Our Deportment eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about Our Deportment.

Having once had an introduction that entitles to recognition, it is the duty of the person to recall himself or herself to the recollection of the older person, if there is much difference in age, by bowing each time of meeting, until the recognition becomes mutual.  As persons advance in life, they look for these attentions upon the part of the young.  Persons who have large circles of acquaintance, often confuse the faces of the young whom they know with the familiar faces which they meet and do not know, and from frequent errors of this kind, they get into the habit of waiting to catch some look or gesture of recognition.

HOW TO AVOID RECOGNITION.

If a person desires to avoid a bowing acquaintance with a person who has been properly introduced, he may do so by looking aside, or dropping the eyes as the person approaches, for, if the eyes meet, there is no alternative, bow he must.

ON PUBLIC PROMENADES.

Bowing once to a person upon a public promenade or drive is all that civility requires.  If the person is a friend, it is in better form, the second and subsequent passings, should you catch his or her eye, to smile slightly instead of bowing repeatedly.  If an acquaintance, it is best to avert the eyes.

A SMILING BOW.

A bow should never be accompanied by a broad smile, even when you are well acquainted, and yet a high authority well says:  “You should never speak to an acquaintance without a smile in your eyes.”

DEFERENCE TO ELDERLY PEOPLE.

A young lady should show the same deference to an elderly lady that a gentleman does to a lady.  It may also be said that a young man should show proper deference to elderly gentlemen.

WORDS OF SALUTATION.

The words commonly used in saluting a person are “Good Morning,” “Good Afternoon,” “Good Evening,” “How do you do” (sometimes contracted into “Howdy” and “How dye do,”) and “How are you.”  The three former are most appropriate, as it seems somewhat absurd to ask after a person’s health, unless you stop to receive an answer.  A respectful bow should accompany the words.

SHAKING HANDS.

Among friends the shaking of the hand is the most genuine and cordial expression of good-will.  It is not necessary, though in certain cases it is not forbidden, upon introduction; but when acquaintanceship has reached any degree of intimacy, it is perfectly proper.

ETIQUETTE OF HANDSHAKING.

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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