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Social Life


Your social life is made up of all your planned encounters with family and friends.  The manners in this section are the tools that you use to make these social encounters a success for everyone. It could be a formal dinner party at your cousin’s; an evening at the movies with an old friend; a date with someone you’ve met on an on-line dating service. Who do you invite?  Who asks whom? Who pays for what? Do you bring a gift? And more… These interactions all have an element of planning. In large part that’s what makes them different from the day-to-day encounters we talked about in Everyday Manners.


  • Hosts and Guests   ( 10 Articles )

    At every social occasion, we assume roles of "host" or "hostess" and "guest." Whether that is in your own home, at the home of a dear friend, or at a formal gathering in a more public space, certain expectations and responsibilities go along with the successful adoption of these roles. With just a basic attention to the give and take of the situation, any occasion can be made more enjoyable.

  • Houseguests   ( 7 Articles )

    Inviting friends and family to stay at your home can be a wonderful experience for you and your guests; it can also be a stressful and uncomfortable experience if basic respects do not occur. Living space is personal, and can be delicate to share or enter into. If clear communication and prior planning are involved, more attention can be paid to the enjoyable details and less on the technicalities.

  • Invitations and Announcements   ( 7 Articles )

    Sending and receiving invitations and announcements require certain actions and responses depending on the type of event or news. Happy events with a large attendance may permit certain pomp and circumstance; serious or somber events may require a more discreet delivery of the news. Regardless, it is important to keep in mind how the information may be received by those being told.

  • Entertaining at Home   ( 35 Articles )

    Creativity and common sense combine when entertaining in your home. As the host or hostess, it is your responsibility to make sure that each guest feels as comfortable as possible - while not feeling completely overwhelmed yourself! Even the most casual dinner party, however, requires careful preparation, thoughtful execution, and courteous manners.

  • Celebrations Through Life   ( 19 Articles )

    Life can be seen as a series of exciting celebrations including baby showers, birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, and retirement parties. While each occasion has roots in certain traditions, they all involve a great deal of preparation and personal consideration. And while each is based around attention to a specific person or persons, they also all involve necessary respect and civility.

  • Formal Dinners and Parties   ( 4 Articles )

    A formal event may take place at a public location, or in someone's home. Although some aspects of these social affairs have evolved, strict protocol remains involved for most formal dinner parties, dances, and other official events. Whether you are the host, or an attendee, there are certain rules of etiquette to be aware of; being prepared for certain situations will ease the tension, and make for an enjoyable event.

  • Ceremonies and Religious Services   ( 2 Articles )

    Religious growth and maturity are commemorated throughout different faiths by several special occasions. Some involve many people and even gifts, some are very personal. If you know that a religious event is on the horizon for someone you know, look into typical practices surrounding it. Respectful attendance and participation are involved if you are a guest or want to recognize it.

  • Giving and Receiving Gifts   ( 11 Articles )

    When giving and receiving gifts, it is most important to remember that the spirit of the gift is more important than the gift itself. That is not to say that any old thing will do as long as you give it with a smile, simply that the feeling behind will be received as much if not more than the thing itself. There is an etiquette involved in choosing, presenting, and respectfully acknowledging gifts.

  • Dating   ( 7 Articles )

    Relationships progress through the social ritual of dating, which has changed and adapted along with society. There may be fewer rules and restrictions on the progression of a relationship than there used to be, but building a foundation of trust is at the heart of dating; along with maintaining consideration, honesty, and respect for yourself and the person you are seeing.

  • Social Networking   ( 8 Articles )

    A variety of social networking websites have grown in popularity on the internet, and they allow people to connect with each other in more ways than ever before. People increasingly take the immediacy of connection for granted. Virtual manners are a must when navigating these networks, however, especially because your interactions may be viewed by others.


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