The Ten Commandments of Etiquette: Keepin’ It Classy Los Angeles.


A common theme that seems to be running through this week: When we meet someone, whether its just for a moment or for a lasting friendship, we leave an impression. Make it a good one.

I’m talking beyond dress and attitude here. There’s some letter circulating on Facebook discussing this man’s run in with a young woman who happened to save his life just because she spoke to him. The sequence of events had deterred him from his plans of suicide, and pushed him to live a long wonderful life.

It sounds so easy, but we take for granted how much we can affect each other. Just opening a door for someone or complimenting something as seemingly insignificant as their socks may be the one thing that changes their outlook from bad to good, or good to great, and in some cases from suicidal to life-loving. It sounds crazy but its so true.

I always think of Carol Burnett as Mrs. Hannigan as the antitheses of leaving a good impression. When in doubt, ask yourself what she would do, and then do the opposite.

Here are my ten commandments of etiquette, in ascending order of importance. I feel these are great guidelines to staying classy and leaving good impressions:

10.  Never divorce the salt and pepper. Always pass them together. Learned this in sorority and it just stuck.

9.  Don’t ever use the phrase “you guys”. I learned this as a child while visiting family friend, Dutchesses Stefanie and Gabriela Von Pfetten of Vancouver. So this “rule” came directly from Royalty. 

8.  Don’t chew gum in public. Grandma.

7.  Belief is half of being. Believe you already are who you want to be, and you soon will become. AKA Dress for the job you want, not for the one you have. AKA Its usually better to be over dressed than underdressed. AKA Think thin, it helps keep you from over eating. This actually works!

6.  Always smile upon entering a room and/or greeting someone. It relaxes others and lifts the features of the face.

Love. Photo from Pinterest.
Smiles are infectious and an easy gift to give. My father taught me that smiles are the best way to make someone's day. I miss his smile.
 My father taught me that smiles are the best way to make someone’s day. They are infectious and an easy gift to give. I miss my father’s smile. Photo: Danny DiVito from Pinterest.

5.  Youth is a gift. Don’t loose yours. Stay young at heart.

4. “Don’t mind the little things”.  I learned this from La Femme Nikkita and my best friend, Charlotte. Pick your battles wisely. In the heat of the moment, smile and take a deep breath. Remind yourself you probably have more class in your pinky fingernail than whoever angered you has in their entire being. Repeat this mantra in your mind as you excuse yourself with polite banter; “I never did mind the little things. Excuse me.” Exit. You can plot your revenge later, in private ;).

3. Continue your education. Always find new things to learn; a new language, art form, anything. This will feed your soul, deter you from provinciality, and help you to understand other cultures. With knowledge comes understanding. Understanding acceptance. All which leads to kindness. 

2.  If you have nothing nice to say, stay quiet. Write it down later in your journal and then lock that baby up.

1.  Do onto others as you would do onto yourself- but be even nicer, we are our own worst critics. 

Who knows how much this moment helped the little boy. It could have inspired him in so many ways.
Who knows how much this moment helped the little boy. It could have inspired him in so many ways. Photo from Pinterest.

If you see an opportunity to help someone, take it. Put a little heaven on earth. Not just today. Every day. If we all followed that- wouldn’t this world be a nicer place? 

Click here to see a list of ideas on how to pay it forward: 40 acts of kindness

All this is just food for thought (as I pig out on Ferrero Roche Chocolates that someone brought into work today. WHY?????)