Social Etiquette and Good Manners/joining a private club


Hi Cynthia,

I have a friend who is a member of a private club in my city. Many members of the club are part of the upper class and elite or our area, including business leaders and politicians. Membership is by invitation only. At the club that have networking functions, lunches and dinners etc.

My friend has invited me to have drinks at the club as a guest.

My question is whether there is anything I can do within the bounds of etiquette to encourage my friend to invite me more often to this club and eventually join - or is it a case of "come what may"?

Many thanks


Hi David:

You have a nice friend who has the belief that you might be comfortable in his club and that's why you have been invited.  What you may not know is that every club is looking for new membership that they feel would be an asset to the group. Tell your friend that you have been looking for a club to belong to so that you can socialize with clients and friends and can get to know a professional group of people better.  Ask if his club has membership drives at any particular time of year because you would be interested in learning about them.  

I know this because I belong to the University Club of Washington, DC that has similar membership.  I got invited to lunch by one of the members and expressed an interest in joining and it only took a month before I was a member.  Be proactive.  But... don't gush about the other members or how elite it is.  Simply state that you have been looking for a place like the club to get involved and get to know other professionals.

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

Past/Present Clients
World Bank, United Nations,US Dept. of State, US. Dept. of the Army, Pentagon, Barclays Global Investors,Accenture,Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, The White House, Dept. of State, AT&T,Bank of America,American Association of Clinical Pharmacies,Ritz Carlton Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels,Starwood Hotels,and many more.

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