Friday, September 11, 2015

Etiquette and Conversation

Harper's Bazaar's 1893 Hints on Conversation
"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." ~Dorothy Nevill

It has been recently stated that conversation is a lost art. Certainly the listener appears to be out of date. Persons who have regard for the usages of polite society should remember that listening is one of the canons of good manners. 

Absent mindedness is impolite. Every one is entitled to have a fair share of attention paid him when conversing. If one is bored, courtesy demands he should listen and appear to appreciate the story that is related on the subject under discussion. A writer on social etiquette once remarked that "nine times out of ten the attentive listener is more admired than the most brilliant talker." 

Avoid in conversation all mention of your own affairs. The clever woman guards her hearthstone, its sorrows, troubles and annoyances, as carefully as she does the sacredness of her religion. The world admires your cheerfulness, your attractiveness, your brightness. Your griefs belong to yourself. They are your inner life, which should be closed with iron portals. Even if your heart breaks, recollect the critical public at all times, likes a smiling face and cheerful manner. —Harper's Bazar, 1893

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber is the Site Moderator for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia