Social Situations Etiquette for Success


• Dining • Relationships • School • Social Media & Online Manners

• Social Situations • Traveling Abroad • Workplace

Social Situations Etiquette for Success

Sarah Smith


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Copyright © 2019 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ISBN: 978-1-4222-3974-2

Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-3969-8 ebook ISBN: 978-1-4222-7813-0 Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file with the Library of Congress. Printed and bound in the United States of America.


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Chapter One: The Importance of Good Etiquette in Social Situations

Chapter Two: Weddings Chapter Three: Family Functions

15 23 31 37 47 55 60 61 62 64

Chapter Four: Funerals Chapter Five: Parties

Chapter Six: Vacations & Hobbies Chapter Seven: Concert Halls & Theaters

Series Glossary of Key Terms

Further Reading & Internet Resources


Picture/Video Credits & About the Author


Words to Understand : These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more!

Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there.

Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis.

Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout the series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field.


Dear Reader, As you read on, you will learn that in any given situation you must be knowledgeable about the expectations set by society regarding your actions and how they will or will not meet the social norms for good manners and etiquette. It being essential to your success, you learn how your behavior will always be central to how others see you. Unfortunately, many people are judged, or written off almost instantly because of their lack of etiquette. Times have certainly changed, and while society adapts, you must set your own goals for politeness, good manners, and kindness. All around you there are modern dilemmas to face, but let your good manners set you apart. Start by showing sensitivity toward others, maintain a keen awareness about how those around you feel, and note how your behavior impacts your peers. Consider that even with changes in the world around you, etiquette must be inclusive and understanding across ages and cultures, and sensitive to your setting. It is important that you take the time to learn; read, practice, and ask questions of those whom you respect. Learn about writing a business letter, sending holiday invitations, or communicating with peers—certain etiquettes should be followed. Is it rude to keep checking your phone during lunch with a friend? Are handwritten thank-you notes still necessary? It is said that good manners open doors that even the best education cannot. Read on and learn what it takes to make a great first impression.


“No matter who you are or what you do, your manners will have a direct impact on your professional and social success.”

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners”

“Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy”


Words to Understand evolution: the process of development of an

animal or a plant generation: the people in a family born and living during the same time nomadic: roaming about from place to place, frequently, or without a fixed pattern of movement

The social skills we use today are inherited from our ancient ancestors, who lived in small groups. For survival, they developed understanding, cooperation, and respect for others. 10

Chapter One The Importance of Good Etiquette in Social Situations

M ake no mistake about it, humans are social by nature. In fact, our species is hardwired to connect with other people thanks to millions of years of evolution .

Why We’re Social

Our ancient ancestors lived in small groups and relied heavily on each other for shelter, food, and protection from things like wildlife, inclement weather, and enemy tribes. Being ostracized or separated from the group could lead to personal harm, illness, or even death. So the young were taught from a very early age that respect for authority, cooperation with others, and trust in the tribe were critical for survival. This understanding and respect for the group has been passed down from generation to generation. Most people accept these social rules. People who don’t are often labeled “antisocial” and may be excluded from the

group because of their unpleasant behavior. Over time, the small nomadic tribes of our ancestors developed into larger and larger communities, until eventually we reached the modern world, complete with advanced societal structures such as organized government and laws. Today, different cultures all around the world have unique rules, traditions, and shared beliefs that are reflective not only of societal customs but also of family and religious customs as well. These customs have a deep influence on the way we interact with others and help determine acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, which can vary slightly from culture to culture.


The Importance of Good Etiquette in Social Situations

Of course, we’re not the only creatures in the world who depend on social interaction with others in order to survive and thrive. But scientists believe that the complexity of our social arrangements, language, and cognitive abilities are largely due to the size and structure of our brains. Unlike other animals, humans have very large brains, as well as a big brain area called the prefrontal cortex (it’s right behind your forehead). This area is important for what are known as executive functions, which include activities like planning, problem solving, and personality development. It’s the function of the prefrontal cortex, among other factors, that has helped determine how we interact socially with others and why exactly social interaction is so important for our health and well-being. That’s right, our brains are literally wired to be social! How Good Etiquette Helps Us Socialize Better in Modern Times But just because socializing is a natural and inherent part of our genetic makeup, it doesn’t necessarily mean that socializing is always easy for us. In fact, while the amazing advances in technology that we enjoy today have made it easier than ever to interact with people, they have also made social isolation a real issue. We may be connected to others via the Internet, but often lack face-to-face communication and deep personal interactions. For many of us, this leads to feelings

of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and other mood problems. And while things like loneliness and sadness have

existed throughout human history, many of us today

struggle with a lack of supportive social networks combined with greater pressure to be independent and go it alone. For this reason, participating in traditional social situations is more important than ever. These bring people together in person, reinforce social ties, offer a sense of identity, evoke a sense of security, connect different

The prefrontal area of the brain has a number of functions, including determining how we interact socially with others. 12

Etiquette for Success: Social Situations

Studies show that children start to develop social skills very early on. Several months from birth, babies start to become aware of themselves as individuals and become bonded with family members. As they grow older and develop speech and mobility, they use their social skills to develop new relationships and build friendships. generations, serve as milestones in a person’s life, and generate important memories. Even those of us who feel shy will do well to be social from time to time! But how can we make sure that we know how to act during formal and informal gatherings? Well, it starts with understanding and developing good etiquette. Etiquette may sound like an outdated term. It may make you think of women walking with books balanced on their heads and drinking a cup of tea with a pinky finger up. In reality, etiquette matters as much now as it did back in the Victorian age. Defined as “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular group,” etiquette may be considered the heart of good social skills. If you want to have positive interactions with others, develop healthy bonds, and feel comfortable when you’re socializing then you need to exhibit qualities such as kindheartedness, fairness,


The Importance of Good Etiquette in Social Situations

Being invited to a party is a great honor and it can also be good fun. However, for some teens, partying is often a new experience, where good etiquette has to be learned. A well-mannered guest will be appreciated by the host.

respect, consideration, and tact. These qualities are what make up good etiquette. And it’s not just about knowing good table manners—it’s also about understanding how to act politely and appropriately in a variety of social situations.

What to Expect From This Book

In this book, you’ll learn how to act with good etiquette during a variety of important social events by looking at specific examples and some suggestions. First, you’ll learn about tips and tricks about how to be a good wedding guest, and different ways to celebrate such an important milestone with loved ones. Next, you’ll learn about ways to behave appropriately during family functions such as holidays, christenings, and graduations. And since death is a difficult yet important part of


Etiquette for Success: Social Situations life, you’ll also learn some helpful ideas about how to act during a funeral and different ways that you can extending a comforting hand to those struggling with loss. Honoring life, of course, can also be a celebratory and joyful act. You’ll learn what it means to have good etiquette while attending parties of all varieties, including work parties, birthday parties, and more, so that you’ll be the kind of invitee that others want to see RSVP’ing! And because your social life may introduce you to new experiences within your community, or perhaps take you around the world, you’ll also be taught how to practice good etiquette while participating in hobbies you love or going on vacation. Lastly, you’ll get an introductory course to proper etiquette for different venues such as concert halls and theaters. No matter who you meet or where you go in life, having qualities like poise, generosity, and friendliness will help you succeed socially and personally. In fact, enjoying such success can even be considered your birthright and a part of your human history.

So clear your calendar and let’s get going!

Text-Dependent Questions 1. How did our earliest ancestors live? 2. At what age do babies become aware of themselves? 3. What are the qualities of good etiquette?

Research Project Write an essay on the daily life and social structure of our ancient ancestors in the Stone Age.


Words to Understand

betrothed: engaged to be married

RSVP: typically written on an invitation, this is a request to the guest to please respond either by accepting or declining the invitation (from the French Répondez s’il vous plaît , “Please reply”) wedding registry: a service provided by a website or retail store that helps engaged couples communicate with their wedding guests about which gifts they would prefer to receive

Amy & Liam

If you receive a wedding invitation, consider carefully if you can attend. Weddings take a good deal of planning and are expensive, so whether or not you will be available that day, be sure to reply without delay. 16

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