What are good manners?

What are good manners - thank youAccording to the Oxford Dictionary the definition of good manners is “Polite or well-bred social behaviour”.

Since I moved to London manners is something that I’ve become extremely aware of. Living in a very big city where you encounter people from all over the world makes you aware of many different cultures and people’s behaviours. I sometimes wonder if some people think that manners are out of date or perhaps they have never been taught what good manners are. This got me thinking about why there is such a thing as manners and where does it come from.

What is the purpose of good manners?

Without rules in society I feel that people don’t know how to behave and so manners give people a social guideline on how to act appropriately. Manners improve interactions and relationships between people where there is a sense of respect and consideration for each other.

Where do good manners come from?

I believe good manners start at home and that it’s up the parents to teach children what good manners are. I don’t have children (besides for my furbabies who happen to be disciplined too 😉 ) but I can say that my parents taught me about manners. Children pick up behaviours from their parents from a young age and imitate how their parents behave. Parents that lead by example when children are young will in turn teach them about good manners. It also teaches children about respect, consideration for others and kindness which will make them better people.

What manners?

In my opinion this is a list of some behaviours considered as good manners:

  • Say please, thank you and excuse me
  • Say hello and goodbye
  • Be polite in how you greet people
  • Acknowledge people by their name
  • Holding doors open for other people
  • Respect people’s personal space and their belongings
  • Giving up your seat on public transport for those that need it more than you for example pregnant ladies, old people or people that can’t stand
  • Use your phone in appropriate situations. Don’t sit on your phone while at the dinner table.
  • Don’t chew with your mouth open
  • Offering someone help when they need it
  • Sending thank you notes or thank you messages in appreciation or acknowledgement of receiving something or being invited somewhere

In a previous post about “Mental prep on moving to the UK” I mentioned manners and I think that the important thing to remember is not to lose your manners when living in a very big city where you constantly encounter many people.

Manners cost nothing. It marks someone as a civilized and cultured member of society and it makes encounters with surrounding people much more pleasant so why not start practising good manners? 😉

Read this interesting article I found on manners in different environments if you’d like to hear more: http://etiquette.about.com/od/Manners/a/What-Is-Etiquette-And-Why-Is-It-Important.htm

What is your opinion of manners? Do you think it’s an old fashioned concept? Do you think it’s important? I’d love to hear your comments.

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6 Comments

  1. 23rd June 2016 / 6:42 AM

    Thank you. I think the world would be a better place if we could just be polite to one another. Well-written.

    • 23rd June 2016 / 7:07 AM

      Hi Mel, thank you for commenting and yes I completely agree! 🙂

  2. 23rd June 2016 / 10:24 AM

    Awesome post. I usually do a gratitude list atleast twice a week to help me with this. Even if its the same list each time, it really helps me remember what I have to be thankful for when all I want to do is complain sometimes.
    Great points, I will focus on the ones I don’t do completely well yet like being on the phone at dinner haha.

    • 23rd June 2016 / 12:04 PM

      Hahahaha, thanks. Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  3. 24th June 2016 / 9:29 AM

    Manners show respect! I teach this to my students on a daily basis! It has to be taught and modelled by us all! Enlightening and a great read! Thx!

    • 24th June 2016 / 9:34 AM

      Yes teachers are good role models to follow too! Thanks for reading!

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