In her recurring column, “Social in Security,” modern etiquette ambassador and Bell’INVITO founder Heather Wiese walks us through a list of trusted tips you can rely on. Today’s topic: modern etiquette rules to live by in 2024.
Amid the whirr of balancing your affairs in a privileged society, this year you’re tuned to the topics of quiet luxury, political alliances, edgy fashion trends, conscious living, and of course all those party invitations—at the very least. Mastery of modern social behaviors and etiquette—those subtle skills crucial for personal and professional success—are paramount. Here’s your guide to embark on a new year with the key principles that keep you gliding in and out of cafés and ballrooms with that subtle yet mesmerizing attraction you love to own.
Adopt the following and watch 2024 unfold into your best year yet. You might even thank me with a handwritten note later.
7 Modern Etiquette Rules to Live By in 2024
Take on Digital Diplomacy
Virtual communication is no excuse for getting sloppy. Digital etiquette is officially a noticed skill. This doesn’t mean you need to be formal with your text messages. It does mean, however, that a pause to read what you’re sending is your responsibility. Stay on top of clarity. Know when to and how to communicate. Whether it’s a text, an email, a post, a DM, or some other form of digital communication, all have their best-practiced use and appropriate times to send (or schedule the send). Just like your attire or in-person conversations, digital communication is specifically different when professional versus personal. Know the code. Embrace the art of thoughtful communication. Your online presence reflects your best self. Keep your digital house clean. Steer clear of negativity. Cultivate a positive digital footprint.
Reimagine Your Networking
This is a year to build meaningful connections. The top in their game normalize mindful networking and steer clear of opportunistic chases. Put on something that makes you feel confident (see How to use a Stylist if that helps) and get out there. Attend events with purpose. Engage in genuine conversations. Get natural with your stash of anti-small-talk questions (every great socialite has one). Vulnerability, self-awareness, genuine curiosity, and polished listening skills are building blocks of solid relationships. You will have a miss now and then. Be ok with it. Prioritize quality choices and people. Authentic relationships contribute to personal growth. Personal growth contributes to professional achievements and purpose. See where I’m going with that?
Engage in Inclusive Interactions
In a diverse society, inclusive behavior shines. Be open-minded, listen actively, and respect different perspectives. If you have not yet let go of the antiquated belief that listening is somehow condoning or accepting, this is your year to do just that. Listening to an opposing view allows you to improve listening skills and emotional regulatory skills. Learn something new from the conversation, even if it’s only the basis for another’s argument. Stay educated. Continually honing those skills renders you stronger, more admirable, and better able to speak your beliefs when it’s your turn to talk. Cultivate an inclusive mindset. A harmonious environment where everyone feels valued and heard is a dynamic place where great things happen. You never need to point out a weak link. The ironic truth is that pointing out someone else’s fault or weakness actually shifts negative attention onto you (trust me—because most likely, in a polite crowd, no one will tell you).
Put Gratitude into Action
The best way to practice gratitude is to start with a grateful mindset. If you haven’t begun to practice an actively grateful mindset as a habit, start there. Showing genuine gratitude is timeless etiquette that never goes out of style. Show appreciation through genuine gestures, thank-you notes, and small acts of kindness. Practice spontaneous gratitude in your 2024 routine. Find a time and a way to send a message or gift or stop to genuinely thank someone who was not expecting it. This might be someone you interact with often or a stranger to whom you pay a sincere compliment. Gratitude not only enhances your relationships but also contributes to a positive and uplifting social atmosphere. Master this and you rise to the top. Don’t take my word for it. Trust the science.
Take Tech-Free Time
Constant connectivity is unhealthy. We’re all paying more attention to healthy habits. Don’t forget this one. Designate tech-free periods to foster genuine face-to-face interactions. Keep your phone off the dining table and put it away during times when you should be present connecting with the people around you. Embrace the art of being in the moment, whether it’s during family dinners, social gatherings, or work meetings. Unplug to allow for deeper connections and a healthier work-life balance. Do this. People notice.
Respect other people’s time by being punctual. Whether it’s a professional meeting or a casual get-together, arriving on time demonstrates reliability and consideration for others. Punctuality is a timeless etiquette that contributes to smoother interactions and efficient collaboration. There is no such thing as an acceptable casual mindset that causes other people to wait on you. That is called an inconsiderate mindset. Be careful with the excuses we give ourselves. Steer clear. Now that you’re making the efforts, on the very rare occurrence that you are running late, text well before. Meeting a friend for dinner or a coffee? Offer a sincere apology and pay for the drinks or make another appropriate gesture. Most importantly, make sure a punctuality etiquette fail is not your norm.
Stay Social Media Savvy
Navigate social media with care. Ensure your posts align with your values. Contribute positively. Whether you realize it or not, if you have any social media presence, you have a digital personal brand. Strike a balance between sharing highlights of your life and maintaining a level of privacy. Use social media as a tool for inspiration, connection, and learning.
Now you’re ready! Modern polished social behaviors and etiquette elevate daily interactions and pave the way for a fulfilling and successful year. We have much to do in 2024. I’m looking forward to putting these principles into daily action to create a positive ripple effect. I hope you will join me. Here’s to making this year our best yet. I’m excited to bring you the conversations and topics you want to discuss.
P.S. Send questions and topics to [email protected]