Sunday February 26th, 2017 

East and West Book Club meeting

Minutes by Ellen

Time: Sunday February 26th, 2017    3-5 pm

Attendees: Lishan, YingZi, Fiona, Eric, Ellen

Book: Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior

*At the beginning we each spoke for 1 min, practicing our public speaking skills.*

Picked up from last page 79 (Handshakes, Kisses, and Other Introductory Gestures) to pg 87 (did not start a new section)

If a woman offers a handshake, or a kiss on the cheeks/lips, the gentleman must oblige to whatever the woman offers. This is only used as a formal public gesture.

Shaky Handshakes

The proper handshake is to first introduce the lower rank female to the higher rank female and male. The higher rank female can give a handshake, but she doesn’t have to. Then, the lower rank male/female is introduced to the higher rank female, and the higher rank female also has a choice of handshaking or not. Also, women have to offer their hand for a handshake. Men are not allowed to initiate the handshake first when handshaking the opposite gender. When with the same gender, the order doesn’t matter. When shaking the hand of a lady, you should adjust to their strength, and shake of equal firmness. When someone has lost their hand, you think about what they would be more comfortable with, or what they offer to you. If they offer their artificial limb, you shake it. You always shake with your right hand. When there is a situation where you can only shake left handed, you can do so. Be courteous, and adjust to the handshake.

Social Kissing

There are four types of social kissing: the lips, the right cheek only, the right cheek followed by the left cheek, and the hand. In America, lip kissing and hand kissing must be heterosexual. Lip kissing is the women’s choice, and hand kissing is the men’s choice. You do not kiss upon the first meeting.

Eye Contact

If your culture does not share eye contact, but is it considered impolite in another culture, you should adapt to the body language of your current culture. You should learn the etiquette of the country you’re residing in. If you can’t share eye contact, at least smile to be polite.

Speaking When Spoken To

When entering a room, you do not have to greet everyone, but you must respond to people who address you.

Street Greetings

When greeting someone on the road, who should greet first?

The European custom: men greet women first. The American custom: women greet men first. You may choose the one you prefer.

Walking With Ladies:

Gentleman walk on the street side of the sidewalk (the lady walks on the inside). As for tipping a hat, if you do not have a hat, it is not necessary.

Hat Tips

A gentleman removes his hat when speaking with a lady or in an elevator with a female. Tipping a hat can also represent courtesy, or thanks for a courtesy of his.

When the elevator is too crowded, and you have no space to take off your hat, you should still find room to remove your hat.

Arms and the Gentleman

A gentleman only offers his arm to the lady when she needs assistance, and he can assist.


When walking ahead, and stepping aside, it does not matter where the other person is. Whether it’s a male or a female, you side step to the right.

Saving Steps

You should drop the person off before parking  to make it more convenient for them. They can also decline.

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