Table Manners You Shouldn’t Neglect.

by Frederick Akinola
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A young lady practicing dining etiquette - Table Manners

Table manners have evolved over time and vary according to culture and tradition. Nonetheless, to make the practice of eating with others pleasant and sociable, keep these basic table manners in mind.

Keep Your Devices Aside

When you are eating with people, it is not nice to be on your phone.  Set your phone to silent or vibrate, and keep it aside. Some people say it should be kept in your pocket or bag. Others disagree and say it should be with you because of the generation we live in.  Whatever the case is, ensure you’re not on your phone. If you need to respond to a text or take a phone call, excuse yourself from the table. Be polite. Bring your best self to the meal. Take part in the dinner conversation. If you’re on your phone, you can’t do that.

Don’t Start Eating Until Everyone Is Served

It’s rude to start eating if others don’t have their food. Instead, patiently wait in your seat while everyone else serves themselves or gets served before you take your first bite. In fact, wait a few seconds after everyone has been served. Calm down! You won’t die of hunger.

Don’t Chew With Your Mouth Open

Research has revealed that opening your mouth can help aromatic compounds to reach the back of your nose. This, in turn, boosts your olfactory sensory neurons, which makes food taste better. But when you’re eating with others, forget all of that. Eat with your mouth closed. Please. Take small bites of your food and chew them completely with your mouth closed before swallowing or speaking. If someone is talking to you while you’re eating, wait until you’ve swallowed your food to respond to them.

Excuse Yourself If You Need To Get Up

If at any point during the meal you need to leave the table, you should say excuse me or I’ll be right back. You don’t need to give the reason why you’re leaving as long as you come back. However, there are no hard and fast rules in this case. No one really cares. But you don’t want to bore people with details of your life. So just excuse yourself and come back.

Also, remember:

Hold utensils correctly. Don’t rush your food; Pace yourself with fellow diners. Don’t place your elbows on the table while eating. Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you. Try to be nice. And don’t talk too much so you don’t choke yourself to death.

Table manners might seem like such a small unnoticeable thing. That is until you overhear someone describe you as ‘the guy that chews loudly’ and everyone in the group choruses your name. It’s small but it makes a large part of overall general manners that either draws people to you or irritates them. In the long run, it can affect your confidence. Let me know in the comment section what you think.

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