National Etiquette Week (May 14-18) seemed the perfect time to take a look at how Minnesotans stack up on the politeness meter.
Local business etiquette expert Liz Taylor said some behavior here is “less than graceful.”
“Manners aren’t about being stuffy. They’re about making people more respectful,” said the Wayzata resident and business advisor of Taylor made some tactful suggestions to help us clean up our act.

The flu is no excuse for bad manners. Minnesotans feel they have to go to work even when they’re sick. Go home when not feeling well. Until then, cough or sneeze into a sleeve, not the hand.

Why are we so afraid of commitment? A lot of Minnesotans fail to show up to social functions after making a commitment to show. Or they fail to RSVP. The worst offenders are those who cancel when a more desirable invitation comes along. “Show up if you said you will,” Taylor said.

The more the merrier, but only if they’re invited. Check the names on an invitation before deciding to bring your posse. If a wedding invitation is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, it’s not OK to bring the kids or friends.

Clip those social butterfly wings. Texting when you’re in a conversation is a blatant interruption, whether it’s with one person or in a group. “It makes the other people in the conversation feel less important. Check your phone in private,” Taylor admonished.

For more free tips, check Taylor’s blog posts at