Synopses & Reviews
Chapter One The Top Three Issues in Daily Life
The art of etiquette really comes down to being thoughtful of the other people you encounter in your everyday life. We all tend to associate "proper behavior" with formal social events -- but true etiquette involves behaving with respect and consideration for others in everything that you do, from attending a high-society soiree to simply hanging out around the house.
In fact, daily life is where men tend to run into more trouble than anywhere else. When the 750 women who responded to our recent Post Survey came to the question "What are the most annoying things men do in their daily lives?" we got quite an earful.
Here's a summary of the three main areas that our female respondents identified as their top hot-button issues when it comes to men and their everyday behavior: Manners Matter
Opening doors. Putting down the toilet seat. Being on time. Not spitting. Taking off your hat indoors. Saying "Please" and "Thank you." Trying to be discreet and quiet when blowing your nose. These and other niceties may seem trivial to many men, but here's the scoop: it all matters. When you don't use the manners that people have come to expect -- failing to open the door for a woman, for instance -- it's not simply a sign that you're clueless; it shows a lack of consideration. That's what bothers women about men who don't have manners.
This brings us back to the essential guiding principle of this book: Good manners are not a matter of simply "following the rules." What's important is the reason underlying the desired behavior. Etiquette is about being considerate and honest with others. Manners matter, because manners are really aboutshowing respect for another person. We hold the door for a woman not because there's a rule that says we should, but because it is an act of kindness and a way to make the woman you're with feel special. When you act in this spirit, she will know it and appreciate you for it. If you hold the door just because "that's the rule," she'll see right through you. Helping Out Matters -- A Lot
Here's a simple technique for driving a woman nuts: take the dishes to the sink -- and then just leave them there. As one of our female respondents put it, "If you can carry them to the sink, why can't you take the time to put them in the dishwasher???"
According to the Post Survey, when it comes to helping out around the house, the modern male still has a long way to go. Those men who do help out at home scored higher in the category of "pleasing things that men do in their daily lives" than anything else, and by a wide margin. These men are role models for us all: they do the dishes, they do chores -- without being asked. They do the "manly" jobs like washing the car, mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage -- but they also help clean the house and do the laundry, and they don't leave a mess for someone else to pick up later. They clean up the counter and put away the fixings before they eat the sandwich they just made. They buy flowers "just because," or call her at work just to ask how she's doing. They give her compliments, unprompted. They hold hands. These guys are really good.
Why do women appreciate it so much? As our survey revealed, women perceive helping out as more than simply a matter of men doing their "assigned" chores or showing a little kindness. It's a matter of voluntarilytaking responsibility and sharing the load. Being Inconsiderate and Being Disrespectful Go Hand in Hand
Staring at other women. Talking down to women. Ignoring their opinions. Interrupting. Not introducing them. Simply ignoring them altogether. Walking several steps ahead of her rather than beside her. The Post Survey found that women don't simply view these behaviors as being rude or inconsiderate -- to women, they represent a fundamental lack of personal respect.
To be fair, most men's "inconsiderate" or "disrespectful" behavior is not intentional. Men frequently get lost in their thoughts and go to far-off places in their minds without even realizing the journey has started, or considering the consequences. That's when they get into trouble.
Consider the issue of looking at another attractive woman who happens to cross your path. I do this unconsciously, I admit. But when my eyes stop looking at my wife's, and my attention shifts away just as she is making an important point, she views this as a case of my not being attentive to her. And she's right -- my attention has wandered. Whenever a man "switches off" his thinking or wanders off on a mind journey, he runs the risk of looking inconsiderate and, by extension, disrespectful.
On a personal note, it scares me when I see what I've just written because I see some of myself in this description, and unfortunately it's not the good part. How long has it been since I made the bed in the morning? Why didn't I do those dishes from last night's dinner that were piled in the sink? After all, she made dinner. The least I could have done was clean up afterward. And I can't remember the last time I bought my wife flowers. Instead,I've been heard at the supermarket bemoaning the fact that she's picking out flowers and buying them for herself. Talk about clueless!
Now, I'm not "all bad. I do clean any dishes still left in the sink each morning. I do remember to leave the toilet seat down. And I make coffee every morning and bring it to my wife in bed ...
"Overall, Post appears to have exchanged the mystique of manners for business-casual rules of thumb. Many men might welcome this exchange..." Publishers Weekly
“. . .a fast-paced and witty guide to help men handle everyday situations.” Charlotte Observer
“. . .a sensible, realistic guide for men on how to relate to others with grace, courtesy, and charm.” Elegant Weddings magazine
“. . .tells men, in a readable and unscolding way, the basics of what they need to know.” Chicago Sun-Times
“...men should welcome this book.” Andy Spade, CEO and creative director, Kate Spade LLC
“A helpful manners survival guide for figuring out those sticky everyday situations.” Joshua Piven, coauthor of The WORST-CASE SCENARIO Survival Handbook
“[Peter Post] has masterfully tackled a specific market that desperately needs his advice.” Letitia Baldrige
Short and shoot-from-the-hip honest; this book helps men make the right decisions about what to do and say in every situation that counts.
Essential Manners for Men
helps men make the right decisions about what to do and say in every situation that counts. Peter Post, great-grandson of Emily Post, distills the essential information men need for all the important roles they play in life.
Organized into three parts -- "Daily Life," "Social Life," and "On the Job" -- Essential Manners for Men resolves situations that can stump even the savviest. Peter Post's advice is sharp-witted and sensible, with tips, boxes, and candid anecdotes about his own etiquette blunders. Topics include:
- The most important behaviors to avoid and emulate at the gym, at work, on the golf course, at home, out with friends, at a business social event, and a child's ball game
- Tipping, driver's "ed-iquette," introductions, sportsmanship, and parenting
- Successfully sharing living spaces with a roommate, significant other, or spouse -- from the toilet seat to the remote control to the kitchen sink
- How to throw a great party or be the perfect guest
- How to successfully navigate the business dinner
- Things men do wrong that make women wince, and things men do right that women love
- The five-step process to resolve any situation where there is no etiquette "rule"
Short and shoot-from-the-hip honest, Essential Manners for Men is a book no man can afford to be without.
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About the Author
PETER POST is a director of The Emily Post Institute, Inc., and author of five etiquette books, including the New York Times bestseller Essential Manners for Men. As the creator and primary presenter of Emily Post Business Etiquette programs, Peter leads business seminars for companies both in the United States and abroad. Since 2004, he has authored the Boston Sunday Globe's weekly question-and-answer business etiquette advice column, "Etiquette at Work." One of Emily Post's four great-grandchildren, Peter is a sought-after etiquette expert for television, radio, and print media interviews. He has more than twenty-five years of experience in marketing, communications, design, and education, and holds a master's degree in fine art from the Pratt Institute and a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.