There are Manners set for every aspect of social existence among which table manners play an important part in making a positive impression. They are viewed as visible signs of our upbringing and education and play an indispensable part in our personality.
We all indulge in less-than-perfect behaviour in private, or in very familiar company, but some consistency at home and away will help us to avoid the more heinous table offences.
How to Behave at the Dining Table
• A good posture always helps to make a good impression. Sit up straight and never lean backward or forward at the table. Never let the elbows touch the table. When you are not eating, keep your hands on your lap or rest on the table.
• Make light conversations with everyone. However, keep your volume low, do not talk excessively loud.
• Unfold your napkin and place it on your lap. When you are finished, place it loosely on the table, not on the plate and never on your chair.
• If food is to be passed around the table then do so in an anti clockwise movement.
• NEVER EVER talk with your mouth full. Never chew your food with your mouth open. No one wants to see food being chewed or hearing it being chomped on.
• Burping is the most sinful table etiquette. No one is interested in such music.
• When a person has finished eating, the fork and the knife are placed diagonally crossed across the plate, this is the best way to inform the server that you have finished eating.
• Do not push your dishes away from you or stack them for the waiter when you are finished. Leave plates and glasses where they are.
• Turn off your cell phone or switch it to silent before sitting down to eat. If you must make or take a call, excuse yourself from the table and step outside of the restaurant.
• Avoid touching nose or teeth at the table. You should also not use a toothpick or apply makeup at the table.
• Smoking should not be done while dining out.
Some blunders you should avoid:
• Never lick or put your knife in your mouth.
• It is impolite to start eating before everyone has been served unless your host says that you don’t need to wait.
• Don’t reach over someone’s plate for something; ask for the item to be passed. Also, never take food from your neighbours plate.
• Never use your fingers to push food onto your spoon or fork.
• Napkins are for dabbing your lips use it for that purpose only and nothing else.
• Never pick food out of your teeth with your fingernails.