling

bad manners

There is this common problem of transporting things through your network of friends.

Here are the complaints of bad manners I’ve heard and some I’ve personally experienced.

Examples of Bad Manners

  • Kate is traveling to Australia. Jim wants to give his sister some of her favorite Japanese seaweed snack and asks Kate to transport it. Problem is, Kate has to join the long queue in customs to declare the food, as Australia is an agricultural country, otherwise she can skip to the express queue.
  • Anne can save $20 by buying this Crabtree and Evelyn hand cream if she buys it from the USA. She asks her friend in the US to buy it for her. Her friend Jon, has to drive to the store, fumble around to ensure its the right product, pay in advance, store it carefully in his bag, go through customs, return to Hong Kong and then pass it her.

If your friend does your favor, pay her quickly! It is already distasteful to chase for payment and worst of all bad manners, make them chase you for it.

Pay up Quickly

I’ve experienced where I had to take the initiative and travel personally to pass her the gift and receive my money in return so that she can save $20.

Once, that person couldn’t be bothered to travel to get the product from me, so she asked her friend to come meet me instead. We ended up meeting halfway but it took a week of miscommunication – last minute meeting cancellations due to her friend’s work.

It was ridiculous.

Don’t give people a long list of things to buy for you

Sometimes a good friend asks you, “Hey I’m traveling to Paris. Want anything?” Don’t give her a list of five bags to buy, making her travel around the country wasting her shopping time to get you stuff.

Also if you are a foreigner in Paris, you can only buy one Louis Vuitton bag. Ensure she doesn’t want to buy one herself too.

I feel its more acceptable “to state” a disclaimer by saying, “Hey, if its not on your way, don’t bother and don’t worry about it!” When you do so, the pressure is off and the person will feel more pleasant when running your errand, if indeed you are nice enough, she will want to help you.

Don’t get people to buy you bulky things!

When people travel, they buy stuff too. Don’t assume that they have space for your bulky item. More over, it is not very nice.

#3 Online Shopping Bad Manners

We are all guilty at some point!

Getting Your Friend To Carry Back Online Shopping For You

It is common practice to have people buy things and ship to your friend’s house especially when you know they will be soon traveling to see you.

I understand that not many countries offer fantastic online shopping and I also understand that you can’t get everything in your city or hometown.

It seems like it is child’s play to even mention this but have you asked

if she could pick up some items for you? Or has space in her bag? If to save a few bucks or get items you don’t really need – don’t do it.

Even if you’ve asked and she’d agreed, don’t buy numerous or enormous things for her to carry back. It is extremely rude. You show no consideration of her.

And if she asks “do you need anything?” If you absolutely can’t resist, always add the disclaimer.

Don’t be offended if she returns without it and had to mail it – that is bad manners. Try to remember what it is like traveling a long way and even though she agreed to carry it for you, it was as a favor so do include the postage when you return her money.

Taking Advantage of Others To Save on Shipping Costs

General comment:

The world’s marketplace is getting more international by the hour. Many sites offer international shipping and insurance for your expensive items.

Elegant tip: There are many affordable purchase-forwarding companies out there.

You send all your online shopping to them, and they’ll pool it together for you and send it off in \
one shipment. You save on this combined shipping with a additional small fee. Don’t be a bother.

The $10-$50 you save from getting your friend to buy it for you is not really saved. She/he has to do the work and spend time getting it for you. If you DO save thousands of dollars, do reciprocate by taking her out to dinner or giving her a gift and a thank you note.

Pay the person back immediately and meet the person to get it! Don’t make her come to you.

Though it may seem formal, it is considerate.

Unless you have been in the situation yourself, you may not completely understand.

It is true that they are the most common complaints of bad manners. Some eventually resorted to sending off a nasty email before all these things stop.

Secrets of Elegance Ebook

The first few steps of elegance is self awareness and developing kindness and consideration for others.

If you don’t have that, it does not matter how cultivated you think you are. Because not all the sophisticated knowledge in this world can open doors for you, bad manners will shut them!

More secrets of elegance can be found in the Secrets of Elegance ebook.

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Thank you for reading ‘Bad Manners’!

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