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Episode 16: Modern Day Etiquette “Dos” and “Don’ts” with Thomas P. Farley, "Mister Manners"










Brief summary of show:


In this week’s episode, I sat down with my go-to on all things etiquette, Thomas P. Farley, Mister Manners, who is America’s trusted etiquette expert.

A keynote speaker, workshop leader, syndicated columnist and TV commentator, he inspires audiences of all types to master essential communication strategies for success in the workplace—and in life.

We talk about how etiquette has evolved over the years, and if it’s still important to write hand-written thank you notes.



Hear more of this, and:

  • What modern etiquette is

  • Examples of types of etiquette that have changed and are acceptable

  • Online etiquette and manners

  • Etiquette changes due to the pandemic


Connect with Thomas

  • On Instagram

  • On Facebook

  • On Twitter

  • On LinkedIn

  • Website

  • Listen to the What Manners Most Podcast


Connect with Me

Podcast Highlights:



Episode 16 - Thomas Farley and Natalie Tysdal

Do you write thank you cards? Do you write, thank you emails? Do your kids write thank yous when they get birthday presents? Well, that's just one of the many forms of etiquette or manners that I grew up learning was important to do. It seems like today, modern etiquette and manner, well, It's just different.

[00:00:18] So here's my question. Think about this. Does it really mean. Do we need to have old fashioned manners. And what is etiquette? What does it mean? And I'm not just talking about thank yous, but lots of stuff in life, holding doors, shaking, hands, looking people in the eyes. So I went to someone who I've talked to over the years.

[00:00:36] I think he has the perfect take on this. And I think you're going to really like this conversation on etiquette and manners for you, for your family, even in the work environment. This is Mr. Manners, Thomas Farley.

[00:00:48] Natalie: [00:00:48] Thomas Farley, Mr. Manners, joining me now all about etiquette today, Thomas. Thanks so much for coming on.

[00:00:55] Thomas: [00:00:55] Thank you for having me, Natalie. It's my pleasure.

[00:00:58] Natalie: [00:00:58] So I'm super interested in hearing how you got into this very specific, very niche area of etiquette.

[00:01:08] Thomas: [00:01:08] Yes. Well, I will tell you, I was not a four year old who was wearing bow ties, dreaming about one day becoming known as Mr.

[00:01:16] Manners. Uh, it was a somewhat later development, although manners and etiquette were always very important to me as a young child. They were instilled in me by both my parents. I was surrounded by aunts and uncles who were school teachers. So things like writing, thank you. Notes, things like the pleases and thank yous, uh, were very much a part of my upbringing.

[00:01:37] I am also a Catholic school kid, from K through 12. So I wore a neck tie for most of my formative years. So I think all of those things combined. Uh, but it wasn't really, until I became an editor at 10, a country magazine where I'm the header inherited a column called social graces. And that column took a very fresh look at issues of contemporary etiquette and editing the column, which ultimately became a book was really the on-ramp for me becoming a little bit more of a public persona in this realm of modern manners and etiquette, which I truly relish.

[00:02:13] Natalie: [00:02:13] Today, there is a form of modern contemporary etiquette versus the old fashion. I mean, a lot of us think of having good manners and setting up straight and dressing appropriate.

[00:02:23] We think of that as a little bit old. I don't, but my kids think it's very, yeah. Old fashion. Is there a new form of manners and etiquette that we need to.

[00:02:34] Thomas: [00:02:34] It's such a great question. So I think without a doubt, some of the formality that we often associated with etiquette in years, past or decades, past, or even centuries past that has largely dissipated.

[00:02:47] If you look at a young couples getting married today, picking out what they want to get this gifts for their wedding. Well, it's likely they want some kind of a contribution toward their honeymoon fund or their house. They're not picking out China. They're not picking out crystal. Yes. There are some, couples that still appreciate that.

[00:03:04] But by and large, we've moved away from a lot of the formality that's associated with the word etiquette. And I want to just clarify if your listeners that we think of etiquette as being something that's just super stuffy and old fashioned and boring. So etiquette. Comes from the French word for tickets.

[00:03:23] And if you think of etiquette as being your tickets to getting what it is you want out of any interaction that I think is a very modern way of looking at what this is all about. So yes, I think, you know, although we see thank you notes, being written with less frequency, we see people dressing for dinner with less frequency.