8 Outdated Rules of Etiquette That People Still Follow

1. Elbows off the table!

This age-old etiquette rule insists on maintaining proper posture during meals, though its strict enforcement has waned over time. It was originally intended to prevent diners from leaning too close to their plates, ensuring they didn't spill food

2. Ladies must order the lighter menu items

Reflecting outdated gender norms, this guideline implies that women should prioritize dieting and lighter fare, a notion that no longer aligns with modern attitudes toward food and gender equality.

3. Passing dishes only to the left/right

While once a standard practice to ensure orderliness during meals, today, the direction of dish passing is often overlooked in favor of more relaxed dining etiquette. This tradition was rooted in practicality, aiming to avoid confusion and disruptions

4. Don t start eating until everyone is served

This courtesy rule aims to promote equality and consideration at the table, yet in today s fast-paced dining culture, it may result in cold meals and awkward delays. While waiting for everyone to be served can demonstrate patience

5. You must finish everything on your plate

Stemming from a desire to avoid waste, this rule overlooks individual preferences and dietary needs, promoting unhealthy eating habits and discomfort. While finishing one's plate was once seen as a sign of appreciation for the meal

6. Men must always open doors and pull out chairs for women

Once considered acts of chivalry, these gestures are now viewed as outdated and potentially patronizing, with modern etiquette emphasizing mutual respect and consideration regardless of gender.

7. Never discuss politics, religion, or money in polite company

While intended to maintain harmony in social settings, avoiding these topics entirely can stifle meaningful conversation and prevent important discussions about societal issues. While discussing sensitive topics requires tact and sensitivity

8. A formal handshake must be firm to show strength

While a firm handshake was historically seen as a sign of confidence, overly strong grips can be uncomfortable or intimidating. Today, a balanced and respectful handshake is valued over excessive force.