Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. We all strive to be polite and practice common courtesy. However, sometimes we make mistakes, and often unconsciously.
Paying attention to these 10 blunders will help you be socially successful.
- Wiping Your Nose with Your Napkin. That’s what a handkerchief, tissue, or the restroom is for. Food and nasal discharge simply don’t mix.
- Forgetting Introductions. How many times have you been at an event where someone forgot to introduce you, or you later realized you forgot to introduce someone? If someone forgets to introduce you, introduce yourself. And if you’ve forgotten someone’s name, introduce them as “my friend” or “my colleague.”
- Ordering Other Foods Than What Your Host Offers. If you’re a guest at a banquet, private dinner, or other company or social event with a fixed menu, don’t ask the host or waiter for different foods. Eat what you can, and don’t make a fuss.
- Not Asking Questions. When in conversation, think we, not me. Conversation is a two-way street. Try the two-question rule: Ask a question then follow up their answer with another question to show that you’re interested and keep the dialogue going. Here’s an example: “Have you been to the new exhibition at SFMOMA? What did you think of the show?”
- Showing Up Late. If the dinner invite says 7 p.m., don’t be more than ten minutes late. In some social circles, it’s not considered polite to show up exactly on time, and showing up early is a terrible thing to do to your host. If you’re going to be much later, call your host to let him or her know.
- Not Making Eye Contact. Not looking directly at others when in conversation is rude and makes you look evasive, not to mention completely out of it socially.
- Offering TMI On Social Media. Are you sure you want to post that photo of you in a bikini? Your online presence is there for life. And no one in cyberspace wants to hear about your personal woes. Reserve those for your close friends or your therapist.
- Burning Bridges. Be nice to people on the way up, as you may need them on your way down. It’s that simple.
- Gossiping at The Office. Talking around the water cooler on Monday morning is fun, but keep the topic light: television shows, sports, or weekend activities rather than talking about other colleagues. Resist the temptation to speak out of turn or give away office secrets, or your reputation as a bad-mouther will precede you.
- Being Negative. There’s nothing worse than a toxic coworker or friend. Being negative about others and life, in general, is an emotional drain on you and will take a toll on your health and energy. Be positive around others and watch your tone and tongue.
Think – What would Lisa do?