We've all had the experience of a stranger bumping painfully into us on the street and then coolly walking away without a word. Or someone rudely interrupting us when we are in the midst of a conversation. Of a, friend or family member who belches loudly during a meal or sneezes and coughs right into our face. Or releases a huge yawn bang in the middle of what we think is an interesting anecdote. Yes, these little things are irritating, both when we have them done to us or when we subject others to them!
Three short and sweet words can remedy the situation in a twinkling: Please excuse me! Whenever a person sneezes, coughs or yawns, he or she should say these words, as an apology for disturbing or distracting others in the vicinity.
If you accidentally bump into someone, step on someone's toe or jog somebody's hand or elbow, you must soften the harm done, by immediately saying either "Sorry" or "Please excuse me". If you become defensive instead and try to prove that you did nothing wrong, then it will lead to an unnecessary quarrel and bad feeling all around.
The politest way of interrupting two people in conversation is to excuse yourself. Butting in rudely will annoy them. Etiquette demands that you wait at the table till everyone finishes a meal. If you have to leave, then you must excuse yourself. Never cut across a room when someone is talking to others, or walk through a game going on in a tennis or badminton court or pass by the front of the stage during a performance. Always walk across from behind the scene of action.
Remember the three words even when you request the time or directions from passers-by. Then they'll be more than willing to oblige!