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The Quest for Civility: A Journey Through the World of Etiquette - Part 2: The Art of Going Through Doors.

Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage! In our last blog we stated that we would explore the impact of etiquette, both good and bad, on various situations. We committed to show examples of how bad etiquette can lead to negative outcomes, and how good etiquette can create positive results. As we continue in this series of the Quest for Civility: A Journey Through the World of Etiquette, I am going to share with you a story that supports the art of going through doors.

Luxurious Bathroom
The Art of Going Through Doors

First, what is door etiquette? Door etiquette is the practice of being courteous and respectful when opening, holding, or passing through doors. It is a simple way of showing kindness and consideration to others, and when done correctly, can also make a positive impression and build rapport with people. A few good examples of good door etiquette are:

  • Holding the door open for the person behind you or letting them go first if you arrive at the door first.

  • Saying thank you and smiling when someone holds the door open for you.

  • Being mindful of not blocking the door or crowding the space with others.

  • Following the right-of-way rule when encountering someone going in the opposite direction.

  • Offering to help someone who has difficulty entering or exiting the door.

Because there are separate rules for car door etiquette, we will limit this blog to doorway etiquette only. You are likely aware that men should hold the door open for women, that younger people of any gender should hold the door open for older people and that all people should hold the door open for those with disabilities. These are all common rules. But what happens when you are the same age, same gender and walking into the same doorway from opposite directions? Allow me to share.

Our colleague, for sake of this blog we will call her Tyianna, was visiting a private social club. During Tyianna's visit she had to use the public restroom facilities. This need on any other day would have been a regular everyday occurrence. However, if it had been we would not be blogging about it. No, on this occasion her visit to the facilities rendered embarrassment and discomfort.

Allow me to elaborate. Tyianna was meeting with a very distinguished companion. Her nerves had gotten the best of her, this was a very important meeting. Once she and said companion arrived at the private social club Tyianna requested the facilities. Upon receiving direction from the concierge, Tyianna, being a visitor of the private social club and eagerly having to use the restroom, dashed down the hall and past the masterfully chosen architectures to the bathroom entrance door. Then, with all her might, swung open the nicely decorated bathroom entrance door and flew through the stall doors to obtain her privacy. This was no easy feat for a voluptuous woman like Tyianna. Wait, it gets worse. When she finished, she thoroughly washed her hands, dried them with the elegant warm towels that were available and proceeded to exit the restroom entrance.

Nearing the doorway Tyianna reached for the door handle and opened the door to exit. To her surprise, in very close proximity, there was another slightly more voluptuous woman standing on the opposite side of the door to enter the facilities. One can only assume that the other female that was trying to enter had to use the restroom as eagerly as Tyianna had because right at the doorway, she and Tyianna were simultaneously in motion. One trying to get in, the other trying to get out. The two were in a ballroom style mambo swivel for 15 seconds. The act of getting through the door provided both women with doorknob abrasions, cosmetic smearing and shortness of breath.

(Pause) I'm still laughing with head in palm.

We could not make this stuff up, it really happened. Ironically, both women were completely oblivious to what had just occurred because they were both focused on one thing. Themselves. It wasn't until after Tyianna had been sat with her dining companion that she (and he) realized that she was perspiring, and her shoes were scuffed from the brief encounter at the restroom. When she told him what transpired he had a new opinion of her. Tyianna earned an even graver opinion when the woman at the restroom sat down at their table and introduced herself as his sister. Talk about embarrassing.

How could this have been avoided? By using good door etiquette. Door etiquette, though often overlooked, is part of good manners. It can help you make a positive impression and build rapport with people. Door etiquette can also prevent awkward or rude situations, such as slamming the door on someone, squeezing through door entrances or making someone wait unnecessarily.

Because Tyianna had just experienced the urgent need to use the restroom, she perhaps could have courteously held it open for the woman entering the restroom. Or they should have followed the "right-of-way" rule. This means that the person exiting the door has the right-of-way over the person entering the door, unless the person exiting the door is holding the door for the person entering the door. In that case, the person entering the door should go first and thank the person holding the door.

One of the most important lessons we can learn from life is to be courteous and respectful towards others. When we are too rushed, self-absorbed and distracted, we may miss out on valuable opportunities, relationships and experiences. We may also hurt or offend those who care for us. Therefore, we should always practice good etiquette and treat others with kindness and courtesy. By using good door etiquette, you can demonstrate that you are mindful of other people’s needs and feelings, and that you value social harmony and cooperation.

We at Keyola Consultants aid people in living the life in the look they love. Book your consultation with one of our image consultants today and receive 1:1 counseling on how to implement best etiquette rules and practices.

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