Our lives are full of protocol. There are different rules that we abide by daily, even without thinking, because we were taught to do so and it is often safer to follow them. We drive on roads using the prescribed rules as guidelines, we do our jobs according to the standards we were taught, we use written recipes to prepare delicious desserts and even abide by ‘terms of use’ when surfing on websites and using social media. For many, this might go unnoticed, but very often, when we have certain routines in our lives that involve some kind of interaction with other people, there is a protocol involved. Or better said, there is a set of rules and procedures to follow in order to achieve the best results.

Etiquette is not something we switch on when we go to work, have a meeting, or want to impress somebody. It is not a fancy word that should only be taken out of the cupboard only when there is a special occasion. It very often gets connected to words such as ‘boring’ or ‘old-fashioned’, yet when one understands the real meaning of etiquette, one can understand that etiquette is all around us. Every day, every time we interact with other people, directly or indirectly, verbally or non-verbally. As long as there are people to receive some kind of message or emotions, etiquette is always around. The correct behaviour in different situations.

There is not single person who lives completely according to all rules of etiquette. It is impossible to do, as all situations are different, just like the people around, the time, the place, the emotions of the day, and so much more. As such, nobody can be liked by everybody, because opinions differ enormously. Each individual can only strive to be as good and polite as possible for the people around, keeping into account that our actions make us choose and attract people of similar mindsets. Those who do bad things to others will attract similar people, those who do good will also receive good.

Interaction with other people is all about protocol and etiquette; the protocol are the baselines who give us the minimum, the rigid standards to abide by to make sure we all can live our individual lives while others do the same and without disturbing each other. Etiquette is the art of interaction between people, to make those different individuals come together and do some activities together. Our behaviour with other people makes us understand if we like somebody or not, if we want to meet again, do business together, or any other thing that would fit in the framework of life. Etiquette shapes relationships.

The more we like to get along with others, the more we will use etiquette. And as the rules of etiquette are flexible, it requires a constant attention of the user. Yet, when this desire of showing correct behaviour becomes an ever-present habit, it is no longer a boring, old-fashioned concept, but a comfortable way of life.