Mutual respect is important in every culture.
Through this few steps, I am going to show how to be respectful in the United States in many situations such as dining, meeting, and social gathering .
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Step 1: How to Be Respectful When You Are Eating in the States
During my stay in the States, I had numerous chances to eat at Western Fine Dining Restaurants.
I realized that table manners are little different from a country to country. It is critical to have a proper table manner for you to make a great impression.
Of course, these are just minimal guidelines and there are far more you should take into consideration.
But here is a little cheat sheet for you to take a look if you want to learn and adapt quikly
(Remember, when it comes to fork, just start using it from the outside!!) :)
1.Place your napkin in your lap.
2. Turn off / silence your phone.
3. Wait for everyone to be served before eating.
4. Use your main knife and fork to cut meat.
5. Cut your food one piece at a time. Do not cut everything at once.
6. Chew with your mouth closed.
7. Do not reach across the table. Instead, ask your neighbor to pass the item for you.
8. Do not talk when there is food in your mouth.
9. Say "Excuse me," when you have to leave the dining table.
10. Do not pick your teeth at the table.
Step 2: How to Be Respectful in a Meeting
There will be times that you are going to be in a meeting with your American colleagues or classmates.
This is your time to shine! Of course, there are few things to remember.
1. Be on time.
- Being punctual on meeting times are critical for your reputation.
- Your time is precious, so is for other people.
- This is not a social gathering. So being "casually late" is not acceptable. It is always good to plan ahead and arrive 10 - 15 mins earlier than the meeting time.
2. Do not cut someone off when he/she is talking.
- I know that what you have to say is super-important and relevant to the topic of discussion or meeting.
- But, remember that other people will also think the same for their opinion or thoughts.
- Wait until the speaker is done talking and there is the moment when you can start talking.
3. When the meeting is over, don't be the first one to rush off.
- I know you probably have other things to do after your meeting. But unless, it is a life threatening or time constrained event, stay for awhile and talk to your colleagues about the meeting and the results. They will definitely appreciate your dedication.
- If you have to leave right away, ask for your colleagues understanding. Of course, the meeting is over and you are free to go. However, by asking for their understanding, you will be remembered as a respectful person and a good person to be around with.
Step 3: How to Be Respectful in Social Gathering
You've worked hard! It is time for some fun! :)
But there are also few things to remember while you are having fun with your friends in order for you to be respectful.
1.Avoid sensitive conversation topics.
- Politics, religion, financial situation, appearance, and few other topics are very sensitive to talk about. The best is to avoid them since you and your friend might have heated discussion/argument on that topic.
- In stead, talk about your hobbies, favorite movies, music, sports, etc. This will get your conversation going and possibly a new best friend!
2. Do not drink too much.
- Alcohol is good since it relaxes you little bit and remove tension and awkwardness between people.
- But when you drink it too much, you will not be yourself.
- You might do things that "normal" you would never do, but at the end, YOU are still responsible.