gmhTODAY 23 gmhTODAY Dec Jan 2018 - Page 98

Karen La Corte manners MATTER Karen La Corte is an etiquette and manners expert trained and certified by the Emily Post Institute in Vermont. Karen is happy to answer your questions — email her at Manners Resolutions for 2019 W ith the end of 2018 upon us and the promise of a New Year, it is a time for reflection on what has passed and the resolution to try a little harder in the months to come. Thinking about our New Years Resolutions can be as simple or as hard as we want it to be. The most common being-losing weight, exercising more, saving more money, spending more time with family and eating clean. But, I am going to propose a new resolution list for all of you. Let’s all work on our character, our integrity and our civility. Let’s just try and be nicer, kinder, more courteous and respectful folks that put others feelings in the forefront. It’s classic manners 101 in review. Here we go: • When asking for something, say “Please.” • When receiving something, say “Thank you.” “You’re welcome”, “Excuse me”, and “I beg your pardon” are also magic words we need to make a habit of using. • Be on time! You can’t take it back once it’s out there. Wait until you’ve calmed down. A phone call or a face-to-face encounter is more respectful for sensitive or controversial issues and won’t have the chance of being interpreted the wrong way. • Always R.S.V.P., even if you’re not going. • Be better about using your cell phone around others. Put your phone on “manner mode” during meetings and events. Be in the present. • If folks ask how you are, give a brief positive answer and then ask them how they are. • While on your phone, don’t eat, chew gum or talk to someone else. Give your person your undivided attention. • Look someone in the eye when conversing with them. Act interested. Don’t let your eyes wander. • Don’t talk with food in your mouth. Don’t chew with your mouth open. • Do not interrupt folks when they are talking. • Try not to be “Negative Nancy” by always talking about your problems. Everybody has them. No one wants to hear them. • The handshake is THE most polite gesture you can do when greeting someone or meeting them for the first time. • Watch your body language. Practice your “resting smiley face.” A smile makes those around you happier and it does wonders for yourself! • Avoid confrontations. Think before you speak. Think before you act. Step back for a second and think of someone else’s feelings before yours. Remember the words of Thumper in the movie Bambi – “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say any- thing at all.” • Don’t text, tweet, phone, email or use social media if you are unhappy or angry. 98 • Keep your elbows off the table when eating. • Always work from the outside in at a place setting when dining if you’re worried about which utensil to use. • Leave your eating utensils facing up at a diagonal side by side on your plate to signal wait staff in a restaurant that you are finished. • Do use a napkin and do put it on your lap. • Wait until your hostess is seated before you start eating. When she picks up her fork, so can you. • Don’t be so judgy in the New Year. Be con- siderate when acknowledging someone’s point of view. • If someone passes on, send their family a card, flowers, food or a donation. Let them know you care. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN december 2018-january 2019 • Dress for Success. Try to be better about what you wear and when. Remember hygiene belongs at home. No flossing or nail clipping in public. • Wash your hands after going to the restroom. • Don’t assume your dog is welcome. • Don’t show up to a party empty-handed. Bring wine, flowers or a dessert. • If you can’t get along with someone, just stay away from them. It’s OK to eliminate them from your circle. Don’t waste negative energy trying to make it work. • Write that thank you note. Then mail it. Don’t email or text it. Handwrite it! • Be a more courteous driver. And, don’t take up more than one parking space. • Don’t forget to say, “I’m sorry!”. • My last resolution is to cherish your elders, your family and your friends. Be kinder, be nicer, be more respectful and polite to them. Be more respectful to race, nationality, religion and genders. Think about the basic regard for others because it’s not always about us! The actor, Jack Nicholson said, “I think much of decency. How to pass a plate. Not to shout from one room to another. Not to open a closed door without knocking. Let a lady pass. The aim of these endless simple rules is to make life better. I pay close attention to my manners. Etiquette matters. It’s a simple and comprehensible language of mutual respect.