What Do Your Manners Say About You?

By: Zoe Samuel

What Do Your Manners Say About You?
Image: Jose Luis Pelaez inc/DigitalVision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The dictionary definition of manners is "A person's outward bearing and behavior toward others." Another way of putting manners is as "the understanding and chosen expression of society's rules." Yet another way of putting it is like this: Life is a game. We are players in the game. The game has rules—some written, others unwritten. How we choose to behave in this game, vis-à-vis the rules, says a lot about what sort of players we are. Our behavior is information the other players can read to tell them if we play fair, play in a sportsmanlike way and play well. 

In a nutshell, this is why good manners are important. Sure, you could have good manners out of a sense of decency, or because it is how you would want to be treated, but in the end there is a perfectly selfish reason to have good manners. Specifically, good or bad, your manners are a criterion on which you will be judged by other people, and plenty of those people will have a say in the introductions made on your behalf, jobs won or lost and the opening or closure of doors you didn't even know were there.

So ask yourself, "Do I have good manners?" Better yet, take this quiz, and we will tell you.

When should one arrive for a dinner party?
An hour late
Twenty to thirty-five minutes late
Early, to help out
Exactly on time

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What is the purpose of social rules?
There is none
To avoid awkwardness
To highlight who the riffraff are
To keep people occupied at otherwise boring parties

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If one is expected to roast someone at a company picnic, who should one roast?
The person who has the most things to make fun of
The most powerful person there; they can take it.
One's immediate superior in the company hierarchy
One's subordinates

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How do you talk about your friends behind their backs?
I talk smack about them, so I look like the most impressive of the group.
I speak only of their virtues, unless they have earned scorn, in which case I should be willing to speak of that to their faces.
I only ever say good things.
I make up lies about them.

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When someone asks that you use a specific pronoun to describe them, what do you do?
Tell them I'll use whatever pronouns I please!
Honor their request, out of kindness
Honor their request, so I don't get shamed
Just never use pronouns for them

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When someone has a title, either earned or inherited, how should one address an envelope to them?
Who cares? The postman doesn't know about the title.
By the title, done correctly
With the title and as many descriptors as possible
By an embarrassing nickname

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What is the purpose of a dress code?
To be a pain in the butt
To put everyone on the same level
To give stuffy people an excuse to look down their noses at people
To show off by dressing better than everyone else

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When invited to a black-tie wedding, what should a woman wear?
Whatever is comfortable; I'd recommend yoga pants.
A cocktail dress, and the conservativeness of the cut should be commensurate with the religious proclivities of the couple being wed.
A ballgown
A white dress

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What is a morning suit?
It's like your birthday suit, when you first wake up.
Think of it as black tie before noon, with a frock coat and a top hat
The suit I wear to work
A kind of bathing suit

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What makes a dinner party different from a generic "party"?
Nothing
At a dinner party, you'll sit down to have dinner at a table, like adults.
Any party that includes a meal is a dinner party.
A dinner party is like a regular party, but pretentious.

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When visiting someone's home for a dinner, what should one bring?
Myself! I'm brilliant company!
A bottle of wine
A six pack of beer
A date

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When someone you know well has a title, either earned or inherited, how should one address them at the top of a letter?
By their surname
However one would address them in person. If you know them well, you would address them by their first name.
By their title
Use an insulting pronoun

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Who should a man speak to first, at a dinner party?
The host
The woman to his left
Whoever he likes
The family dog

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If you don't know what the dress code at an event will be, what should you do?
Wing it
Ask the host or hostess what they plan to wear, and then go one step fancier
Ask the host what the dress code is
Just wear a tux to everything

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How should you treat people with less social power than you?
Like they work for you
With respect for the boundaries they aren't in a position to assert for themselves
Like anyone else! We're all equals.
Like the scum they clearly are

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What is the best way to encourage someone to like you?
Do a favor for them
Ask them for a small favor
Find a common thing to complain about
Tell them you like them

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What should you do when introduced to someone who might be able to do something for you, professionally speaking?
Demand they help you
Approach it like a first date; ask for nothing, and try to arrange the next meeting
Ask very nicely if they can help you
Tell them why they should help you

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What is the best way to encourage your social network to prize its relationship with you?
Show off how cool you are
Make introductions that help both people you introduce
Show them a good time
Buy them gifts

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What should one do when out to dinner with a group of people, some of whom have way less money than you?
Tell them not to have any of the expensive wine you'll be ordering
Order within the means of the poorest person at the table, so they don't need to keep up with your spending
Pay for them
Tell everyone that they need to eat cheaply because of the poor people who don't want to make a scene about it

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What should you do when someone will not accept the charity they clearly need?
Force them to accept it. Threaten them if needed
Find a way to give it to them where they can maintain their dignity
Secretly give it to them
Don't give it to them!

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When you need someone to do something they don't want to do, what is the best way to motivate them?
Threats
Find a reason they need to do it for their reputation
Reverse psychology
Send them a threatening letter

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When asked about your exes, how do you describe them?
In graphic detail
In positive, but not too positive, terms
Say nothing of them
Only talk about their foibles

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What is the first thing you'd say when entering someone else's home?
"I'll bet I could break in here."
"You have a lovely home."
"Wow! How much did this pile of bricks cost you?"
"Where's the toilet?"

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When invited to a black-tie wedding, what should a man wear?
Whatever he wants! No one is his boss!
A tux, a dinner jacket or a smoking jacket
A black suit and tie, like the name says
Jorts

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What is the correct response to being shown someone's pictures of their child?
Just say what you honestly think
Focus on the positives that are as far as possible from the negatives
Only say everything about the child is nice. Lie if necessary
Change the subject

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When hosting someone, what do you do prior to their arrival?
Nothing unusual
Check about any special needs, food allergies, etc.
Ask if they are a vegan, fruitarian, etc.
Get loads of exactly the foods they can't eat

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How do you ensure that no one in your employ gives preferential treatment to job candidates based on race, religion, etc.?
You can't
Take the names off the resumes
Tell them not to be biased
Try reverse psychology

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When you are a host, what should you do when someone turns up to an event and clearly was not aware of the dress code?
Tell them to go home
See if you can lend them items from your wardrobe to fix their mistakes
Tell them it'll all be fine. It won't, by the way.
Change into clothes that match your guest's clothes

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When you are the host, what should you do when a guest in your home acts inappropriately?
Throw them into the gutter, physically if necessary
Scold them as one would a child; warn them that you will throw them out if needed
Ask them to cool it
Act so aberrantly that it scares them into retreat

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When someone asks that a specific term be used to describe their social group, what do you do?
Ignore them
Do as they ask. It is harmless.
Question why they would want to do that
Find an even more PC way to refer to the group

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You Got:

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