In this episode, we will discuss the importance of having good manners and etiquette and their importance in being a happy, successful human being.
Manners, in my humble opinion, have nothing to do with your level of socioeconomic status but simply how you were raised and influenced by your parents and others around you. You can be rich and have no manners and etiquette or poor with the best manners and etiquette or vice versa.
Manners are something used every day to make a good impression on others and to feel good about oneself. No matter where you are – at home, work, or with friends – practicing good manners is important. … Being polite and courteous means considering how others are feeling.
It helps us show respect and consideration to others and makes others glad that we are with them. Without proper manners and etiquette, the customs of polite society would soon disappear and we would act more like animals and less like people.
Sadly, there is a good chance that those of you listening today will experience some form of rudeness today.
Pier Forni, the author of Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct has a great quote that exemplifies the importance of manners and etiquette:
“The rules of good manners are the traffic lights of human interaction. They make it so that we don’t crash into one another in everyday behavior.”
Here are examples of rude behavior:
- Disrespecting the elderly in any form.
- Not returning the grocery cart to its corral; I love returning to my car and having a cart left next to my passenger door.
- Being late without a good reason and thinking about it.
- Using your cell phone in the movie theatre.
- Not returning phone calls or emails in a timely manner.
- Parents who assume store employees or restaurant servers are there to babysit or clean up after their children.
- Aggressive drivers who weave in and out of traffic, cut you off or text while driving—and then swear at you if you point it out.
- People who don’t know how to say “Thank you.” How many times have you held the door for someone without any acknowledgement? Not only is this rude, it’s also a sign of stupidity and arrogance. For some reason, certain people feel it’s beneath them to hold the door open for another or to even recognize that there’s someone there, letting the door hit the next person as it closes.
- People who litter, throw trash from their car window, leave the office break room or restroom a mess, and drop a used cigarette wherever they walk.
Manners represent your inner self, whereas etiquette is what and how you portray yourself to the public. One represents your way of acting, and the other is how you treat others. They touch every aspect of our lives. and have been ingrained in our minds since we were children.
The way you behave and conduct yourself mirrors your personality. Your eye-contact, the way you greet others, and most importantly, your smile, are the first things people will notice about you. Manners define your
character and influence your attitude as well as the way you treat other people, be it your superiors, peers, or inferiors. The Golden Rule states, ‘Treat others the way you want them to treat you.’ Good manners and etiquette help you earn respect. Rude and offensive behavior does not go down well with anyone. And as they say, ‘respect given is respect earned’. So, if you treat others with respect and acknowledge them, you are most likely to be respected, trusted, and cared for.
Here are some closing thoughts on manners and etiquette:
- Manners and etiquette charm your personality. People you meet love who you are and make it a point to remember you.
- They make relationships smoother – Good manners teach you to be polite. Even if someone behaves rudely with you, your manners and etiquette will stop you from over-reacting. You have better control over your emotions. Hence, you teach people how to treat and interact with you. These manners and etiquette will govern the way you act and react to situations in your life. People will think highly of you, and it will make your relationships easier.
- They increase your confidence – Practicing good manners makes you more confident and increases awareness of your surroundings. They act as a magnet and draw people towards you. Being sympathetic towards others, and not making fun of the weaknesses or deformities of others will take you a long way in life. Your attitude and confidence will determine the way you look at things and react to particular situations. These come from the practice of good manners and etiquette, which are the stepping stones of success in life.
- They keep you motivated and happy – Manners, etiquette, wisdom, virtue, knowledge, and intelligence are accepted and appreciated universally. Being kind and generous towards other people, and maintaining a calm and composed stature even in bad situations, helps earn respect. It is impressive behavior that will please others and help gain respect. Good manners and etiquette give constant happiness to your own self, and help gain self-respect. They constantly keep you motivated.
- They Give You Strength to Deal with Failure – Failure is what many are unable to digest easily, be it on the personal or professional front. Good manners and etiquette gives you the strength to accept any kind of failure. It keeps you positively motivated to face rough weather. It is never easy to accept defeat or face the struggles in life. There are situations which test your patience, or try to bring you down. However, your manners and their positive attributes will help maintain your posture and turn the tide in your favor.
Remember, everyone observes you and in today’s world you represent yourself, your family, community and your country. They are crucial in maintaining your family, social, and professional circle. Besides, your demeanor will pave the way for living a magnificent life.