Why do we need table manners?

It does seem that there are more rules about eating at a table with others than just about anything else. Put your napkin in your lap. Don’t take huge bites. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Ask for something to be passed to you instead of reaching for it. Don’t start eating until everyone is seated and food has been offered all around. How can a person remember so many rules? And why are there so many in the first place?Meals bring people into very close contact with each other. When you’re sitting so near to one another, you can’t help but notice everyone’s behavior. Table manners were developed to make the dining experience as pleasant as possible, focusing on safety and consideration for others. Believe it or not, when you examine each rule separately, it actually makes sense. You shouldn’t take big bites, for instance, because you could choke if you have too much food in your mouth. You shouldn’t talk with your mouth full because that too increases the risk of choking, and because other diners will be able to see your half-chewed food, which is unpleasant. Reaching for things far away on the table could lead to knocking something else over along the way, including someone else’s drink, for example, creating a real mess. The good reasons for different table manners go on and on. Maybe if you think about the reasons behind the rules, it will be easier to remember and follow them.


This is a web preview of the "Handy Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App