What Do Your Manners Say About You?

Zoe Samuel

When should one arrive for a dinner party?

What is the purpose of social rules?

If one is expected to roast someone at a company picnic, who should one roast?

How do you talk about your friends behind their backs?

When someone asks that you use a specific pronoun to describe them, what do you do?

When someone has a title, either earned or inherited, how should one address an envelope to them?

What is the purpose of a dress code?

When invited to a black-tie wedding, what should a woman wear?

What is a morning suit?

What makes a dinner party different from a generic "party"?

When visiting someone's home for a dinner, what should one bring?

When someone you know well has a title, either earned or inherited, how should one address them at the top of a letter?

Who should a man speak to first, at a dinner party?

If you don't know what the dress code at an event will be, what should you do?

How should you treat people with less social power than you?

What is the best way to encourage someone to like you?

What should you do when introduced to someone who might be able to do something for you, professionally speaking?

What is the best way to encourage your social network to prize its relationship with you?

What should one do when out to dinner with a group of people, some of whom have way less money than you?

What should you do when someone will not accept the charity they clearly need?

When you need someone to do something they don't want to do, what is the best way to motivate them?

When asked about your exes, how do you describe them?

What is the first thing you'd say when entering someone else's home?

When invited to a black-tie wedding, what should a man wear?

What is the correct response to being shown someone's pictures of their child?

When hosting someone, what do you do prior to their arrival?

How do you ensure that no one in your employ gives preferential treatment to job candidates based on race, religion, etc.?

When you are a host, what should you do when someone turns up to an event and clearly was not aware of the dress code?

When you are the host, what should you do when a guest in your home acts inappropriately?

When someone asks that a specific term be used to describe their social group, what do you do?

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About This Quiz

The dictionary definition of manners is "A person's outward bearing and behavior toward others." Another way of putting manners is as "the understanding and chosen expression of society's rules." Yet another way of putting it is like this: Life is a game. We are players in the game. The game has rules—some written, others unwritten. How we choose to behave in this game, vis-à-vis the rules, says a lot about what sort of players we are. Our behavior is information the other players can read to tell them if we play fair, play in a sportsmanlike way and play well. 

In a nutshell, this is why good manners are important. Sure, you could have good manners out of a sense of decency, or because it is how you would want to be treated, but in the end there is a perfectly selfish reason to have good manners. Specifically, good or bad, your manners are a criterion on which you will be judged by other people, and plenty of those people will have a say in the introductions made on your behalf, jobs won or lost and the opening or closure of doors you didn't even know were there.

So ask yourself, "Do I have good manners?" Better yet, take this quiz, and we will tell you.

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