4 Ways to Revamp Your Social Etiquette Without Being Rude

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In the past few months, we’ve all been forced to adapt and adjust to a new normal — which, depending on how you look at it, may not be the worst thing to happen in 2020. So as we begin to re-enter restaurants, distantly interact with friends and jump into the new (pending) school year, we’re encouraged to develop new habits so we can both socialize AND mitigate the virus. It’s an awkward relearning phase, for sure, but nailing down the right etiquette is a crucial step in avoiding being called rude. Below, find SBP’s top ways to revamp our formalities in this ever-shifting world.

Make masks cool.

Wearing a mask might not feel normal, but it’s also the primary way to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. So, let’s change our attitude and make masks cool — shall we? There are so many stellar companies creating fashionable masks these days that it’s hard to keep up (here are just a few). And when it comes to social interactions, don’t be afraid to ask someone to put on a face-covering for everyone’s benefit. At the end of the day, it’s really just a win-win.

Tip, tip, tip!

Many of us are thrilled to take a seat at our favorite restaurants again. But, we need to consider the risk that waiters, hosts and chefs are taking to be there for us. Put simply, the classic 15-20% tip doesn’t quite cut it during a pandemic. If you’re financially able, there’s absolutely no harm in going above and beyond to voice your appreciation for their service — like, say, leaving a $10 tip on a $25 meal. At the end of the day, we’re all just doing our best to get by. Let’s make it known how thankful we are.

Don’t be afraid to say no.

As people begin to venture out of quarantine to meet up with friends and family, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with voicing your concerns or even saying no. And, believe it or not, there’s a polite (and dare we say even cool) way to go about it. All you have to do is ask for details, like whether it’s an outdoor barbecue or quick cocktail hour, and gauge the situation. If it’s not up to par for you, not a worry. Suggest another time to meet up, at a distance, or say you look forward to seeing them in the near future. Easy peasy.

Go for the air hug or wave.

Of course, we all want to hug our dear friends and family. But remember that it’s socially acceptable to avoid it. All you have to do is reach your arms out for an air hug and say something along the lines of, “I’d hug you if I could!” And for those weird moments when you’re first meeting someone? Simply say, “I’d love to shake your hand, but we’re going to have to wait until 2021.” No one will blame you for being mindful. In fact, they’ll thank you.

How are you adjusting to this new normal? Any unique etiquette tips you can share with us? Shoot us an email at team@smithandberg.com — we’d love to hear what you’re up to.

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