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‘I wouldn’t write a book on etiquette if common sense were common’

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Life coach and social media influencer, Etienying Akpanusong, has said she wouldn’t have written a book on etiquette if common sense were common, after all. Akpanusong spoke at a virtual ‘book taste’ event held to mark her 33rd birthday and announced her upcoming publication, My Etiquette and I. Abuja-based theatre practitioner, Om’Oba Jerry Adesewo, anchored the event.

The author, who equated etiquette with good manners, said the latter requires people to be considerate of others and desist from actions, which could hurt them. Common sense, she noted, should guide people’s social manners, adding, “etiquette is commonsensical, but I wouldn’t write a book on etiquette if common sense were common as it should be.”

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Beyond helping people cultivate good manners, etiquette or refinement, she said, opens doors and opportunities for people that they could only imagine. However, to take advantage of those opportunities, she said one must prepare for it, as the wrong word, posture or action could rob one of such opportunities.

While addressing the loss of etiquette among today’s youths, the author highlighted the evolving times as a key factor.

According to Akpanusong, “Parents of today are not in charge of their children as they used to be in the past decade or so. Parents seem to be so busy these days that they do not have the time to invest and spend with their children, before they get to that age where they can’t be influenced. My Etiquette and I is a manual that will help prepare us to set ourselves up for opportunities when they present themselves.”

Written in three years, the 120-page hardcover book is targeted at teenagers, young adults and adults. Comprised of three chapters, which focus on ‘Formal Protocols’, ‘General Etiquette’ and ‘Social Skills’, the book offers tips on good conduct, be it in informal or formal setting.

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The author, in cognisance of the fact that etiquette differs from one culture to another globally, further provides tips on how to adapt in such circumstances.

Akpanusong’s rise to an etiquette life coach began during her days as a National Youth Service Corps NYSC member. Often shocked and put-off by displays of bad manners, she took the bull by the horns by running etiquette coaching classes as her PET project during the NYSC programme, where she trained over 500 youths.

“Etiquette training is something I cannot do alone,” she said. “That’s why I have written the book. It is a manual that will help us maneuver our way through the world.”

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Etienying Akpanusong
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