Ask David: Etiquette tips from a 23-year-old

By David Talley | Published Saturday, July 23, 2016

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Etiquette may be a really hard word to spell, but learning the ins and outs of proper behavior is easy. Here’s my unsolicited advice.

It’s not too late to say sorry – It’s got to be sincere, though. So many situations can be deescalated with a little apology and a little honesty.

David Talley

David Talley

Bring food – There’s no bad time for cinnamon rolls. Hey, this is a 23-year-old’s column. We’re going to talk about food. Meeting a lot of new people? Establish yourself as a kind person. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with cinnamon rolls?

Learn to cook – even if it’s just a killer grilled cheese sandwich. At a minimum, know how to prepare four things well.

Know what’s going on – There’s a great newspaper in town.

Lend something to the discussion – Contribute. In my experience, my quirky story about cutting my knee with a chainsaw is a fantastic addition to any conversation. Don’t have a story? Make one up.

Clean your car – No one has ever been impressed by watching a driver frantically clean out the passenger seat so it can be sat in.

Hold the door – You’re not too busy to check behind you as you walk through a door. Just don’t try to hold it for someone too far away and then make them sprint to catch it.

Pay compliments – As someone just out of college, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by most daily expenses. Now, that I’m trying to pay my own way, I’ve never been more aware of my pickup’s gas mileage or ever-changing price of Subway sandwiches. And, while most things have become more expensive over time, one commodity has stayed firmly free – positive words.

So, that was the corniest thing I’ve ever written. Don’t tell me it isn’t true, though.

You can compliment someone for absolutely no cost at all. They may even send one back your way. There isn’t much to it, and it doesn’t take a lot of creative thought. Any personal feature or effort is subject to be complimented. Find something someone has done and let them know at least one piece of it is inherently good.

David Talley is a reporter for the Messenger.

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