• Susie Wilson

Is it possible to go overboard in expressing gratitude?

Susie Wilson Australia's Leading Etiquette Expert

Are there cultural differences?

In North America: Fairly informal but other counties can be much more formal. In general, keep it appropriate. Something Canadian is always appreciated.

Japan: Do not open gifts in front of the giver.

Use light coloured paper to wrap.

Present gift with both hands. Acknowledge immediately and in writing.

Mexico: Yellow flowers signify death.

Don’t give knives: it means the severing of friendship.

China: Don’t give a clock. It is a reminder that time is passing.

Refuse a gift 3 times, and then accept reluctantly. Avoid white paper.

In business, a gift is given to the organisation not to the individual.

Western Europe: White lilies or chrysanthemums signify death.

Muslim: Nothing made of pigskin

Italy: Wine is an insult. The hidden message is that the host may not have enough.

Gifts are accepted in different ways:

North America :Open gifts at once, flowers are displayed.

Other cultures, it is rude for the host to leave guests and arrange flowers.

In France:The host will not open your bottle of wine. It is assumed that the host has gone to a lot of trouble arranging the meal and appropriate wines.

The word gratuity comes from gratitude.

How has our attitude and practice to gratuities changed?

We eat out a lot more than our parents ever did. We are a restaurant culture and are more discerning about tipping.

We tip for good service, not just a blanket 15%

Is Holding a Door Open a Gesture of The Past?

No – absolutely not!

As you go through a door, look behind you and notice if another is following you through the doorway. It’s always nice to hold the door open for another if they are near. If the individual is far away, no need to hold the door open. Those that are far away will feel compelled to sprint towards your kindness. This may not be convenient for them.

If two people approach a door at the same time, allow the older individual or the person with higher authority go first. Especially when going for an interview or a tour, let the guide/greeter go first. They may need to show you which direction to proceed.

Chaps, as always, let the gals go first through the doorway. Be a gentleman and hold the door open for the ladies.

Ladies, these are modern times. If you arrive at the door first, open it! Don’t wait around for a knight in shining armour. You could even hold the door for him until he arrives!

When holding a door open, move to the side. Do not stand in the doorway, making it difficult for the person to get through.

Parents, please teach your children to hold the door for others. This is a way of teaching our youth to always being on the lookout to help others. Older children should always hold the doors for adults out of respect.

When a person says, “Thank you” for opening a door for them, make sure you use those magic words and reply with a smile and “You’re welcome.”

And when someone holds the door for you? That’s right – cue the smile and thank you

It’s the everyday courtesies that can make all the difference in the world.

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