Bad manners can be the one thing that has people running the other way when they see you coming. If you frequently wonder why you’re left off the invitation list for the best parties, friends stop asking you to meet them for coffee on Saturdays, or people in your office leave for lunch without telling you, take a peek at this list and see if there’s something you can do to change that.
Improving your manners might only take a single minor tweak, or it could be something you’ll have to work on for a while. In either case, if you like having a social life, you’ll want to at least make an effort. Seriously, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Your friends (if you have any left) and family will thank you.
Here are some things you may need to work on if you find your friends backing away:
You constantly badmouth others.If you’re someone who likes to point out everyone else’s faults, people will wonder what you’re saying about them when they’re not around. Even seasoned gossips need to take a break every now and then. After all, how many bad things can you say about someone before you realize you’re as bad as – or worse than – those people you are talking about.
1: You have terrible table manners. Leaning on your elbows will make the table rock, and chewing with your mouth full is just plain gross. You don’t have to sit ramrod straight at the table and be miserable during the meal. Just review the list of basictable manners and try to remember as many as you can.
2: You tell off-color jokes at inappropriate times. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh every now and then, but if you’re someone who tells jokes that embarrass the people you’re with, they might turn and run when they see you coming. Avoid telling jokes that are racist, sexist, or in poor taste for your audience.
3: You’re not a team player. Whether you’re on a project team at work or a sports team on the ball field, you need to be a team player. This means acknowledging others, giving them credit for doing a good job, and being an all-around good sport…even when you lose.
4: You don’t pay your share of the bill. Are you one of those people who are always the first to leave when you go out to dinner with friends? That’s not a bad thing unless you take off before the bill arrives. Make sure you cover your meal before you leave, and don’t forget to include the tax and tip. Letting your friends cover for you on a regular basis will give you the reputation of being a moocher.
5: You argue for the sake of arguing. Okay, I get it. Debates are fun. They give you a chance to see and show both sides of things. However, if you like to pick arguments on every topic of all conversations, you’ll wear your friends out. Be gracious and choose your arguments for times when they really matter.
6: You don’t listen. Have you ever hung out with someone who interrupts constantly, texts on a cell phone, or mentally drift off when you’re talking? You know she isn’t listening, but you have something important that you really want to share. Or are you that person? One of the most significant things you can do as a friend or coworker is listen to what the other person has to say. If you continue to zone out, give your phone more attention than the person you’re with, or talk over your pals, you might find yourself alone more than you want to be.