Snappy Snaps | Why It Is Important to Give a Salutation in Business and in Life | According to one French author, the salutation is the litmus test for proper social behavior. It should be respectful, cordial, civil, affectionate, or familiar depending on the circumstances, such as an inclination of the head, a gesture with the hand, the touching or doffing of the hat.
If you remove your hat, there is no requirement that you also bend your body’s dorsal vertebrae at the same moment; this is only necessary in situations where you wish to show extreme reverence, such as when you are greeting a bishop.
In the event that an individual of the lowest rank or an individual with no status at all tips his hat to you, it is appropriate for you to do the same in return. La Fontaine explains that a bow is a note that is drawn at sight. If you admit that you are aware of it, the whole amount is due immediately. Charles the Second and George the Fourth, considered to be two of the most well-bred men to ever rule England, would always remove their hats in the presence of even the most lowly of their citizens.
If you have something important to say to someone on the street, regardless of how intimate your relationship may be, do not interrupt the person by stopping them; instead, turn around and stroll in company until you reach the end of the street, at which point you can part ways.
If there is someone in your circle of acquaintances with whom you have a disagreement, you should not avoid looking at that person unless the nature of the dispute requires it to be an ongoing one for the rest of your lives. It is best to bow with frigid courtesy practically all of the time, especially when there is no need to converse.
The basis of good manners are common sense and convenience, and it is without a doubt a great deal more logical and more pleasing to enjoy a fleeting delight, when no further evil is to be anticipated, rather than to be made uncomfortable by an ill-founded pride. As a result, it is in everyone’s best interest to keep the conversation light and polite. It’s possible that a snuff box, or some other polite accommodation, will do the trick for an opening. Keep the conversation to broad topics such as the play, the roads, and the weather. If the individual is of the opposing party to yourself, you will be embroiled in a controversy; if he holds the same beliefs as you, you will be swamped with a flood of vulgar wisdom, which may muddy your mind. Therefore, you should avoid discussing of people or politics. Maintain a quiet and respectful demeanor for the duration of the colloquy, and allow the acquaintance to end when the occasion does.