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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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  • Fred1950 By Fred1950

    Whenever I bring a dish to someone, I ask for a container so I can leave the leftovers. Only if the hostess insists do I take the leftovers home. I also always make sure my serving dish is labeled if I want to see my container again. By putting the leftovers in the hostess? container, I can take my serving dish home and make one less item for the hostess to clean, and return.

  • pixistyx By pixistyx

    1. If the host urges you to take some home, then go ahead and take a plate home. But for sure I'd want to pack up leftovers for the host to keep if only to get my plate/dish back. LOL 2. I think you can leave it out as long as you aren't looking at it every five minutes. 3. I think if you know each other well enough, then it's fine to split the bill equally. 4. Group texting can be annoying for sure! I just turn my phone volume down. 5. I think hand written notes aren't expected as they were years ago but if you are going to send them, for sure send them for the big occasions like weddings and baby showers.

  • Jjswildcat5 By Jjswildcat5

    I think everyone has their own etiquette! Depends where u are at!

  • kimberleeteach45 By kimberleeteach45

    All of these are completely accurate. In today's world, we have become so device focused that most people have no idea what the rules of etiquette are. And although the letter writing is a lost art, sending a thank-you note after receiving a gift should be mandatory for All Humans!


    Taking home leftovers is perfectly fine if the host offers.

  • 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!

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