Is this the proper way for introductions?

by Evander J. Buxton
(New Orleans, LA)

Hello, and thank you for taking my question.

My name is Evander, and I am sixteen years of age. I was raised in a very formal family, and recently began attending a boarding school in New Orleans. I was rather perturbed by some of their manners in means of introductions, and was informed that my family's habits aren't used anymore and should not be used.

My family's practice is to receive introductions through a third party. Therefore, I would never introduce myself to one of my father's colleagues, but rather have my father introduce me as he knows the gentleman and I do not. I have awkwardly waited for introductions to be made in a group setting when I don't know certain individuals, eventually to be told I should introduce myself first.

My question is, which is correct, or are both? My family has a plethora of mannerisms that have been passed down generation for generation, but I am concerned they are not correct.

Thank you very much.


E. Buxton

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Introductions and Etiquette
by: Ms P Etiquette

Hello Evander,

Thank you for your interesting and provocative question regarding formal etiquette versus casual good manners. This is our speciality at Practical Etiquette.

While third party introductions are the most formal and acceptable, our culture has moved into a more casual form of introductions. Today, we call it "networking" when two strangers meet and introduce themselves without an assistance. Your family's tradition of correct etiquette is still an excellent guide, but at your age in certain circumstances I suggest you remain polite and flexible.

Wishing you success in your new school environment,

Ms Practical Etiquette

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