Etiquette, good manners, what should it actually be?

Where has our sense of good manners gone? Do the Dutch no longer know how things should be done? Is it so difficult to be friendly to the cashier at the cash register, or to the driver on the bus or tram? People hardly greet each other on the street anymore, and don’t let someone go first at the bus stop. People no longer stand up for older people, they no longer help women with prams. The Dutch even have a bad name abroad. See how it can be done…

Good manners

‘Having good manners is a matter of being rather than doing ,’ wrote Amy Groskampten Have in her book ‘How should it actually be?’ A person with good manners is modest, courteous, helpful and friendly. One does not come to the fore if it is not necessary. People don’t impose themselves. Good manners demonstrate a helpful and friendly character. Helping someone cross the street, standing up for an older person on public transport. Let pedestrians go first. Keep right on the sidewalk. There are so many opportunities to demonstrate good manners. And it’s not difficult at all. Even for modern people, who are individualistic, good manners still apply: etiquette.

There are many opportunities to demonstrate good manners

Giving flowers

It is very thoughtful to give flowers to a birthday boy or girl. If someone has had to deal with a big disappointment, it is also worth it. People who are regularly attentive to you, who do your shopping for you, who regularly accept parcels in your absence, a hostess who invites you to eat, will all be very happy with such an attention. Flowers love people, and people love flowers.

Ways on the road

Do not drive in the middle of the road, blocking the path of others or even causing an accident. Don’t be so rude as to cut someone else in a traffic jam. Pay attention to signals that others give. You expect that from them too. Don’t shout at others or raise your finger, someone else may have made a mistake. Don’t push cyclists off the road or slip through an orange light so that you might hit a crossing pedestrian. You are not alone in the world. On the contrary: there are many of us. And everyone has the right to be where he or she wants.


When visiting, take into account the time the recipient has for it. Don’t plop down on a chair and take the entire conversation to yourself. Also consider what the interests of the host or hostess are. Listen to what your host or hostess has to say and respond. Not pedantic, not disapproving, but open. Advisory when asked. Dress neatly when you visit. The recipients also do that for you.


If you want to buy clothes or something else in a store and the salesperson comes to you, you can kindly say that you want to take a look around. If you take clothes off the racks, put them back neatly. If something falls to the floor due to your actions, simply pick it up and hang it up or put it back again. You do that at home too. If a salesperson does or takes something for you, also thank the salesperson for her or his help. That’s so much friendlier. When you enter or when you leave, say hello, that’s thoughtful.

Behavior on the street

There are trash bins everywhere in (shopping) centers. When you buy something for which you want to get rid of the packaging material, throw that plastic bag or box in a trash can and not on the street. If there are no trash cans, keep it with you and take it home.

To talk

Speaking to other people

Speaking clearly and politely is a requirement. Look at the person you are speaking to, not constantly, but calmly. Don’t ramble on and on, listen to the other person too. Don’t speak too loudly. Others who are also talking may be bothered by this.

Lecture or speech

During a lecture, presentation or speech, one does not speak, that is uncivilized. Use as few safe words as possible such as; ‘eh, isn’t it?, say, what? and now…’. People also do not keep their hands in their pockets when talking to someone. The sunglasses are taken off. Making large gestures while talking is also not good manners.



Someone’s attitude also shows whether they are energetic or a sloppy, lazy person. Walking upright, shoulders back, chest forward, head straight, shows that you are active and full of energy in life. It is also better to sit upright. It shows better, but it is also better for the back.
One should not walk with too long steps and staggering is certainly objectionable .

At the table

At a dining table, one never leans with their elbows on the table. People are not slumped. Active sitting shows the will to participate and pay attention. It’s worth paying attention to the others at the table. Then they have it for you too.


Tact is the difficult-to-describe quality that allows you to avoid painful moments in difficult moments. It is the quality that ensures that another person does not feel insulted or humiliated. Tact means: thinking about the sensitivities of others.

read more

  • Setting a beautiful table and serving at the table
  • Dress code for men and women, what clothes should I wear

Leave a Comment