How should people behave? What would a maxim be for appropriate conduct? Try to make those around you feel as comfortable as possible. Try to ignore apparent slights. Remember: everyone is totally freaked out all the time.
What constitutes bad manners? Getting so caught up in your own social discomfort that you fail to attend to the comfort of others.
David Levine’s advice in “I like your work: art and etiquette.”
As someone who struggles with social situations, I’m always happy to be reminded that it’s not about me. I mean, it is—we have some need, either to feel good or achieve a goal—but the trick is to delay fulfilling and instead tend to the other person. Not only is it a good way to forget your own discomfort, it’s also kind, and a lot more fun.