In the past manners were often drilled into children by their parents and then by teachers and as one grew into an adult; it would then have typically become a habit to have manners and the need to be reminded would not be as necessary.
However, in the modern day world this process doesn’t seem to be as consistent and this has resulted in manners often becoming the exception as opposed to the rule that they once were.
This is not to say that before everyone had manners and now they don’t; this would surely be an inappropriate position to take. And due to manners being enforced so intensely many years ago, it is probably only natural that society has gone to the other extreme and become more permissive. Something that is true not only for manners, but also for many other things in life.
Perhaps at one point, to have manners felt like being controlled, due to how they were enforced. And not to have them is now a sign of being liberated from such control.
Do They Matter?
So this then leads to the question of: are manners important? I think that in order answer this; we only need to reflect on how it feels to experience good manners and to experience bad manners.
The other part of this experience is; how does one feel when they forget to use their manners and how are others made to feel as a consequence. It is clear that there are many sides to consider here.
And yet what is clear is that a lasting impression will often be made as a result of whether one uses manners or not or if the person we are communicating with uses them or does not.
So before we go into the above a little deeper, let’s take a look at manners. Manners are often described as social etiquette. And like the world itself, these have also changed and adapted through time. While some manners have remained, many have altered and no longer exist.
When it comes to the manners between men and women who are dating for example; pulling a chair out or holding the door open, is not as common today and neither is it always expected by a woman as it would have been in the past. Some women will expect it and appreciate this type of behaviour, but to other women, this will be far from their mind.
The typical things that come to mind are:
· Saying please and thank you.
· Looking at someone when they speak and not getting distracted by others things.
· Saying excuse me when trying to get past someone.
· Introducing oneself and shaking their hand when meeting someone for the first time.
Now, these are fairly general manners and are probably what the average person already does. In certain countries in the world, some of these will not be relevant, but in the western world these are generally appropriate.
The importance of making a good first impression is often talked about in life. And this is ultimately because this one usually lasts forever and is rarely change once it has been formed in someone’s mind.
Although this article is not about how to make a good first impression, having manners is likely to make a good impression on someone. And there this is the first impression or just a general impression - doesn’t matter.
If one was to be given something and didn’t say thank you, barged their way through someone or made no eye contact and fiddled around with something when another person was talking; this is unlikely to lead to a good impression being formed.
And whether it is someone else who behaves in this way towards us or if we are acting in these ways towards other people; the same effect is going to take place. The ego mind will then create associations and these will often become what we think the other person is like or what other people thinks we are like.
It may be possible for these associations to change, but first impressions are hard to shift and it is often too late once they have been formed. The best approach is to have manners from the outset. Once it has become a habit to have them, it will be a lot easier.
At first it may well seem strange and unnatural if one has not behaved in these ways before. And that is due to it being unfamiliar to the mind. However, through repetition, what feels unnatural will soon feel natural.
Oliver JR Cooper - Teacher, Author, Transformational Writer & Consultant - With Over 2,000,000 Article Views Online.
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