8 Basic Etiquette Tips Every Young Adult Should Know

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freelancerBDYou’ve spent your whole life wanting to be treated like an adult – here’s your opportunity.

When your peers are acting like fools you can show your great home-training skills by following these basic etiquette rules. They are easy to implement, but they are just as easy to ignore. The choice is yours.

The following suggestions are for the young adult who wants to create an exceptional persona while developing their brand image.

They are based on my observations from interacting with thousands of young adults from my work as a convention dance instructor and as a public speaker.

1. GET PHYSICAL.  Look people in the eye when you say hello. If you’re shaking hands, offer a firm handshake. If you’re going in for a hug, make it count and embrace like you mean it. If you’re going to make it seem burdensome, why bother?

2. SPEAK UP.  Mumbling gives the impression you’ve got nothing going on. It’s too much work for people to continually ask you to repeat yourself. Speak clearly.

Say hello to adults when they enter a room. Look up, smile and say, “hello.” You’ll be appreciated and remembered.

Using the word “LIKE” a dozen times in every sentence is fine when speaking with your friends, but adults tune it out. It’s right up there with slang – it’s annoying and sounds ridiculous.

3. KEEP YOUR PHONE OUT OF SIGHT.  Do not answer your phone in the middle of a face-to-face conversation. It’s rude and it tells the other person they are not important. Stay present with those in your presence.

When dining, whether at home, at McDonald’s or at a 5-Star restaurant – do not place your phone on the table (even if it’s face down). Sharing a meal is supposed to be a pleasurable experience so don’t ruin it by being disrespectful. And yes I can hear it buzzing in your pocket. young adult

Avoid using your phone while walking or (obviously) while driving.  When you try to talk on a cell phone and walk at the same time, you end up looking like a zombie because your spatial awareness is limited. It’s one thing to bump into things while you’re walking, but it’s quite another if this happens while you’re at the wheel.  Most accidents could be avoided if you just put the phone down. young adult

Be present in your life. Engage in what’s happening around you. You don’t always need to have your phone in your hand as if you’re bored and waiting for something better to happen.

4. BE GRACIOUS, SHOW GRATITUDE.  Saying, “Thank you,” are two words that go a long way towards building good will. They confirm your intelligence and show that you’re a decent, caring, sensitive human being. Make saying “thank you” a habit. young adult

Here are three examples to get you started:

  • Every meal or item of clothing provided to you by a parent should be followed by, “thank you.” young adult
  • Every class you take is an opportunity for you to tell the instructor, “thank you.”
  • When a dance convention teacher gives you a free pass to a convention that saves you hundreds of dollars, say, “thank you.” young adult

Take advantage of these and every opportunity to really stand out and be remembered by sending a hand-written Thank You Note. young adult

5. CONTROL YOUR WEB PRESENCE.  Social media is easy to use and easier to abuse. A conservative portrayal of you is your best course of action. Private moments should remain that way. Every picture doesn’t need to be posted and every thought doesn’t need to be expressed.

Swearing and making inappropriate comments could ruin an opportunity for you in the future. Have fun with social media and show the positive aspects of your personality. Create positive content that presents you in a good light. young adult

6. FOLLOW THROUGH.  If you say you’re going to do something – then get it done. If an adult offers you an opportunity to achieve your dream job, follow through. Ask for help if fear is blocking your ability to follow through.  Amazing things can happen when you decide to make a bold move and face your fears. young adult

7. BEGIN RELATIONSHIPS FORMALLY.  Address adults formally using ma’am, sir, Mr. and Mrs. Do this until they grant you permission to call them by their first names. Since the majority of kids call adults by their first names without being invited to do so, this is an incredibly easy way to stand out.

8. EXCUSE YOURSELF.  My biggest pet peeve is when I’m having a conversation with someone and a third person approaches. Without saying excuse me, they interrupt and begin speaking with either one of us. How rude? Simply say, “Excuse me,” before you interrupt. It’s not that deep. young adult


9. SPEND LESS THAN YOU EARN.  Need I say more?

I have called out a lot of young adults on these things I’ve mentioned above. I can tell from the blank look in their eyes that what I consider common courtesy is totally foreign to them. Some of these things never even occurred to them. That’s ok. However, once you learn and know better, it becomes your responsibility to do better. young adult

The peculiar thing about these rules is this: when you abide by them, people may not exactly know why they like you, they’ll just know that you’re well-mannered and a joy to be around. When you don’t practice them, they’ll quickly notice you’re ill-mannered and obnoxious behavior and may develop a negative opinion of you that’s difficult to change. young adult

Care enough to respect those around you and this is exactly what you’ll get in return – respect.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from my quote book


“When you’ve only one breath left, use it to say thank you.” ~ Pam Brown.

What did I miss? Do you have other suggestions? Please add them below. Thanks. young adult

I’m hyper, don’t have TV, and enjoy making all my own blog graphics.

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Gracias mi amigos.
Yours in love and dance, Laurie

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