Greetings, Traveler Weekly Readers!
I’m Sherry Gordon-Harris, Certified Etiquette Consultant, owner and instructor of Royal Purpose School of Etiquette. Our purpose is to assist with the Total Refinement of You, including children and adults, by offering classes and workshops on Etiquette and proper Manners.
As we learned in the previous articles, Etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. Manners are a person’s outward bearing or way of behaving toward others. It’s a way in which a thing is done or happens. In general, Etiquette is simply respecting others and not causing an offense to others.
One of my pet peeves is the tracking of mud, dirt, water, and even snow into the home from shoes worn outdoors. Floors and carpets can get soiled, discolored, warped, and just all kinds of ruined. Cleaning and replacement can be costly. This could be avoided if shoes are removed at the door.
It has been debated whether it is okay, regardless of the current weather conditions, to ask guests to remove their shoes before entering a host’s home. The answer is emphatically yes, in the opinion of most etiquette experts. How this request is handled is the most important thing. Homeowners, in general, believe that their house rules should be followed without question by their guests anyways. And this is not entirely wrong. But good etiquette should still include a friendly please and thank you. Here are a few tips to help avoid potential resistance or conflict.
If possible, politely let your guests know in advance to be prepared to remove their shoes before entering the home. This can be accomplished with a friendly note at the bottom of an invite, a verbal notification, or an e-mail. This way guests can dress accordingly and bring their own socks or house shoes to wear indoors. Of course, there is always a chance of an unexpected guest or someone who just forgot. It may be a good idea to have extra pairs of socks or disposable slippers for those guests.
Besides the above-mentioned reasons for preferring guests to remove their shoes before entering a home, there are even more valid reasons to do so. In some countries such as Japan, India and even some African countries, it is a customary practice to remove shoes. It can be offensive not to observe this “no shoes policy.” Also, shoes can pick up and carry into the home bacteria, toxins, and chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, human and animal waste. Keeping the home free of these and other contaminants is essential now more than ever. This can be a great pleasant and graceful explanatory response to any resistance to the request.
Remember, it is not so much what you say; it’s how you say it. Respecting others and not causing offense is Proper Politesse for both hosts and guests.
Once again, it has been my pleasure sharing this Etiquette tip with the Traveler Weekly Readers. There’s more to come. Well wishes to you and your family. I encourage everyone to “Live your life with Purpose in a Royal Manner.”
So, whether you, your family, or group want to learn Etiquette for the first time or just want to brush up on your skills, consider enrolling in a scheduled class or book a private class with Royal Purpose School of Etiquette LLC. We can help with the Total Refinement of You.