Monday, January 18, 2016

Manners Monday – Five Personal Manners Hacks to Handle Life's Everyday Situations

It's impossible to turn on the television or pick up a magazine these days without hearing or reading about some type of hack. There are food hacks, wardrobe hacks, hair hacks, organizing hacks, decorating hacks, medical hacks and money hacks.  The list is endless.  Back in the day, the word hack had a mostly negative connotation.  It was used to describe everything from a nagging cough and an annoying prank, to a techy who could break into computer networks or a service provider who did a shoddy job.  Nowadays, the word has been transformed to define a quick solution that solves a problem – a much more positive association. In an effort to keep up with the times, I compiled a list of what I consider to be the top five personal manners hacks to handle life's everyday situations. These short cuts are guaranteed to help you prepare for any encounter and will have you feeling your most confident and comfortable in any environment.   

1. Mirrors. Strategically placed mirrors will help with a multitude of issues. A floor-length mirror is ideal for checking posture and alignment from the tip of your head down to your toes. A bathroom mirror does double-duty for brushing teeth and practicing your smile.  A small folding mirror set opposite your place setting at the dining table will remind you to sit up straight, close your mouth while chewing and keep those elbows off the table.

2. Grooming Aids. Personal hygiene is a must.  No one should ever leave the house without applying a healthy dose of deodorant.  An antiperspirant also works as a wonderful barrier for sweaty palms. Stash a small pack of curiously strong mints in your pocket for fresh breath. Keep a packet of tissue handy for wiping noses or wrapping a used pieced of gum. Smear lotion on your body to alleviate dry skin. Reserve a minuscule size of hand sanitizer on your person to obliterate any passing of germs.

3. Stationery. As much as we live in a technological world, there will always be a need for personal correspondence.  Stockpile a drawer full of stationery whether personalized, monogrammed, engraved, embossed or all of the above. This will enable you to send a thoughtful note or handwritten thank you at a moment’s notice.  Assemble a selection of writing implements and a few books of Forever stamps for effortless snail mail delivery.

4. Time Piece.  Punctuality is the height of polite. Invest in a watch. Smartphones may be a permanent fad, but a time piece is a fashion statement that lasts forever. Trust me, you will need it when your iPhone goes kaput, you find yourself in a remote location or you simply run out of battery life. 

5. Gift Closet.  You never know when you’ll need a host gift on the fly.  We live in a social world and at any given time may be invited to a fabulous dinner party or special event. No need to rush out to the store and pick up the perfect gift.  A gift closet carefully curated with an array of host gifts for last minute invitations will keep you in good standing with colleagues, friends, and family alike. 

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