Modern Etiquette: What Rules Still Exist? Tell us your thoughts to win a $75 Amazon gift card

SheSpeaksTeam By SheSpeaksTeam 07.10.19
Modern Etiquette: What Rules Still Exist? Tell us your thoughts to win a $75 Amazon gift card
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"Dear Abby" was one of the original syndicated advice columns, appearing in over 1,200 newspapers and read by over 95 million people. Times have certainly changed since "Dear Abby" launched in 1956, but we are curious: are there still rules for common etiquette? And if so, what are they?

In the past few weeks, 5 burning questions have come up within the SheSpeaks Team. After much discussion, here are our best answers. Do you agree? Tell us what you think and you'll be entered to win a $75 Amazon gift card!

Are there any questions you'd love the answers to? Submit them and we'll include some of our favorites as future polls on our website!

Q 1. If you bring a dish to a get-together, is it appropriate to bring home the leftovers?

Not usually. Leftovers should be left for the host to enjoy. However, if there are a ton of leftovers and the host is truly insisting you take it, then take it. It's certainly not worth fighting over.

2. Is it rude to leave your cell phone on the table when dining with friends?

Yes, it's rude, but sometimes it has to be done. For example, if you are out without your kids, then it's ok to keep the phone out in case there is any issue at home. But don't take any calls or texts unless they are truly important. It's not fun to be at dinner with someone who cares more about their device than you.

3. If a single person is going in on a present with a couple who is married or dating, does the single person pay 50% and the couple pay 50% or does each individual person pay one-third?

If everyone knows the recipient equally, than everyone pays equally. But if the partner in the couple doesn't know the recipient and is really just a guest, then 50-50 might be ok. Make sure to talk about it with each other before assuming the amount.

4. How do you get out of an annoying group text conversation without insulting everyone in it?

No one wants to hear constant phone beeping when they're not interested in the chat. If there's a chance that the discussion will end soon, then just silence your phone and ignore it. But if it looks like this chain might be permanent, then it's ok to beg out. Best to send a light-hearted text, something like, "Hey all, love this group but need to get away from the phone and actually pay attention to my children! Can you remove me from the chat? Thx!"

5. Are thank you notes necessary? Do they always have to be hand-written?

Everyone appreciates a thank-you but there are varying degrees of how it needs to be said. If your friend buys you a drink for your bithday, sending a thank-you text afterwards is perfect. But if you receive more meaningful gifts, like at your wedding, graduation party or baby shower, than, yes, we still believe that hand-written notes are ideal. Email is ok for informal events if it is truly personalized. If someone spent time picking out a thoughtful (or expensive) gift for your new baby, they deserve something more than a group email saying, "Thanks for coming to my shower! Loved your gift!" 

What do you think? What questions do you have? Enter for the chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card!

#SheSpeaksEtiquette Giveaway

*One lucky contestant will be chosen at random to receive a $75 Amazon gift card. Giveaway is open through July 28th, 2019 to U.S. residents at least 18 years of age. Entrants must be a member of SheSpeaks. If you are not a member, click here to join. Winner will be notified by email.

Update: Thanks to all who entered! Congrats to our winner, SheSpeaks member beaniebaby70.

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  • alluringbrat By alluringbrat

    I thuink the above answers are correct, things that I still believe!

  • Pegasus72 By Pegasus72

    We have a strict no phone policy at dinner and while out dining. We try to instill in our children to be where they are at and stay focused.


    Question 1. Yes Question 2. Not rude to leave on table is rude to go in to a full blown conversation at table. Excuse yourself to another area away from guests Question 3. One third is idea but whats better your friendship or a couple more dollars Question 4. Conversation is great sometimes but most people have something else to do more pressing just say "Guys it's been great but I've got something I have to do asap. Love you guys ttyl and Thanks." Question 5. A heartfelt thank you face to face is always great even on the phone besides what kind of friend are you if you don't remember them when they need something special! !

  • Cdettra By Cdettra

    Sounds like good advice. People need to be more considerate and thoughtful about others.

  • KellyTN By KellyTN

    I agree with all 5 questions. If my family is dining together, there will not be any phones at the table. There also won?t be elbows on the table!

  • MsGABlue By MsGABlue

    I'm love getting handwritten notes as they are so rare these days.

  • pcangel By pcangel

    I agree with the above rules of etiquette.Another that annoys me is people who don't utilize ear buds headphones,or mute their phones when waiting in public areas like waiting rooms in Dr offices transportation terminals etc...Its rude and inconsiderate to force others to listen to your music, games and whatever you are engaged in.

  • queenubian1995 By queenubian1995

    I have a 24 year old at home with me and she has a friend that comes over to visit often with her 1 year old daughter that cries constantly and throws toys and food all over the house, by the time the girl and her daughter leaves there's always a huge mess that the girl never even tries to clean. How do we get this young lady to start picking up after herself and her daughter without being rude about it?

  • bamr07 By bamr07

    I think people are out of control with bringing their phones and using them while dinning out. It is so rude for the person they are sitting with and everyone around meal out another time. If there is a real emergency for the reason that you need that phone, either step outside to use or perhaps plan the I wish restaurants would be proactive in asking people to put the phones away. I also think that hand written notes that seem to be a thing of the past are so appreciated. People have lost manners and etiqutte. . I vote to bring back Manners and Etiquette , and Social Etiquette Good Manners.

  • queenubian1995 By queenubian1995

    I have an issue with the group text. I can't stand it when people will start a whole new conversation with each other and my phone is constantly going off even through the night. I'm going to use the advice and start asking them to take my number out of the group.

  • Mommie2 By Mommie2

    I grew up in the 70's and I have to agree with all of these things and there are No cell phones at the dinner table

  • autumnj By autumnj

    Manners. All children must mind their manners. So many are not taught proper manners and it's irritating.

  • BetsyBarnes By BetsyBarnes

    These are all great and should be followed, at least a few of these offer ways to communicate on how to resolve between parties.

  • BeautyWin By BeautyWin

    I think those were good responses. They were sensible, founded in good logic and to the point.

  • HoneyBee22 By HoneyBee22

    As a single working Mama, my friends know that I always have my cell phone readily accessible when we go out so that I can immediately available if there is any problem with my children. Otherwise, I am not on my cell phone or having additional conversations with anyone whikle I am out with friends.. I think that is simply rude and disrespectful to whoever I'm out with.. as if they are not important to me!

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