Perfect manners in your everyday social life

Even in your informal arrangements with friends you should still practise good manners:

  • Be as clear as you can be about your arrangements. Sort out when and where you are meeting, what you are doing, how many people are involved, how long you will be out, how you will eat, how you will get home.
  • Make sure your plans work for everyone involved. It’s much better for everyone if they know what to expect and if some thought has gone into making a sensible plan.
  • Even if you can update everyone instantly, too many changes of plan are exhausting for all concerned.
  • If other people are involved (in providing food, beds or a lift), make sure you ask their permission before finalising your arrangements.
  • Try not to be late. Sending a message that you’re going to be late is not the same as being on time.
  • If a friend invites you to something, don’t hold out for a better offer; give a definite answer as soon as you can. If you really don’t want to go, just say something like ‘Thank you, but I’m afraid I can’t come’; don’t make elaborate excuses.
  • If you invite a friend to your house, make sure you look after them; check they have everything they need and are comfortable both physically and emotionally.
  • If you’re a guest in your friend’s house, be polite to the other people in that house, and in particular show your appreciation of anything done for you by parents or carers. Do your best to fit in with that household’s arrangements (remembering that everyone does things differently); offer to help with jobs such as clearing away the table, but don’t be pushy.


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