TO PEOPLE IN THE LAND OF GUSTAVE EIFFEL, French manners and etiquette has been a close part of their lives since days of the Renaissance and Musketeers of King Louis XIII. It was when trustworthy men had integrity and they were known to act on a set of human standards, values, and principles of a higher order.
When visiting France, any man should well learn that his grooming and how he dresses, his demeanor and deportment, and what comes out of his mouth are billboards giving French folks a first glance at what is inside a man expected to have French manners, etiquette, and qualities like a Musketeer of King Louis XIII.
Should he remain the man of integrity, poise, good manners, and an exquisite etiquette, his folks back home will notice that he has cultivated himself; and one fine girl of matching qualities will regard him as a well-thought-of man like a Musketeer of King Louis XIII.
getting all dressed up
» French people enormously value taste and quality. It is why the way a gentleman dresses is important to them. However, his clothing is not a way to show how fat his wallet is; but to show his taste. A jacket tailored to the body showing his shirt's cuffs with cuff-links or a poet shirt when taking a woman to a private place are good examples.
» It is important to be dressed for the occasion. Do not wear shorts, polo shirt, and sun glasses if invited to an evening party. Likewise, avoid to over-dress the person or group you are meeting with.
» In Perfume Country, cologne is expected; but do not pour in half a bottle. A scent of it is all that is needed. A clean shave, a well-trimmed hair, and clean and short finger-nails are mandatory. If there is a beard or moustache, they must be well-trimmed at all times.
meeting with either a group or a woman
» When visiting France, it is vital that you be introduced by someone. You then refer to everyone with a title followed by last name. French manners and etiquette mandate for you to not change that treatment until you are indicated that you may do so. Should you not know the marital status of a woman, her title is always Mademoiselle.
» When you meet with a group again, French manners and etiquette makes it obligatory for you to shake hands with each of them as you make eye-contact. When leaving, you never say 'good bye everyone.' Instead, you approach each person, make eye-contact, and shake hands [Except with a woman] as you express how pleased you were to meet him or her.
» French manners expect you to show kindness and respect by allowing her ~or others in a group~ to talk without interrupting. French etiquette mandate that the conversation should never be the prevailing monologue of one person. Otherwise, you are telling her ~or others in the group~ 'shut up. it is all about me.'
» In a conversation, a gentleman is amenable and he speaks intelligently. It is advisable to not talk about politics, religion, or personal economy; and to refrain from statements on French matters unless you are knowledgeable.
» French folks find loudness distasteful, rude, and flaunt disrespect. It incommodes and disturbs others. Since these folks' nature is to be passionate, you may be passionate when talking; but do so tastefully and do not be loud !
meeting with a woman you have been introduced to before
» It is tolerable for her to arrive five to ten minutes late. A gentleman is viewed to have a trustworthy word, and he unfaltering arrives as promised. Same punctuality applies meeting with a group.
» It is appropriate to shake hands as you use an expression similar to 'je suis heureux de vous rencontrer' [I am pleased to find you again]. You may hold her hand with both your hands ~or not~ but do not crash her bones, or shake her hands like a maniac.
» The French woman will display her taste in the way she dresses, the look of her skin, her hair style, and her jewelry or fine Bijouterie. French manners and etiquette dictate that it is improper to compliment her appearance. When visiting France, do not get personal !
» If you take her to a sidewalk café, you denote kindness by pulling the chair at the table to facilitate her sitting down. Likewise, if you unlock a car's door, you may hold it open for her to enter the vehicle. However, you must do so every time. Otherwise, your message is that you are kind only at the beginning.
» If you take her to a bistro, the French use knives and forks with almost surgical precision. Consequently, do not use your fingers to eat a leg of chicken or to eat meat off pork chops. These folks are refined enough as to eat fruit with knives and forks. Do not take any action involving your fingers with food !
» It is quite acceptable and quite common to have one intense eye-contact with a woman. You show that you have genuine interest by not ignoring her. It is not intended for you to believe that she has an interest in you. On the other hand, to make eye-contact and to look away ~or to disgracefully take a call on a cell-phone or to yawn like a rhino~ is how she will feel offended.
» Avoid questions commonly accepted in other societies such as 'what do you do for a living?,' or 'do they pay well?,' or 'where do you live?,' or 'do you have your own car?' Do not get personal when visiting France !
» After you met with a woman more than twice ~and you know that you are accepted~ you may hold her hand up and kiss it as long as you feel confident doing it naturally. You may do it when you meet with her, or before ending the evening.
» Give her one heart-warming moment swiftly ~but momentarily~ walking away from her to a close by Flower Shop, and bring her a small flower.
» Assuming it is appropriate for a particular woman to contact you in the future, it is well-accepted if you present her with a card tastefully designed for matters of personal nature displaying your information. It is not a business card !
» Should you arrange to meet with her again, you may send flowers before or after the next encounter; but do not bring flowers or a bulky item that she must carry constantly !
something important to keep in mind at all times is that since most
french people have high standards, values, principles, and they act
on their etiquette, they are reluctant to be involved with folks
who do not possess high standards, values, and principles.
fine manners and etiquette is 'not' new to french people,
and they want to preserve what they have for centuries.
About Author Mr. George Josserme
This author wrote articles meant and intended to make a visitor's trips to France enjoyable and productive. The article below is another one of them.