The Right Way To Do Things

Author of this post is a friend, blogger and fellow delhizen, Delhizen aka Pallavi. Our first interaction was  when she commented on the guest post I had written for Mayur’s Blog last year. Almost 2 years now and I know I can count her as one of my closest friends. 🙂

There is a right way to do everything; the way you talk, the way you greet, eat, sit etc etc. Some know them, some learn them along the way and a few remain unaware till they are caught in an embarrassing situation where their social skills are questioned.

What I am referring to is similar to a sequence from the movie Pretty Woman. Julia Roberts who played the role of Vivian goes shopping on Rodeo Drive. Her appearance gets her disdained reactions from the people and is snubbed by the salesmen even though she is loaded with money. Hotel Manager Bernard Thompson (Hector Elizondo) is also taken aback by her but decides to help her buy a dress and even gives her lessons on dinner etiquette.

If you want to make headway in an official circle or socialize with a new set of people the first parameter of acceptance is how you conduct yourself. It also depends on the level of exposure you have got during your growing up years; certain families follow set practices like meals to be had on the dining table, fork and knife to be used and so on… but majority don’t.

I have seen at social gatherings how people minutely dissect your mannerism and sometimes it becomes a matter of discussion; did you notice his plate was full or he took more than two helpings, he didn’t use a dessert spoon to eat the trifle pudding ….

Before looking down upon someone based on their ‘performance’ on a social skills scale I look at myself and think, was I always this good? No

Did someone help me find my way around? Yes

Am I always at my best irrespective of place & people? No, I also have cheese and sauce dripping down my chin at times ;). I may not eat rice with hands but I also don’t use a fork. :).

When I came to Delhi I didn’t know ‘ Bull’s Eye’ was a dessert but with guidance and observation, I am confident of ordering smart and eating right!

Let’s look at things beyond food; do you judge people by their looks? Do you assume people are not worthy of having a conversation with if their dress is not coordinated with the accessories? If someone approaches you at a party with a smile and says a cordial hello, do you give a look as if they have committed a cardinal sin of being friendly? This doesn’t mean you have to entertain the likes of over enthusiastic hum-drummers :), if you are socially smart you know who deserves a chance for a conversation.

Why outcast someone just because they are not ‘cultured’ enough to sit among the creamier lot like yours. Instead of pointing out the wrongs why not give them a few tips to help them live-up to the ‘Socially Defined Standards’.

I believe – Looks can be deceptive and the other person you gave negative marks to based on ‘style & presentation’ could be more capable of having an intelligent conversation than the one who is dressed to kill but is miserable when it comes to talking sense!

The post is for all those around us who talk about sophistication; but don’t put their phone on silent mode inside a cinema hall. They are capable of shouting on a house help but would look down upon a junior in office who missed saying Good afternoon while answering a call. They pass judgment on everything and everyone as an authority, but are zero at returning courtesies like saying thank you to someone who served them a glass of water!

Also to mention; attitude and arrogance have different meanings and often confused 🙂

13 Responses to “The Right Way To Do Things”
  1. BullsEye says:

    You got one thing right in this post pallavi, ‘BullsEye’ is surely a Dessert, I have got that feedback many times 😉
    Well there are manner & Etiquettes and all, but it all comes second to what you are and what is ur position and designation. If my CEO is eating with his hands in a continental dinner, nobdy will care, or even if sumbdy will care, they can’t do anything abt that, power rules. And yes I agree with you these things shouldn’t dictate how you respond to people, Cultures differ, upbringing differs, and though these things do contribute to personality, its a very small part.

  2. Purba says:

    I think the right way of doing things, is being honest to yourself. You can be nattily dressed, articulate but if you are a nasty person, all of it falls flat.

  3. Mayur says:

    Etiquette, I believe, is ‘your’ way of doing things correctly.

    Right and Wrong have subjective definitions. In my humble, unwanted and very sarcastic opinion, ‘the right’ is the comfortable way of doing things where as wrong is the other way round. Every person has a different comfort zone (or snob zone). So it differs… 🙂

  4. Sapna says:

    Well said Pallavi… 🙂

    Socially defined standards are supposed to make social interactions more smooth. It helps ensure some level of consideration towards others like “keeping your cell phone on silent in a theatre”. They help create opportunities for courtesy and mutual respect . But people take it a bit too far sometimes. How does it matter if trifle pudding is eaten with the dessert spoon or some other spoon. It is matter of concern when etiquettes restrict freedom of personal expression or worse when used as a yardstick to gauge somebody’s worth.

  5. Very good explanation there Pallavi.

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