Woman eating with her elbow on the table
Elbows Should Be On The Table In Modern Day Dining Etiquette
Rules of etiquette aren't etched in stone, and as times change, previous taboos, like resting elbows on the table, can become socially acceptable or even encouraged.
In the past, elbows have been banned from the tabletop because they may topple rickety tables, encourage aggression or slouching, or cause unwanted food stains.
However, as time has passed, the elbows on the table rule has been reevaluated simply because it seems arbitrary and excessive.
While elbows on the table may have previously been considered aggressive, today, it's more likely seen as positive due to body language considerations.
The posture tends to emphasize one's interest in what others are saying — especially when you’re leaning in their direction — and can lead to a rapport between diners.
For many etiquette experts, elbows should remain at one's side when food is being served or is on the table, but during after-dinner conversations, elbows are fine.
However, the best way to gauge appropriate manners is to take cues from your host to ensure you're being a good dinner guest.