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20 Table Etiquette Mistakes To Embarrass Yourself

20 Table Etiquette Mistakes To Embarrass Yourself

So you think you can eat? Politely? If you’ve been spending too much alone time shoving food down your pie hole or hanging with friends whose careers don’t require adult behavior, your manners’ hard drive may be corrupted. It’s time to pull the napkin out of your collar and get serious again about good table manners.

1. Don’t Rush the Table

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    A simple meal at a friend’s home is a great place to practice etiquette skills. Hopefully, you brought along an offering of wine, etc. and once there, are engaged in frivolity. But don’t get too comfortable too fast. Your hosts have some expectations. Let them lead the event including the gesture for seating. Musical chairs ended in grade school and it’s best to wait for their direction on when and where to sit. And naturally, ladies first.

    2. Can you hear me now?

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      Thinking of putting your phone, keys, or purse on the table? This is a clutter free zone, not your kitchen counter. Pack away yourmuteddevices after taking the requisite photos and doing the check in which should be no more than 30 seconds. It’s now considered acceptable to photograph your beautiful food or table mates if the host is doing it, otherwise, save the updates for later. Sara Rimerwas dealing with this a few years ago and her advice is still timely.

      3. Napkin Etiquette

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        It’s so much easier when the napkin is directly on your plate, otherwise panic sets in if you’re confronted with beautifully folded linens placed around the table. Yours is on the left which leaves your right hand free to use your eating utensil. Apologies to the lefties but this was decided long ago by royalty.Napkin History Wait until your host is seated and takes his/her napkin. You may then proceed without great flourish…no snapping or flapping among the refined! Most cloth napkins are big enough for a half fold on your lap while paper napkins can be completely unfolded. A napkin is for keeping hands and face neat; any attempts at using it for a handkerchief will get you promptly moved to the kids’ table.

        4. Place Setting Cheat Code

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          Both hands in front of you now while making this symbol. Look down. Do you see the letterbon your left? That stands forbreadand that’s where your bread plate is located. The letterdis on your right and it meansdrink. No excuses now for scarfing down your neighbor’s bread and water as you’rein the knowwith this tricky cheat code.

          5. Focus on etiquette, not plates

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            You’re seated without your technology which makes googling this puzzle impossible but don’t fear, the wait staff/hosts will guide you at this level. Napkin in place, the service begins and order replaces confusion. You’re the smart one now who recognizes that all thedrinks will be offered to your right and yourbread will be placed to your left. Soups or salads begin using the dish/bowl directly to your front and possibly on your entree plate. They’ve made it easy to find the appropriate utensils as they are placed on theoutsideto be used first. Notice the far left fork (salad) is shorter and wider so as tograbthe greens more efficiently. The soup spoon to the far right is longer and wider to dipdowninto the bowl for every last drop. When getting that drop, you may tilt the bowl but don’t pick it up or even think about bringing it to your mouth!

            When service of your entree begins, your used dishes and utensils will be removed (don’t forget to leave them on those dishes to signal that you’ve completed this course.)

            The entree arrives which leaves the remaining utensils at thesidesfor your use. The smaller ones at the top of the entree plate are waiting for the final coursewhich will be dessert.

            Don’t even worry about the various water and wine glasses placed near you. The staff/host will offer and typically pour your beverage in the appropriate glass saving you the concern over which one to use. But in case you’re a worrier, the water glass and white wine glass are usually simple, tall and slim allowing these clear liquids to be highlighted. Short and wide wine glasses allow red wines to expand their surface while you have room at the top to breathe in their bouquet. Understanding the reasoning behind a shape or placement will help you remember its purpose.

            6. Chew and listen. Swallow then talk.

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              Eating together is fulfilling. Thebreaking of bread in either a business setting or at home with friends and family touches something in our spirit. The ceremony of a meal is conducive to sharing and with that comes a multitude of etiquette mishaps. The most important (and perhaps most abused rule) is DO NOT EAT WITH YOUR MOUTH OPEN! It sounds simple but as we get excited sharing our conversation, we forget tochew and listen, swallow then talk. No matter what you are sharing, it gets lost as the audience watches the food in your mouth rather than listening to the content of your words.

              7. Etiquette Food Sneaks

              SDRandCo (50)

                It seems so harmless at first. The hostess is speaking or saying grace at a large dinner and you think no one will notice that nibble of bread you’ve slipped into your mouth. People notice and make an internal judgment that you’re ill-mannered. You are welcome to sip your beverage but DO NOT start scarfing your meal if you should be listening to a speaker. Only when the speaker urges you to continue eating are you allowed to CONTINUE EATING!! Put your fork down but not on your plate (the wait staff sees that as a signal you’re done) and listen. Besides, your chewing is never louder than when you are the only one doing it at the table.

                Click out the hilarious video below by GloZell to assault your senses if you think you can get away with beingaFood Sneak

                8. Time to Make a Pass
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                  It’s going so well and then you’re challenged to make a pass. Salt and pepper move as a set regardless of what is asked for…don’t separate these savory lovers when responding to a request. Also, it is acceptable to ask someone else to pass them if it’s still too far for you to reach. NEVER reach across a table!

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                  Some will argue that it is rude to enhance the cook’s meal with salt and pepper. The cook/chef/host doesnotput condiments on the table unless they think you may want to add them to your food. It is very rare to find a home cook or restaurant chef’s table without condiments which means it’s completely appropriate. Asking for something unexpected to flavor your food though is a no-no and may get you a frosty glare if mentioned.

                  Eating family style? Passing of the bowls is entirely appropriate side to side. Do not extend bowls across the table. Also, the serving spoon/fork is an indication of portion size. Dole out ONE portion for yourself; if there is extra food after everyone has been served, it will be appropriate to ask for seconds.

                  9. Run for it

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                    Your mother always said you couldn’t finish a meal without needing a bathroom break. If that’s still true OR you need to step away from the table for other reasons, do so without bringing much attention to yourself. The entire table does not need to know your business. Instead, excuse yourself quietly to those sitting nearest you, place your napkin ONyour chair and quietly exit. Expect to be missed if you are absent for more than a few minutes and if so, expect to be quizzed by your table mates upon your return.

                    10. Conversation Etiquette

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                      You converse everyday and it should be so simple but dinner conversation can be tricky if you’re with a business group, contentious friends, or dramatic family members. Alcohol, comfort level (because you feel so good about your etiquette) or being unfamiliar with your table mates can turn you into that personwho causes cringes and rolled eyes. According to the Etiquette Scholar, it is key toStop, Look, Listen, and Watchas you embark upon engaging your fellow diners. Stoptalking if it isn’t well thought out,lookat your listener’s expressions,listenas much as you talk, andwatch whomever you are speaking with.

                      11. Hand Jive

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                        Everything is going so well. You’re talking, eating, and drinking without fear of embarrassment until you notice someone watching your hands. Are you using the Caveman grip? There are two basic styles, Continental and American which are both acceptable. View Here Don’t make excuses for yourself if you’re not utilizing these. Regardless of your intellect and conversation skills, if you eat like the Flintstones, you’ll be treated like them.

                        12. Space…it’s personal

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                          Personal space can be challenging at a crowded table which makes it even more important to follow acceptable boundaries. Keep your elbows tucked in when leveraging your utensils while cutting food and definitely DO NOT place them on the table until it has been cleared completely. Hands can be placed upon the lap when not eating or rested at the wrist on the edge of the table. Moving your chair too close to another can cause angst when either of you have to leave the table. Diners with mobility equipment should always be given preference to an end seat or the placement of their choosing for easy table access.

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                          14. Don’t step in the etiquette landmine

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                            How can we even be discussing this? Because it has happened too often! Dinner guests with all the right moves above the table gettripped upbeing too comfortable underneath the table. No matter how uncomfortable those new shoes are, DO NOT remove them under the table. Can there be anything more embarrassing then having to explain why you’re in bare feet when you rise to leave the table?

                            15. Polite Decline

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                              With today’s myriad of food allergies, diet requirement, etc., it’s logical to communicate with your host pre-dinner concerning your needs. Most are happy to accommodate but mistakes can occur. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to respond amiably if your choices can’t be met. Restaurants can typically provide vegetarian fare but if you’re at someone’s home, show your class by letting the hostess know you’ll be doubling up on side items and bread. Making a scene about your inconvenience will get you on the “Do Not Invite” list for many.

                              If you have no reasonable requests but simplydislikethe fare offered, put on your adult demeanor and make the effort to try a bit of everything. Taking obligatory bites and then slyly moving your food around your plate without eating it will go far in maintaining the respect of your host.

                              16. Utensil Morse Code

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                                The restaurant servers or home hostess keep an eye on your utensil placement near the end of a course or your meal. They want the flow for everyone to be consistent so that conversation stays uninterrupted by a wholesale moving of dirty dishes. The simplest code is using your plate as a clock. Place your utensils parallel across your plate with the handles resting near four o’clock. A tip to remember: Your workday typically ends near four or five just as your meal is ending.

                                There are more specific details for formal dining. See the Etiquette Scholarsfor more information concerning these as well as International rules.

                                17. Let’s Share

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                                  Coffee and dessert? Maybe you’re feeling that you deserve a final treat after minding your manners. Private dinner parties will typically bring out the sweets now but at a restaurant, follow your host’s lead. If the hour is late, they may wave aside dessert but if everyone is ordering so can you.

                                  Sharing desserts can be a pitfall for etiquette mistakes. At business gatherings, it is not even recommended. For hygiene purposes, once you and others have decided which dessert(s) to share, also request extra serving plates and utensils. You can then divide and conquer the sugary delight with everyone getting a bite and not sharing germs. But remember, you’ve asked the server to go above and beyond as you should for their tip when the bill comes.

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                                  18. Food isn’t free

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                                    The meal is coming to an end and if the bill is divided among the diners, there are a few points to remember:

                                    1. Splitting a bill evenly should have been decided before the meal and the waiter informed.
                                    2. Don’t penalize the non-drinkers; ask that beverages be charged separately.
                                    3. For separate bills, remember that the wait staff has extra steps to keep it clear and should be rewarded with an extra tip.

                                    Read more here about the touchy subject of Dividing the Bill

                                    19. Giving thanks for no mistakes

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                                      A meal in which you have stretched your new found etiquette wings deserves a proper thank you. Although a text or email might be convenient, it’s the handwritten note that will get you noticed and invited to more wonderful gatherings. Networking isn’t just in the cyber world; it continues to be a personal experience. But, if your host has a strong online presence, be kind and thoughtful if you blog, FB, or tweet about your evening.

                                      All of your well earned manners credit will be lost if you DO NOT send some form of thanks. Don’t delay or forget…that is the ultimate embarrassment.

                                      20. Pay it forward and avoid embarrassment

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                                        Those beautiful flowers or nice wine that you brought to the dinner party…enjoy the feeling of getting your own. It’s one thing to be a polite and respectful guest who livens up the group and is often invited out, but how embarrassing for you if there is no reciprocation. If your living situation is not conducive to dinner parties, restaurants abound as well as other venues where you can host your own gathering. Museums, ballparks, theaters, can help you host your own dinner party. Be creative and adventurous and remember, there’s a whole new set of etiquette rules to conquer when you play host. Hostess with the Mostest

                                        Featured photo credit: x_alimaryanne_x via morguefile.com

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                                        Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                                        Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                        Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                        Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                                        If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                                        When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                                        In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                                        1. Salmon

                                        Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                                        It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                                        Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                                        Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                                        Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                                        Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                                        2. Blueberries

                                        Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                                        Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                                        Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                                        Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                                        Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                                        3. Turmeric

                                        Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                                        Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                                        Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                                        Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                                        Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                                        • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                                        • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                                        • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                                        • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                                        4. Coffee

                                        Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                                        Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                                        Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                                        Coffee can also:

                                        • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                                        • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                                        • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                                        • Improve your memory.
                                        • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                                        5. Broccoli

                                        What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                                        Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                                        Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                                        Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                                        Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                                        6. Bone broth

                                        Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                                        Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                                        Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                                        Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                                        Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                                        With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                                        Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                                        7. Walnuts

                                        Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                                        Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                                        Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                                        Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                                        8. Eggs

                                        For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                                        Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                                        Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                                        9. Dark chocolate

                                        You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                                        Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                                        Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                                        Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                                        Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                                        Conclusion

                                        Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                                        In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                                        If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                                        More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                        Reference

                                        [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                                        [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                                        [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                                        [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                                        [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                                        [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                                        [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                                        [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                                        [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                                        [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                                        [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                                        [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                                        [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                                        [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                                        [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                                        [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                                        [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                                        [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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