Oliver Kingston is a former professional golfer turned etiquette coach. With his extensive experience in the sports world, Oliver provides unique insights into the unspoken rules and norms of various sports, particularly golf. His mission is to help others enjoy sports while maintaining respect and sportsmanship.
Thank you for reaching out to Live Civilized with your question about the unspoken rules of etiquette in the US. Understanding and adhering to these unwritten social norms can greatly enhance your interactions and help you navigate various situations with grace and confidence. Here are some key unspoken rules of etiquette in the US that you should keep in mind:
1. Personal space: Americans value their personal space, so it's important to maintain a comfortable distance when engaging in conversations. Avoid standing too close or touching someone unless you have a close relationship with them.
2. Greetings: When meeting someone for the first time, a firm handshake and a friendly smile are customary. It's polite to make eye contact and introduce yourself with your first and last name. In more casual settings, a simple wave or nod suffices.
3. Punctuality: Being on time is highly valued in the US. Whether it's for a business meeting, social gathering, or even a casual get-together, arriving a few minutes early is considered respectful. If you anticipate being late, it's polite to inform the host or person you're meeting in advance.
4. Table manners: When dining in the US, it's important to observe proper table manners. Keep your elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed, and use utensils rather than eating with your hands unless it's a specific type of food that allows for it. It's also customary to wait for everyone to be served before starting to eat.
5. Tipping: Tipping is a common practice in the US, and it's expected to leave a gratuity for good service. In restaurants, a standard tip is around 15-20% of the total bill. Additionally, it's customary to tip service providers such as hairdressers, taxi drivers, and hotel staff.
6. Respecting personal boundaries: Americans value their privacy and personal boundaries. Avoid asking personal questions about someone's income, relationship status, or political beliefs unless you have a close relationship with them and they are comfortable discussing such topics.
7. Respecting diversity: The US is a diverse country, and it's important to respect and embrace different cultures, religions, and beliefs. Avoid making assumptions or generalizations about individuals based on their background, and be open-minded and accepting of different perspectives.
8. Cell phone etiquette: When in public spaces or social gatherings, it's considered impolite to constantly check or use your cell phone. Give your full attention to the people you're interacting with, and if you need to use your phone, excuse yourself and step away from the conversation.
Remember, these are just a few examples of unspoken rules of etiquette in the US. The key is to be observant, respectful, and adaptable to different situations. By demonstrating good manners and cultural sensitivity, you'll be able to navigate social interactions in the US with ease.
If you have any more questions or need further guidance, feel free to reach out to us. We're here to help you live a more civilized life.
Wishing you all the best,