halloween-candyBy Carolyn Stine McLaughlin

Good manners and a decent knowledge of etiquette are things most everyone wants. But, fear can get in the way. We are afraid to ask for help and of being embarrassed by doing or saying the wrong thing. Some people proclaim that manners are only for fancy people or that etiquette is only for snobs. Well, I am here too free you from these misconceptions.

Manners are just about consideration for others and etiquette is not a random set of rules meant to trick you. Good manners make life easier and the principals that dictate etiquette are the same at the grocery store as they are at the country club. Let’s look at two items that are useful for Halloween trick-or-treating.

Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome: These important words create a back-and-forth that make everyone feel good.

“Trick or Treat, please!”

The candy is given.

“Thank you!”

“Your Welcome! So polite, another piece for you!”

Take some time to role play this give-and-take with a friend or your child. Just like dribbling drills at soccer practice, the slightly awkward action of the role play will lead to smooth application and a “goal” in the future.

Yield to the Right: To avoid the sidewalk side-to-side and a possible candy-tossing collision, move to the right of the pathway when you meet someone coming from the other direction. If you are in a group, only two abreast please, the person at the outside of the walk falls behind and lets the inside person go ahead. He/she steps toward the right to create a line. The general idea of keeping to the right is pretty simple, falling behind is more complex and could use a few practice rounds.

A bit of knowledge and some practice, lead to skills and confidence – no more fear!

McLaughlin is an Atlanta native who lives in Inman Park. She teaches ballet and etiquette and is the Director of Social Arts Atlanta. She can be reached through SocialArtsAtlanta.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.