Myth, Busted: Table Manners Are A Thing Of The Past

Did you know that turkey doesn’t actually make you sleepy? While many blame their post-Thanksgiving naps on the tryptophan, your dip in energy levels actually come from the large amount of carbs eaten during your meal (think: mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie).

This myth is just one of the many spoonfed to you every Thanksgiving by at least one of your family members (you know who you are!).

But here’s another myth many of us hold tighter than our grip on the turkey leg: that table manners are no longer relevant.

Well, we here at Real Girls FART beg to differ.


Fact: Table manners are alive and totally necessary


But the reality is that these polite routines aren’t exactly second nature, and with a little practice, we can teach our kids (and ourselves) the difference between fact and fiction.

So, without further ado, let’s refresh ourselves on those notorious p’s and q’s—let’s learn some not-so-basic table manners!


13 Thanksgiving Table Manners To Learn Now (And Later!)

Save these tips and tricks for later, they’ll come in handy if you ever forget! Here are 13 manner must-haves every person—young or old—should know.


1. Don’t talk with your mouth full.

No one wants to see what turkey, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole look like combined in your mouth. Yuck!


2. Never reach across anyone’s plate.

We don’t want to risk any hair or other food accidentally topping off their meal! Plus, we’d hate to interrupt their food-to-mouth flow, right?


3. If someone asks you to pass the gravy, do NOT serve yourself first.

This one is a given. They have first dibs—no exceptions.


4. Keep your elbows off the table.

This rule has one exception: when dinner is over, plates have been cleared and everyone’s just hanging out. Only then are elbows free game!


5. Place your napkin on your lap.

This manner keeps your pants or dress clean, but also saves any spills from occuring on your host’s beautiful floors and carpets. Disaster avoided!


6. Wait to eat until everyone else is served.

This one’s confusing, but technically you only have to wait for three people to be served in a larger group. However, a good rule of thumb is to simply wait until those who haven’t been served give you permission to eat.


7. Save your inappropriate jokes, stories and bodily functions after dinner.

Farting and burping included (yes, we know Real Girls FART is telling you NOT to fart, but only at the dinner table—we promise!).


8. Bring your food to your mouth, not the other way around.

Sit up straight and bring your fork or spoon to your mouth, not your mouth to your food!


9. Use your indoor voice, and wait until it is your turn to speak.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year when family comes together to celebrate each other—some even come from out of town! But more people = more conversations. Which means A LOT of talking. Wait until it’s your turn to speak, and when you do speak, make sure you’re not shouting. Other people are trying to talk, too!


10. No technology at the table!

Phone at the table? Does not compute. Try this: empty a basket from around the house, or purchase an inexpensive one before the big day. Have everyone silence their phones and then put them in the basket before dinner. They can have theirs back after everyone is finished with their meal.


11. Make conversation a MUST.

Because that’s the point of dinner together right?


12. Show your gratitude: say thank you to the cook and host of your meal.

A lot of love and hard work goes into making Thanksgiving special. Be sure to show your gratitude for those who made this happen.


13. Whoever cooks the meal doesn’t clean.

If you didn’t cook the meal, offer to clean the kitchen—clear the table, wash the dishes and wipe the countertops!


Did we miss anything on this list? Leave a comment below!

Achea Redd

Achea Redd

about the author

Achea Redd is a mental health advocate, author of “Be Free Be You” and founder of Real Girls F.A.R.T. — a space to empower and equip women with the necessary tools to use their voices and become their best, most authentic selves.

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