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Conducting Yourself in a Social / Family Function

Imagine yourself in a wedding celebration. You will realise there are people coming from various races, backgrounds and cultures. They dress differently and may prefer to communicate in a different language. All these people carry their values wherever they go. Generally how they portray themselves will give us a rough idea of who they are and the type of person they may be.

As much as you want to be your true self wherever you are, you have to abide by some norms when you are attending a function whether it is a family or social function. It is important because, how you behave and conduct yourself will give an idea about your background, you family and your circle of friends.

In a social or family function, you may want to know what the function is all about. It may be a happy event celebrating birthdays, promotion, reunions or it may be a sad event because somebody is leaving home or someone dear has died. It is also important to know who attends the function. This is important to help you decide on certain issues.

  1. The types of clothing you will put on. You may want to decide to be formally dressed or otherwise. You definitely do not want to be the centre of attention when you wear inappropriately for the functions you are attending, For example, if you are a Muslim girl attending a religious ceremony, it will not be appropriate putting on skirts or shorts.
  2. How long you want to stay for the function. In a close family function it may not be awkward for you to stay till the end but not when it is your friends close family function. It may be appropriate for you to go back early and allow your friend to mingle with his/her family members.
  3. Communication. Communicating appropriately is important especially with someone you have just met and with someone older. You may want to address them correctly and politely and introduce yourself before starting a conversation. Communication is a two way thing. Do not monopoly monopolise the conversation. You must also learn to be a good listener. If the topic of discussion is not familiar to you, apologise and say so. You will appear rude if you show no interest in the conversation. Also be aware of how loud your voice is.
  4. Celebrate the function appropriately. You may bring gifts for the host or at least thank them for inviting you to the function. Or you may want to express your condolences.
  5. Respect Treat others as how you want others to treat you. As with communication, which is a two way thing, respect is also a two way process. You do not demand respect but rather earn it by respecting others. You may express respect by being polite and friendly to the hosts and other guests and offer a hand when help is needed.
  6. Have good table manners.  Reach for the food nearest to you first if food is served. In a buffet meal, take the food you want to eat in appropriate amounts.
  7. Mingle with everybody. What this means is that you do not just mix around with your own group. Acknowledge the presence of others with a simple friendly smile

Behave well wherever you go as it not only reflects on who you are but also the image of your family.

Last Reviewed : 9 December 2014
Writer : Dr. Salmah bte. Nordin
Accreditor : Datin Dr. Sheila Marimuthu