Etiquette Daily

Making Introductions: The basics for introduction order

July 12, 2018 0 Comments

Q: Please tell me the proper way to introduce one to another. Is it Mrs. Important I want you to meet Mr. unimportant? That is woman to a man, older woman to another woman or man, older man to younger man?

A: There are several different components to a making a good introduction. Looking people in the eye, speaking clearly, and using forms of address that everyone is comfortable with will give you a base line that should get you through most situations.

Your question specifically addresses the order of the introduction. You have the basic concept correct in the example given (Mrs. Important, I would like you to meet Mr. Unimportant.) although the way you phrase it as a “rule” is inverted.  Traditionally, the person who is named first is being shown a degree of respect or deference based on seniority or prominence and is having the introduction made to them. In most circumstances, these four basic guidelines will see you through:

  1. A younger person is introduced to an older person. The older person’s name is stated first. (“Aunt Ruth, I want you to meet my roommate, Mimi Jackson. Mimi, this is my aunt, Mrs. Cox”)
  2. A person of high rank or special prominence is named first and receives the introduction. The lesser rank is introduced to them. (“Bishop Gordon, may I present my husband John?”)
  3. When introducing family members to others, the other person’s name is generally said first if the people being introduced are of roughly the same age and rank.
  4. Traditionally in social situations, men are introduced to women.

people meeting

July 13, 2018