Etiquette Tips for Women

General Social Rules for All to Live By

Women looking at mobile phone

  Morsa Images/Getty Images

Decades ago, being a lady often meant deferring to men. However, if you are a woman of today, you can be ladylike and make your own decisions. Etiquette for a lady is more about being respectful and respectable than about following a list of outdated rules.

If you are a woman in today's world, you can make decisions on your own or as an equal part of a couple. You can purchase houses, buy cars, and choose fulfilling careers that enable you to move up the corporate ladder. When you meet someone new, you can offer a firm handshake and look the other person in the eye with confidence.

The lines are blurring between gender rules. And have become general rules no matter your gender. Do not get run over in a relationship. Remain civil in all social and professional situations. It means never having to back down when defending your convictions. And, it is best if you can handle an adverse situation with grace and dignity.

What Defines a Lady Today?

Some say a lady (or any person) should be gracious as you offer a firm handshake and as you compete for whatever job you want. You will want to know how to answer rude questions without feeling the need to lowering yourself to insult in return.

Most people enjoy friendships with others, and, as a good friend, you should show support for others when they receive awards or achieve their own success. You should also know when to back away and give others the personal space they need.

Proper etiquette can help instill confidence in a woman (or a man) if proper etiquette is called for in a situation. Good manners are infectious. You may find others may follow your lead, and you may find that it livens or brightens a crowd.

Good Social Manners (for Men and Women)

In today's world, everyone should know and practice common everyday etiquette. But, they often do not. When someone makes awkward mistakes, do you know how to clear things up and move on? In some cases, there is no point in dwelling on things that have already happened.

It helps to know how to act in public. When you go to a restaurant, do you know dining etiquette like which fork to use for each course? Before you leave, tip the server appropriately.

In general, be kind to others, both at work and in your private life. If someone needs help on a project that is due soon, offer to assist if you are able. When the next door neighbor gets sick, bring a meal or have something delivered.

If a man does something you are capable of doing yourself, thank him, and if you do not want him doing this again, pull him aside and discuss it with him privately. This can include small things like holding doors open and holding chairs out or more significant things like going to bat for you at the office. Remember, he may be a product of his "gentlemanly" upbringing, which may seem antiquated, but it is usually meant with good intentions.

In some situations, it might be difficult to try to maintain a positive attitude, but be aware that there are times you must express anger or frustration. Try not to over dramatize the situation and try to handle a situation diplomatically.

Job Etiquette

Find ways to be a team player. Even if you do not care for someone else’s tactics or personality, find common ground to maintain a pleasant work environment. Never divulge confidential information, or you may jeopardize your reputation and possibly even your job.

Maintain your strength while exhibiting patience with others. Volunteer to be on committees to make everyone’s job easier and be willing to lead by example. If you do not know how to do something, take the time to learn.

Take Time to Improve

Everyone can find ways to make self-improvements. Try new things and learn to do them to the best of your ability. Do not be afraid of new fashion, but avoid trying to look like something you aren’t. Take classes to learn new things and have a sense of humor as you bumble through.

Social etiquette for all to live by:

  • Small talk: Know how to make small talk, if you can, it might help you in social and professional situations.
  • Show respect: If you want respect, show it to others.
  • Dress appropriately: Dress for the occasion. Wearing sloppy clothes to work might give you a reputation for not caring about your job or what others think about you.
  • Have money: Make sure to bring cash to pay your own way.
  • Steer clear of insults: No one should ever have to put up with insults.
  • Stay sober: Keep your wits about you. You do not want to ruin your reputation.