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50 Little Etiquette Rules You Should Always Practice

These tips will help you mind your manners.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

When to start eating:

If you're seated at a table with eight or fewer guests, wait until everyone is served and for the hostess to begin eating before you dig in. At a long banquet table, it's OK to start when several people are seated and served. Here are more table etiquette mistakes you really need to stop making.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

What to keep off the table:

All items not having to do with food (and decoration) should remain off the table: keys, clutch bags, sunglasses, and especially phones.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

When to text:

"If you're in a situation where you'd excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, you should also excuse yourself before reaching for your phone," writes Farhad Manjoo on Don't forget these other cell phone etiquette tips you need to start following.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

What to do if you're not drinking wine:

Don't make a big deal of saying you don't drink. Simply place your fingertips on the rim of the glass and say "Not today, thanks." This implies no judgment of those who wish to imbibe. Make sure your restaurant etiquette is perfect–you might be making these common mistakes.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

How to talk on speakerphone:

Don't use a speakerphone unless you're in your office and holding a meeting that's being attended by someone remotely. Alert the person you're speaking with that others are present, close the door, and definitely don't be a chatterbox while you talk. FYI: Using speakerphone at full volume to go through your voice mailbox is the definition of annoying.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

How to open the door for someone else:

It doesn't matter the gender of either.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

How to handle the work kitchen microwave

Come on. And you shouldn't be heating up these foods that should never go in the microwave either.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

Here's some basic airport etiquette:

And once on board, stow your stuff and get out of the aisle quickly. When claiming your baggage, don't crowd the carousel. Step forward only when you see your bag. Don't miss these other airport mistakes to stop making before your next flight.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

Here's basic email etiquette:

If all you have to say in your email reply is "Thanks!" refrain from sending it. You're just clogging an inbox.

Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Naddiya

Try this basic cell phone etiquette tip:

When talking to someone in person, don't glance down at your cell phone to see who's trying to reach you.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest