Once upon a time holding the door open was a rule of etiquette practiced by men only. Well, guess what world?! It’s 2012 (yikes! I’m graduating in a few short months…) and holding the door open for the people behind you should be a universal etiquette rule by now. Unfortunately, not enough people do it and this includes all you ladies out there too. Plain and simple, it’s just the polite thing to do. I have seen women scoff at or completely ignore the person holding the door open for them. I promise, they are not trying to get in your pants (well most of them aren’t), they are just being nice. Ladies, let’s step it up and show our fellow men how it’s done by holding more doors!
Now, this doesn’t mean we must run amuck and hold open every door we see for people miles away. Just like other proper etiquette manners there are some basic ground rules that will help you avoid awkward moments and display that new confident you:
*Number one: Holding the door open applies to everyone. Anyone can hold a door open and anyone can be the recipient of a door being held open for him or her. Just because a woman holds the door open for a man does not mean she has emasculated him, it just means she got to the door before he did.
*Hold the door open for the person or people that are behind you, it’s really that simple.
*If you choose to do the awkward reach-your-hand-back-to-hold-door-open move (which I recommend you don’t) make sure that women, children, or elders aren’t behind you. You should always let these three groups of people through the door first by saying something like “After you.”
*Only hold the door open if you get to it first. You don’t need to sprint across the parking lot to reach the door before other people just so you can hold the door open. If someone does this, he is probably trying to get in your pants (or at least get a number).
*Say “You’re welcome.” Yes, if someone holds the door open for you remember to thank them, please!
*Some doors open in, while others open out- what do you do?! If the door opens out, pull it towards you and step back, letting the people behind you walk in first. If the door opens in, push the door away from you, enter first, then step back and hold the door open for others behind you.
*We have all encountered that awkward door hold where you had to shuffle/half-run to get to the door because you didn’t want to keep the person waiting too long. To avoid this, don’t hold the door open for someone if the door can fully close before they reach it (unless, they are handicapped). If someone makes the mistake of holding the door open too long for you, don’t sweat it, make them wait for you to reach the door- they were the one that messed up, not you.
Holding the door open is probably one of the simplest etiquette skills one could practice but we don’t do it enough. It is all about common sense. Use your good judgment about whether it’s the proper place and time to hold the door open for the people behind you because your instinct is probably right.
Now go practice your ‘lipstick confidence’!
[And remember, you can also track my blog on Twitter: @lconfidence.]