How To Introduce People - Manners And Etiquette

The first and most positive rule in regard to introductions is that a man is introduced to a woman; never the reverse, no matter how distinguished the man may be.
The best form is the simplest. "Mrs. A., allow me to introduce Mr. B." If the introduction has been solicited, the hostess may say "Mrs. A., Mr. B. desires the honor of knowing you." If either party resides in another city, she may mention the fact, or any other little circumstance that may aid the two to enter into conversation. The woman does not rise when a man is introduced, but if she is standing may offer her hand. To say "How do you do" is much better form than "Glad to know you" or "Pleased to meet you,"
The person who performs an introduction should be careful to choose an opportune moment. Do not interrupt a conversation to introduce another party, unless, as hostess, you feel it has continued so long that it is time the talk became more general. It is not courteous to simply acknowledge an introduction, and not exchange a few words.

Women and Introductions

In introducing women, the younger is introduced to the older; if nearly of the same age a distinction is immaterial. Young girls are introduced to matrons, and the younger matrons to those older.
If a woman is seated when another woman is introduced she should rise and offer her hand, and then invite the new acquaintance to a seat near her where they may converse. If a man has been talking with the lady who rises, he should rise also and remain standing until they are seated, when he may bow and take himself away unless requested to remain. Generally, this is the proper moment to leave.

When Calling
If making a call, and another visitor enters, the lady of the house rises to greet her and introduces any other guests who may be present. A man must rise and find a scat for the new¬comer, but the women bow without rising. If only one guest is pres¬ent, she should rise if the hostess and latest caller remain standing, or if a change of seats seems desirable. Introductions of this kind are semi-formal; they do not establish a later acquaintance unless both are agreeable; the social intent is to bridge over a situation that might seem awkward. However, many pleasant friendships have been made by such casual encounters at the house of a mutual friend.
On the other hand, if two women who are not on friendly terms happen thus to meet and are introduced, it would be a most grievous breach of etiquette not to acknowledge the introduction courteously and exchange a remark or two. Neither has a right to embarrass a hostess by airing a private animosity under the roof of a friend--or in society generally.

General lntroductions
The only "collective" introduction possible is that of a speaker or essayist to an audience. At a club meeting or other assemblage where a stranger is present as guest of honor, the members should request the hostess or the president of the club to present them severally.

Men and lntroductions

Men seldom ask introductions. They have the privilege of speaking without them. A man's title should always be given him in an introduction. A man must request permission before bringing another man to be introduced to a woman or to a friend's house. In the latter case he will present his companions to the lady of the house and any of the family who are present; if others arrive, the hostess should introduce him to them.
After an introduction, the man waits for the woman to recognize him at their next meeting. She should bow, even if she does not care to establish an acquaintance. A casual introduction between women may not be recognized afterwards, though a slight bow is more courteous.

A Few Things Not To Do
Do not introduce a person as your "'friend." It is not supposed you will introduce anyone who is not a friend. Moreover, in certain circles the term friend is employed in naming a companion, secretary, governess or managing housekeeper to one's guests. In this connection it may be mentioned that one should not speak of "visiting a friend" or "staying at a friend's house." Name the person referred to; or if you do not wish to do so, do not allude to the circumstance. Naturally, one visits only friends.
The indistinctness with which people who introduce often pronounce a name is not infrequently the cause of awkwardness. The failure to hear is no fault on the part of those introduced, but rather a mishap chargeable to the person who brings them together. In this case, try to think of something besides "I didn't catch the name;" that is so cut and dried. Say rather, "I'm sorry, but I didn't understand Mrs. A. when she presented me." Forgetting a name in the act of introducing someone is a much more grievous failure; it speaks for your own social unaccustomedness, and is a poor compliment to the person you introduce. Do not attempt an introduction unless you are sure of your names.
One of the society woman's most necessary accomplishments is the ability to remember names and fit them to the individual to whom they belong. It is an art she should sedulously cultivate.
It is not etiquette, but misplaced politeness, to perform what may be termed casual introductions--as in accidental encounters. Never introduce on the street, unless your acquaintance is to join you. Don't introduce in a street car or any public conveyance. In "our best society"--so-called--it is not considered good form to introduce people in church. People do not go to church for social purposes. In village neighborhoods and the less fashionable city churches, this rule is often violated in the vestibule, where acquaintances linger to greet each other and introductions are not infrequent. But in the body of the church--the space set apart for purposes of worship--an introduction is wholly out of place.
Try to remember family relationships and feuds, that you may not attempt to introduce those at enmity with each other. A woman once introduced, at a crowded function, two sisters who had not recognized each other for years, and afterwards exulted in having "made them speak." Their manners were far superior to hers.

In Company
At a reception or dinner-party it is perfectly proper for those who have never been introduced to converse with each other without such formality. The roof under which they meet confers the privilege. Indeed, it is often the greatest kindness to speak to a shy person or one who evidently has few acquaintances present, relieving his embarrassment and putting him at ease. Not to reply courteously to such overtures is great rudeness. The story is told of a prominent society woman who addressed a stranger at such a function and actually received no reply. Later, the hostess brought up the strange person and introduced her. Then she explained that, not having been properly introduced, she felt she could not respond. The society woman quietly remarked, "Oh, was that the trouble? I thought you were deaf and dumb."
The late H. C. Bunner and the more recently deceased T. B. Aldrich cherished an aversion for each other. They were not acquainted, but disliked each other on general principles, both being engaged in literary work. They happened to meet at an entertainment where Bunner was in the house of his friends and Aldrich an outsider. Bun¬ner's native kindliness and courtesy made it impossible for him to see anyone uncomfortable in a friend's house. He introduced himself, carried Aldrich to his host's "den," and over a cigar and a glass of "Scotch" began a friendship that was ended only by death.

School Girls' Etiquette
Etiquette is not so formal among school girls, though its form remains the same. Propinquity in classes, and the being thrown together by mutual aims and interests, excuses in¬formal friendliness. In some women's colleges there are what may be termed "unwritten laws"--school traditions--never set down in books but handed on from class to class. Thus a member of a lower class would not take precedence of a Senior, either on entering or leaving a room, or at table. She would introduce her friends, even her parents, to the Senior and to any member of the Faculty instead of the Senior to them. These little matters of punctilio have to be learned by observation, or by the grace of some friendly classmate who happens to be conversant with them.


MANNERS AND SOCIAL CUSTOMS FOR OUR GREAT MIDDLE CLASS
AS WELL AS OUR BEST SOCIETY
Correspondence, Cards and Introductions, Dress for Different Occasions, Weddings, Christenings, Funerals, Etc., Social Functions, Dinners, Luncheons.
Gifts, "Showers," Calls, and Hundreds of Other Essential Subjects so Vital to Culture and Refinement of Men, Women, School-Girls and Boys at Home and in Public.
By MRS. ELIZABETH JOHNSTONE

Excerpt from the book:
MOTHER'S'  REMEDIES
Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers of the United States and Canada.
By DR. T. J. RITTER
PUBLISHED BY G.H. FOOTE  PUB. CO. DETROIT MICH 1921
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