The word ‘etiquette’ often conjures up visions of formal dinners, grand balls and, perhaps, the upstairs/downstairs of Downton Abbey. But there’s always a place for Ps and Qs, isn’t there?
TV etiquette coach, William Hanson has been working with Lizi’s Granola, which is all about wholesome goodness, to examine modern day etiquette and, more specifically, redefine British behaviours for Millennials.
‘Etiquette may be a word that many associate with old, dusty grand houses and stiff upper lips,’ says Hanson, ‘but it actually has more to do with good old fashioned manners, respect and a healthy lifestyle.’
Regarded as the UK’s most trusted authority on etiquette and protocol, Hanson – who works with The Ritz to offer expert etiquette programmes for guests – understands that good manners and are simply based on common sense, and should be universal.
‘Think of etiquette as a set of behaviours that will make you and those around you feel a whole lot better – more positive, fulfilled and thankful,’ he continues.
‘So while I know precisely which cutlery to use for a six course meal, I also know that being grateful for that meal is probably more important.’
‘Think of etiquette as a set of behaviours that will make you and those around you feel a whole lot better – more positive, fulfilled and thankful’
modern etiquette checklist
What goes around comes around
Good manners are all about looking after others – they are self-less not selfish. Use 2019 as a time to invest in some quality time sitting down, conversing with your close friends to see if you can help them with any of their own problems. A problem shared, is a problem halved, remember. And if they are good friends, they’ll pay back the kindness and generosity in spirit when the time comes.
Switch off at seven
Have a break from screens and the peer pressure of social media after seven o’clock in the evening. Go home, unwind with a good book, music and conversation with those you live with. Ignore the devices and focus on the humans.
Smile more and say hello
Spread the positivity by changing how you acknowledge strangers in the street. No need to say hello to every one you pass, but give a polite smile to most and say good morning/afternoon to at least four people a day.
More Brits ‘tut’ in January than any other month. Curb the semi-silent, passive aggressive rebuke.
Nothing is nicer for someone than receiving a handwritten thank you letter or card in the post. A text or email that you may have written slumped on the sofa is not the same thing. Write short missives to those who gave you presents or hospitality in 2018.
Surprise your partner
If you and your partner have set habits and chores, then surprise them by helping out with something that you wouldn’t normally do or be seen doing. Give them the enjoyment of a ‘free pass’ on their regular chore and hopefully they may do the same with one of yours.
Connect with a colleague
When at work, try to make friends with a colleague you don’t know overly well. Find out more about what makes then tick and what irks them. You may find you have more in common with them than you think.
Be at home
Many of us get used to the relative ease of catching up with and entertaining friends in restaurants, but having people for some home-cooking in your own house is often cheaper per head and much more enjoyable – especially if you are a creature of the a la carte. Don’t panic, the food needn’t be haute cuisine – just wholesome and tasty.
Meet up for breakfast
Don’t spend every weekend morning lingering in bed – arrange to see friends and family for breakfasts out and about. They are cheaper than evening meals in restaurants and get you up and out the door, ready to tackle the day sooner than floating around the house in PJs.