Thursday, March 23, 2006

General Rules of Etiquette for Ladies and Gentlemen

I have a great interest in etiquette and have read extensively on the manners and courtesies of the past. During the past few weeks I have compiled some of the most general rules that feel are still apropos and would improve our behavior in this 21st century as well.

Mannerisms to be carefully avoided by all.….
• Whispering or pointing in company.
• Omitting to pay proper attention to company when entering or exiting a room.
• Giving attention to only one person when more are present.
• Contradicting parents, friends or strangers.
• Laughing loudly.
• Making noise with hands or feet.
• Swinging arms or making awkward gestures in company or in the street.
• Actions that have the most remote tendency to indelicacy.
• Leaning on the shoulder, or chair of another person.
• Throwing things rather than handing them.
• Crowding or bumping elbows.
• Contempt in looks, words or actions.
• Lolling on a chair.
• Looking earnestly in the face without any apparent cause.
• Surliness of any kind (distortion of countenance, and mimicry
• Ridicule of every kind.
• A constant smile or settled frown.
• Lending a borrowed book.
• Dressing in a bright and loud manner that attracts attention.
• Reading when there is company.
• Reading when others are talking.
• Reading aloud without being asked.
• Laughing at the mistakes of others.
• Speaking or acting in anger.
• To neglect little things if they can affect the comfort of others.

Manners appropriate for all…
• To govern yourself and be gentle and patient.
• To remember that as valuable as the gift of speech it, silence is often more valuable.
• To speak with a gentle tone of voice.
• Learning to deny yourself and prefer others.
• Giving applause liberally to others, but only by the clapping of hands and never the stamping or kicking of feet.
• To rise to ones feet out of respect for an older person or dignitary.


abi said...


I just discovered your blog the other day, through a series of other blogs. I have already been challenged, encouraged, and convicted. God has given you some really excellent things to say!

Manners, as well as many of the other things you post are becoming so lost in our society, or even looked down upon. Thank you for taking a stand, and holding the cross of Jesus high for all the world to see!

Looking forward to whatever else He leads you to post!:)

With a grateful heart,

Anonymous said...

Sarah can you really live up to all this? Try not to forget what century you are in. Be careful not to worship your womanhood. Paul was knocked off his horse and he thought he was doing God's work. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is far to big and great for all this legalism. REPENT AND DO NOT BE A PHARASEE.....
God Bless

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking up Sarah!\
it's amazing how most people conduct themselves these days.
back in the 1800's and early 1900's
this would have been the norm...but
now it is almost considered radical!
God bless you!

Anonymous said...


I just came across your blog and find it to be so refreshing coming from a young lady in these times. Don't let anyone discourage you from striving for these goals of ettiquette. Of course, no one lives up to all of these. We are human. But it is to the glory of our Lord to live in such a way to honor others and not draw attention to ourselves and our desires. It doesn't matter what century we are in. Courtesy and grace to others honors God, and God is the same today, yesterday and forever!

May He bless you as you encourage others.

Mrs. L.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to print these off for my kiddos! THANKS!

Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

As a lady in my late twenties, I find your post refreshing , encouraging and insightful into certain things i have omitted.

I thought that I was quite well-schooled in etiquette & manners

but when I read your post, I received some insights into certain actions that I had not considered impolite (e.g. lolling on a chair, laughing loudly, leaning on the shoulder or chair of my friend though never on strangers') and this has made me more aware that while I did not mean to be rude, the actions can be construed by some as such & irritate them.

That said, I know that we should not be too concerned about not irritating others, for the heart & not rules is the most important.
Man looks at outward appearances but God looks at the heart.
Furthermore, I also know that , while I can tak these pointers to improve myself & my sensitivity to others' comfort level :) I must not use these as yardsticks to judge others or to secretly compare with others or hold others in secret contempt , otherwise it would be vanity and pride.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I´m from a third world country where only 10 years ago, this was the norm. Now it´s sad to see that people are becoming "americanized", which in my book means, they´ve lost all manners. Etiquette is simply behaving in a way in which everyone around you feels comfortable. That is the spirit behind all the rules. If you follow the spirit of the rules, you can´t go wrong.

Anonymous said...

I too am astudent of etiquette. I am ridiculed for holding ideas such as these in this day and age, they are considered old-fashioned, or worse, stupid, but you have given me the courage to keep on with following my own code of etiquette. Thank you!

Melissa said...

Thank you, THANK YOU for posting this article! I'm being looking all over for the same kind of article!


Classy lady said...

I agree, 100 % with you. I am also fed up with manners we Americans have. We are the sloppiest and most unclassy. People are getting ruder and ruder. I have visited other countries, including poor, third world countries. I have to say the people know how to carry themselves better.

mommy mel said...

I came across your post from a google search for feminine etiquette books. I enjoyed your lists and was wondering if you have a few titles you could recommend for my own study. Sadly there are not too many examples of what etiquette or femininity look like these to the past I go!
Many Blessings