Social Grace

Etiquette and Manners When Making Friends

Smiling Young Women Looking At Cell Phone At Cafe
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Social grace refers to the general behavior and attitude of being polite and welcoming to people. It is society's rules for acceptable kindness. This is extremely important in developing friendships, but also important in all other relationships. You need to get along in the world at home and at work. Using social grace is how you do that.

If there is one important rule about social grace it is about self-awareness. Understanding how you're coming off to people. Have people told you that you're clueless? Do you often get told how rude you are? These are clues that you need a little help with manners and etiquette. 

How to Behave With Social Grace

Social grace is so rare today that when others see it in someone else, they take notice. If you can show them good manners and kindness you will stand out. You'll be someone others are naturally attracted to. 

This means putting other's needs before your own in some cases, like offering a chair to an elderly person rather than sitting down on it first. It also means paying attention to your own behavior to make sure you aren't offending others.

Social grace is extremely important when meeting new friends. Relationships can develop at a faster rate if you show courtesy toward someone else. As a friendship goes on and friends get more comfortable with each other, social graces are relaxed. For example, when you're new friends with someone you'll probably make a point to interrupt them less during the conversation.You won't get offended as much when they interrupt you because you'll understand the intent behind it.

Social grace includes things like:

  • Making proper introductions to people.
  • Listening and not interrupting in conversation.
  • Using good table manners.
  • Maintaining good cell phone etiquette.
  • Being careful not to put your foot in your mouth.

Developing Social Grace

Some of the basic rules of society that our parents taught us ("Don't interrupt," "wait your turn") are key components of social grace. While you can pick up books on etiquette, developing social grace often takes time and the ability to pay attention. Rather than focusing on how good a time you're having or if you are able to talk about your latest success story, hang back and watch the others in the room. Do they seem to frown when you start talking? If they do, it's a good chance you're boring them or you interrupted them.

In each new event or environment you are in, pay attention to the goings on around you. Does someone need a chair? Is a person fanning their face and therefore warm? Is there someone sitting in a corner who hasn't joined the conversation? See if you can help in any of these situations.

You can also learn social grace by taking note of what you find rude in others. If you hate it when someone fails to introduce you or takes every cell phone call they get while standing before you, those are behaviors to make sure never to duplicate yourself.

Social Grace and Friendship

Social grace is extremely important when it comes to friendship. When finding a friend, you want someone sincere who will support you and who you can also have fun with. If a person pays attention to your comfort level and has good manners, you're more apt to get to know them better than someone that makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to be around.

While social grace tends to be loosened a bit for good friends, the principles behind them are still a good idea to remember. You don't need to be formal or stuffy to have social grace, you simply need to make sure your behavior is not offensive and that you are making other people feel special. That alone will go far in friendship.

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