Isn’t it annoying when you get an unexpected call from a friend saying “I am outside your house, open the door”? Or when people scroll through your entire picture gallery when they were supposed to look at just one picture?

Well, it can be pretty annoying and some people don’t know what it is to be courteous and mindful of other people’s feelings. We have compiled a short list of general social etiquette tips to help us be a little more courteous in relating with other people.

Don’t be ashamed if you find out that you have been doing the wrong things all along, the most important thing is to learn not to repeat such mistakes. We are all guilty of some of the things on the list below;

  • Don’t visit anyone unannounced: Call ahead before you pay anyone a visit. It is simple courtesy; you never know if they have other plans for the day of your proposed visit. Even if you find yourself in their neighborhood, it is proper to place a call first before showing up at their door step.
  • Don’t play your music too loud: You can still hear the music some people are listening to, even with their earphones on. This is wrong especially when you are in a public space. Be conscious of the volume of your earphones and understand that not everybody is interested in listening to music at that time.
  • Don’t leave your sunglasses or earphones on when speaking to anyone: This is considered very rude. Once you are in a conversation with anyone, the proper way is to maintain eye contact with the person and make the person feel that they have your undivided attention.
  • Don’t show up at a party empty handed: Whenever you have been invited to any party that allows you bring stuff in, you should show up with something. It could range from a gift, a bottle of wine, pack of chips…etc. This is your own little way of appreciating the host for the invite and contributing your own little quota to the party.
  • Don’t send instant messages without asking if the person is free to chat: Most of us just send messages expecting an immediate response to our chats. Understand that we live in a fast paced world so people tend to be busy with a lot these days. So the polite thing is to ask if they are free to chat, and if they are not; ask when they will be free. This also applies to phone calls. We need to learn to respect people’s time and privacy.
  • Don’t wait to be greeted first as soon as you enter a room filled with people: No matter who you are, you should greet everyone as soon as you enter a gathering, do not wait to be greeted first. That way, you extend a friendly gesture to everyone in the room and at the same time you are not seen as obnoxious.
  • Don’t take calls in the Cinema & Church: It is plain rude to take calls at such public gatherings, respect the fact that peace & quiet is required at such places
  • Don’t talk with a mouthful of food in your mouth: That is just disgusting! ‘nuff said…
  • Don’t scroll through people’s picture gallery on their phone without permission: Sometimes people give you their phone just to look at one picture, next thing you know; the person is going through the entire gallery. This is all shades of wrong! Learn to respect people’s privacy, you can ask for their permission if you want to go through the gallery. Otherwise look at the one picture you were supposed to look at and give the phone back to the owner
  • Do not give away free advice: We are very fond of giving unsolicited advice and more often than not, such advice tends to hurt the concerned person more than do any good. If you must offer advice, seek the person’s permission before doing so. Sometimes, people talk about their problems just because they need someone to listen to them and not necessarily offer any advice
  • Always say “THANK YOU” as often as possible: It doesn’t matter if it is a child or a subordinate; appreciate people for any help or kindness they offer you. It costs nothing but often means a lot

We hope we will learn to inculcate these tips in our lives. Courtesy has a way of bringing out the best in people.