Myka Meier didn’t invent the adage “throw kindness like confetti,” but she’s happy to say it often.
Kindness, she said, is the essence of etiquette, which is what this Florida native shares across the globe.
Myka, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, based in Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel, is an international “go-to” authority on etiquette. She was trained by a former member of The Royal Household of Queen Elizabeth and other top institutions.
(ABOVE: Beaumont Etiquette offers classes for all ages. Courtesy photo)
A national tour of the firm’s popular “Finishing Program,” stops in Dallas, Sept. 21-22 at the Fairmont. The syllabus has classes for adults, business professionals, teens, and children, including “The Duchess Effect,” sharing all the style, poise, and grace expected of a future princess.
“All these rules,” Myka explained, “have been put in place to show respect to all those around us, whether it’s to a home we visit, or a church, or at a wedding.
“Thinking about kindness in any situation is all about making other people feel good. That’s why I like to say ‘throw kindness like confetti.’ ”
Such elaborate traditions include choosing the right fork at a gorgeous table setting or the proper curtsey. They got lots of media attention during the wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex.
Even with minimal chances of marrying a royal, Dallas women are eager to learn British etiquette. “The Duchess Effect” is coming to Dallas by popular demand—the only Texas city on tour to host it, Myka said.
She explained levels of etiquette vary among cultures. British customs, especially for dining and interpersonal communications, are the most formal, followed by Continental European, a bit less strict.
“American etiquette is probably the most casual or informal,” Myka said. “But if you live in Dallas and are traveling to Paris or London, you need to know etiquette in terms of showing respect to the country you’re in.”
Children as young as 2 can begin learning these skills at home like saying a simple “thank you,” Myka said. Her classes start at age 5, teaching table manners with light pastries and lemonade.
Classes for teens include do’s and don’ts for dating in the digital age like the bad form of ignoring the texts of someone interested in you.
“‘Ghosting’ is never a kind gesture,” Myka said. “Instead, say, ‘It was very nice to meet you. Unfortunately, I didn’t see chemistry, but thank you.’ You never want to burn a bridge or make someone feel bad. If it happened to you, you know how horrible it is.”
Myka added that text messages and emails don’t convey proper social skills like using a voice correctly, eye contact, or the appropriate handshake.
“We put it all back in place,” she said. “After all, your handshake is your personal signature.
“As society changes, etiquette needs to evolve with it. Before we didn’t include dating or email etiquette, but now it’s very important. So I think etiquette is never outdated.
“Being kind should never be out of style.”
Mark Your Calendars:
WHAT: The Finishing Program National Tour presented by Beaumont Etiquette
WHEN: Various courses offered Sept. 21-22
WHERE: Fairmount Dallas, 1717 N Akard St.
COST: $125 per course