Etiquette in Public Places

Are you ever annoyed by the mannerisms or lack of decorum by people in public places? Have you made the comment “someone needs to teach him/her some manners?” When attending entertainment venues, be it a food & wine festival, concert, theater, sporting event or museum, your manners are always on display. Being courteous and respectful of others is essential. Many etiquette experts share my opinion that following the Golden Rule – “treating others the way you would like to be treated “is best when interacting with people.

This summer as you are enjoying all of the outdoor festivities, we have five simple guidelines to take into consideration as well as share with others:

Make an effort to be considerate of others. Holding the door open for the person behind you or not having one person save a space in line for 10 other people are exhibitions of consideration. Arrive on time for events to avoid bumping and crawling over people. If you must pass over those seated, say “excuse me” or “I’m sorry” and pass facing the person. It’s better to see one’s face then their backside.

Don’t allow your behavior to disturb others. Keep your feet on the floor and not on the seats around you. When talking, keep your voice low or wait until intermissions and between performances. Please don’t draw attention to yourself by shouting loud comments or booing performers. At concerts, refrain from singing along or humming unless asked to by the performer. You may have been blessed with a beautiful voice, but others paid to hear the headliner.

Always play it safe when drinking. If you are having a good time and alcohol such as wine and cocktails are involved, always assign someone in your party to be a designated driver. Summer festivals are full of great food and drinks, so it is important that everyone enjoys themselves responsibly.

Follow the established rules of the venue. If food and drink are not allowed, don’t sneak it in. If it is allowed, clean up your area before leaving and properly discard trash. Always sit in your assigned seat and instead of scouting extra or unused tickets, make someone’s day by offering the ticket free of charge.

Confirm that children are allowed first. Going to events with the entire family can be some of the best times. When taking children to any type of public event, always look at the event details to ensure children are allowed and what type of activities will be available. In addition, be sure to keep an eye on them and that they too are being respectful of other children and their parents.

Good manners often start in the home but should extend to the public. Always be aware of your surroundings and consider the feelings of others. By adhering to the rules of the establishments and showing the highest degree of respect toward others, shared experiences can be pleasurable for all.

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Tina Hayes is the founder and owner of The School of Etiquette and Decorum in Antioch, CA. As a passionate instructor dedicated to providing quality and professional etiquette training to her clients, Mrs. Tina Hayes promotes the awareness that social presentation and behaviors are important to be successful in today's society for all ages.