Special Report

Etiquette Mistakes That Make You Look Rude

Source: Cecilie_Arcurs / Getty Images

6. Not standing when introduced

If you’re seated when someone is introduced to you, the polite thing to do is to stand up to shake hands. Not bothering to rise suggests a disdain for the other person that you probably don’t feel.

Source: laflor / Getty Images

7. Not making eye contact

Whether you’re meeting somebody for the first time or spending time with somebody you know well, you should always connect with them visually. Creepy staring isn’t the idea here; your gaze can come and go. Not looking somebody in the eye at all, though, can be taken as a sign that you’re insecure, that you think you’re superior to the other person, or that you have something to hide.

Source: elinedesignservices / Getty Images

8. Not responding in a timely manner (or at all) to an RSVP

“RSVP” is an abbreviation for the French phrase “Repondez s’il vous plait” — “Please respond.” If an invitation asks that you do that, honor the request as soon as you can. It’s perfectly acceptable to respond negatively if you can’t attend whatever you’re invited to, and some invitations give you the choice of answering with a “maybe.” The important thing — the polite thing — is to answer, one way or another.

Source: cnicbc / Getty Images

9. Not bringing something to a dinner party

There’s an old Irish expression about someone coming to dinner “with one arm just as long as the other” — meaning that he or she isn’t carrying a thoughtful little gift for the host. Always bring something, as a token of your appreciation for being invited. It could be flowers, a box of cookies or a fruit tart, a bottle of wine (which you shouldn’t necessarily expect the host to open while you’re present), even a gag gift if you know the host — and his or her sense of humor — well. It is, as they say, the thought that counts.

Source: monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

10. Bringing uninvited guests (your kids included) to a party without asking

If you’re single and get invited to a dinner, a party, an event of any kind, don’t automatically assume that the invitation includes a plus-one. Just ask politely if you can bring someone and be prepared to be understanding if you’re denied for any reason. And certainly don’t show up with your kids in tow unless you’ve established that they’ll be welcome.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.