Knowing all the rules of table manners is a difficult and tedious task, but the following basic points can help you impress on the dining table.
Study your host:
The main rule is to follow the hosts. The objective of learning table manners is to make everyone and yourself comfortable on the dining table. If the host is you, then you need to read on the basic rules of table etiquettes and understanding the operations perfectly. Panicking would not really help.
Wait for the invitation from the hosts:
Always observe whether the host wishes to assign a specific chair. He/she might do so by hand movement or simply pulling out the desired chair. If this is not the case, then you can simply wait till the host to sit before taking yours. It is always advisable to help the elders or children before taking your position. The chair should be pulled towards the table, after you have sat on it. Place the napkin on your lap. Sit straight and do not keep your elbows on the table.
Follow your host:
Following your host is the best way to show table manners. Moreover, it also helps in matching the speed at which they eat. You would not like to be kept behind leaving an impression of a slow, grumpy eater. Moreover, you should not be fast enough to make your host feel uncomfortable with his half-done plates. Follow the spoons and cutlery they use for eating.
Use the right cutlery:
This sometimes would be a complicated task for many, as it becomes hard to remember which spoon needs to be used when. The rule is, to use the spoon that is kept at the most outside of your individual setting. Then move your way inwards with the spoon or fork kept just beside the plate used last. However, you can always imitate your host if confused.
Never eat loudly or with open mouth. Do not speak while eating. Also, if you wish to add something to your plate then ask the host politely to transfer the item to you. While using extras like butter, pickle, etc., always take as much needed and immediately pass it on to the next person.
Rules to follow, after you are done:
Initially wait for the host to mention that the meal is done. Then place the napkin on the table next to your plate. Stand up and thank everyone for the lovely meal.
Table manners become an obligation especially when you are dining at a restaurant or at someone else’s house. Hence following them is important.