Peace, harmony, and lifelong learning are Liz's passions. She's outspoken on education and childhood and is an activist in local politics.
Why Do We Need Manners?
Manners make the world go 'round. They are to the smooth functioning of society as oil is to an engine.
Without good manners, people get offended, hurt, and in extreme cases, very bad manners can lead to things such as the all-too-familiar public shootings, and even wars between countries when some official protocol is snubbed.
What Are Good Manners?
Most of us are taught from childhood how to be polite. We learn such things as saying "please," and "thank you" when asking for and receiving anything, from second helpings at dinner to birthday gifts, to borrowing a pencil from a co-worker.
Those are the two most basic manners; the kind you learn in kindergarten and before. But there are others:
- giving up your seat on a bus to the elderly
- holding open a door for anyone, but especially for someone who is struggling with packages, a baby stroller or young children,
- a handicapped person
- picking up something someone has dropped, and handing it back to them
- letting someone know their shoe is untied, so they don't trip, and so forth.
Those are the basic, every day manners we need out in public.
Public vs. Private Manners?
In our private lives, dealing with friends, family and social groups, we are not excused from good manners. Indeed, do not the people with whom we live and have frequent close contact outside the family deserve the same treatment and respect we should afford to even strangers? I think so. This group includes:
- responding to invitations
- following through on commitments we've made
- giving notice if we are unavoidably delayed getting to a meeting, party or other function.
Check the chart below, to see where you fall. I'd be willing to bet (and I'm not a gambling gal), that too many of us are guilty of some of the things on the bad manners side from time to time; others are guilty of all of them all the time.
And, manners are not exclusive to speech or thoughtfulness, either. There are many rude gestures that speak volumes of bad taste and bad manners.
Quick Manners Checklist
|Good Manners||Bad Manners|
Answering an RSVP to a party
Leaving the hosts to guess whether or not you'll show up
Returning phone calls promptly
Never returning phone calls
Holding the door open for people
Pushing your way through first, and let the door close behind you
Allowing another driver to merge in front of you
Cutting off the other driver, after all, "me first!"
Turning off your cell phone in the store, bank, etc.
Yakking on the phone the whole while you're shopping, oblivious to your cart blocking the asile, etc.
Attending a party/event you said "yes" to
Telling the host that you can't come after all, because another event came up afterwards
Telling surprise guests you're sorry, but you already have a commitment (if it's true)
Leaving people you promised to help in the lurch, or not going to an event you already said 'yes' to, because guests showed up
Calling ahead to ask if it's okay to come visit
Showing up unexpectedly at someone's home, and expecting them to drop everything to visit with you
How Do You Feel When You Come Across Rude People?
Let's face it. We're all human, we make mistakes, get in a hurry, and sometimes forget ourselves in the daily rat race. It can be easy to slip up and accidentally cut off another driver, or rush through a door without noticing someone else waiting to go through.
However, people who routinely behave like this are rude and selfish, and I know I don't like it very well when a door slams in my face, or I have to slam on my brakes because someone was in such a big hurry that they just had to get in front of me, only to get stopped right next to me at the next signal.
Sure, there are emergencies, but I seriously doubt all the people I see doing this daily are on their way to deal with any emergency.
I was raised with the "Golden Rule." While I'm not religious by any means, I do believe in ethics and good manners, and that Golden Rule saying of, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's the most basic lubrication for society at large.
Keeping Your Word
I was raised that, if you promise someone you will do something for them, whether family or a group to which you belong, you bloody well better follow through and do it! If you have a habit of changing your mind, with or without letting people know, you will develop a reputation as an unreliable 'flake.'
It does not matter if something else you'd rather do comes up in the meantime. You keep your word. The only exception to this would be a true family emergency. In such cases, when family needs help, then family comes first.
That said, a family raised with good manners understands the principle of honor and keeping one's word, so they would understand if you said you could not attend Uncle Fester's birthday party because you promised the youth group you would help chaperone their party (or whatever other outside commitment you may have made).
This means, if surprise guests show up on your doorstep, the way to handle it, if you have a prior commitment, would be to say, "Oh, gosh, it's good to see you, but I sure wish you had called first to let me know you were coming. As it is, I'm just on my way out the door to a prior engagement."
If there is time between the guests' arrival and when you have to be at your other gig, then sure, visit with them, but also let them know that your time is limited, and you have to leave by such-and-such a time. Don't allow them to put you in the position of having to invite them to dinner, or anything else that would prevent your follow-through on your prior promise.
In such a situation, it is the height of rudeness to stay home and visit, leaving the folks to whom you promised help in the lurch, wondering what happened to you.
This is actually a dual-fault scenario. It is equally rude to just drop in on someone unannounced, for that very reason. They may already have plans, and your surprise arrival causes an embarrassing conflict. They are forced to choose between hurting your feelings, and going back on their word.
If you are visiting from some distance out of town, this is even more important--you really must let them know, before you leave home, of your plans to be in the area, and pre-schedule a day and time for your visit.
What are Acceptable Cancellations?
Q. Can you give me any examples of what kinds of things might be acceptable cancellations for something I've promised to do?
A. Well, sure! Here are some general types of things that would have you forgiven for cancelling. These are just random examples, but fall into a specific type of category that would be excusable.
- Family medical or disaster emergency
- Your car breaks down
- You have a medical emergency
- Death in the family, or of a very, very close friend
Now, these kinds of things are expected to be rarely used excuses.
If your "Aunt Fannie" dies too many times, or your car breaks down every other week, your story is likely to be suspect.
You may gain a reputation as a liar, which, combined with being an unreliable flake is a very bad thing. It's an excellent way to lose friends.
So, What Excuses Can I Not Use?
Q. Okay--so what kinds of excuses are unacceptable to use for getting out of things?
A. Basically, everything else. If you don't have something going on of the serious nature listed above, then any other excuse marks you as a flake. Some examples:
- My friend just invited me to a party, and I'd rather do that
- I need to get my hair done
- Some guests just showed up by surprise
- I changed my mind and I don't feel like it
All of those are bad; the last example is the worst of all. Just don't use any of these bogus, lame excuses.
(Don't worry; answers are anonymous)
Last But Not Least
I nearly forgot--how rude--and had to come back and edit to include such basic manners as saying 'excuse me' if you bump into someone...or belch or pass gas in the company of others.
Now here's when you know you were raised with such really good manners that stuck:
You are alone in the house, or in the company of only your pets, and you still, unconsciously and automatically say "excuse me" if you belch or pass gas. You are a well-mannered superstar!
Acknowledge and Appreciate Good Manners in Others
Manners are reciprocal. If someone holds a door, say thank you. If you need something from a grocery shelf, and someone else is in the way, say "excuse me, please." Or ask them "could you please hand me a box of that cereal?" and then thank them.
Likewise, with youth, who seem these days to be totally out of touch, it is very important to set a good example, and give them positive feedback when they do the right thing. Here are two examples:
- Several years ago, I was shopping, and a little girl came up behind me, and said, "Excuse me please, can I get some of that?" (I forget the specific item; we were at a freezer case.) I was very pleasantly surprised, and looked around, and spotted the woman I took to be her mother. I approached her, and asked if that was her daughter. She at first looked startled; apprehensive, as if she were about to get a bad report. When I said to her, "I'd like to compliment you on having a very well-mannered young lady," she smiled as big a smile as smiles get, and thanked me for letting her know. I also made sure the young girl heard what I said.
- Recently I was at a public celebration event, and two young boys (probably not more than 2 or 3 years different in age, but who did not appear to be brothers) were in front of me in line for some shaved ice. It was a hot day, and the line was long. As they stood there, the younger boy was asking the other how much the cones were. At the reply of "$4.00," he looked shocked, and said, "I only have $5.00." He would not have enough money left for anything else. The older boy said nothing, but when we got to the window, the older boy ordered two cones, and waved the younger boy's money away, treating him to his shaved ice treat. I told the young man, "That was a very nice thing you just did for your friend." Kid like, he was a bit embarrassed, smiled, and shrugged, but I know he was probably beaming with pride inside to be noticed for doing an act of kindness.
It all comes back to the old, "What goes around comes around." Manners are like a boomerang. Use them, and be kind, and people will respond likewise.
Treat people like dirt, and don't be surprised to find yourself on the outside looking in, and used as a doormat.
Thank you for reading, and please pass this around if you know anyone who should read these guidelines.
© 2014 Liz Elias
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 14, 2017:
And every single day, I see far more instances of people being thoughtless, and even downright rude. When someone does do something nice, it always takes me by surprise: I make an extra effort to thank them.
Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 14, 2017:
I agree with you 100%. Manners are the lubrication of society. Everything is easier when you use them. And keeping your word is very important. Great article about manners!
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on February 15, 2015:
Thanks very much. I'm glad you liked this bit; it's so true that people can be very rude!
That pastor exhibited the worst of all possible cases of bad manners! If he had time to send an e-mail "explaining" why he could not send words of sympathy, that time could just as well have been spent typing exactly such words instead of a rude brush-off!
It is indeed refreshing when we come across people who know how to behave, and are sympathetic and empathetic to our plights.
justmesuzanne from Texas on February 14, 2015:
Many good points! One I would like to add that I have become very aware of recently is that it is extremely rude not to acknowledge the illness, injury or other misfortune of an acquaintance, friend or family member. I've been struggling with a broken wrist for the past couple of months, and I have been astounded by the number of people I know both via social media and in person and even in my family who could not even be bothered to send me an email saying "I'm sorry to hear about your injury. Get well soon!"
One pastor I know actually sent me an email saying "I heard about your injury but I don't have time to send sympathetic words. I'm fighting alligators here!" No kidding!
Seriously, when someone you know gets hurt or sick, express sympathy and well wishes! It doesn't cost anything, and it is helpful and appreciated!
I will also say that in all fairness a number of good friends and family members and a number of people who don't actually know me very well have helped me a great deal, and I am very very grateful for that! :)
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 28, 2014:
Thank you so very much! It is heartening to hear from like-minded folks, and also from folks such as yourself who practice the 'pay it forward' philosophy.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 28, 2014:
DzyMsLizzy, I enjoyed this article very much! And I do LOVE to catch people in model situations and commend them, and I have had the rare opportunity to be flush when someone comes up short in being able to pay for their whole grocery bill. For me, these are wonderfully, heart-warming and inexpensive ways to acknowledge the best in others and to voice the (maybe unbearably corny?) "Pay It Forward" philosophy! Like my mom, I also enjoy the odd conversation with a stranger in a store or on the bus. "Good manners" are good connectors. Thank you!
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 14, 2014:
Hi there junecampbell--Yes, I rather wish manners were taught in school, since so many parents seem to be failing in teaching these simple lessons. On the other hand, school budgets have been so badly gutted that they're lucky to be able to teach anything at all.
Thanks so much for your example--that was indeed class and manners!
June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on September 14, 2014:
I believe that good manners are vitally important to the smooth functioning of society. Having good manners is about making other people comfortable. I heard a story once about someone at a fancy dinner party who used the wrong fork because he didn't know any better. When other guests gasped in shock (the horror!), the hostess graciously picked up the wrong fork herself and ate with it. That woman had class and manners!
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 11, 2014:
I think I have to disagree with you on that one; good manners do get noticed, and people may be quite pleasantly surprised to come across someone using good manners because they have become so accustomed to so many people being rude.
It can be changed--it just takes work. Thanks so much for your observation.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 11, 2014:
Good manners these days are not noticed. I have seen rude behavior in many individuals and that is sad to see. Out of control and not much can the adult supervision do to change it.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on August 23, 2014:
I know what you mean--it sure sets my teeth on edge when I come across some rude yay-hoo acting like a total jerk.
I'm glad you liked the article, and I thank you for your comment.
Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on August 22, 2014:
Hi miss dzymslizzy interesting hub and you couldn't have said it better. Bad manners people send me up mountains i sooo hate it and let it get to me i can throw tantrums for unmannerly bastards lol.
Thanks for sharing your hub with us
A bless night/morning to you.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 21, 2014:
Thank you so much for your kind comment. I'm glad you liked the article and my analogy! ;-) Yes, kids DO notice how we act. That old-fashioned, "Do as I say, not as I do," nonsense does NOT work!
Thanks so much for the votes!
ocfireflies from North Carolina on July 21, 2014:
I love this piece for not only do you remind us of the rules of etiquette, you point out something equally as important: acknowledge when you catch a young person practicing good manners and kindness in general.
As adults, we can make such an impact on young people. And not only will kids note how adults "break the rules," they will note when an adult catches them being kind. V+++ for sure and loving the metaphor of the engine.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 17, 2014:
Yes, Jaye, there is that.
I'm old enough to be an old fogey, and I don't have a "smart phone," but I do have grandsons, so I've learned many of the abbreviations:
(uno I h8 2 go 2 bed erly) for "You know, I hate to go to bed early."
And hanging out on the internet is a great way to learn many more. ;-) LOL
Best wishes, Jaye!
Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on July 17, 2014:
The problem with instant messaging is that people use all those abbreviations, don't use any capital letters or other punctuation, and they are generally difficult for me to read. I don't send them and ask other people not to send them to me. (I guess I'm an old fogey, but I'm perfectly satisfied with a brief email as long as words are spelled out.)
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 17, 2014:
LOL--I suppose, in a way, text messages can be considered "21st century phone calls," and probably should be acknowledged. Since I don't have a texting phone, I've not dealt with that personally.
Thanks for stopping by and adding that bit of modern concern! ;-)
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on July 17, 2014:
I am really great with my manners when it comes to regular phone calls, but for some reason, all that is out the window when it comes to texts. I've had people tell me it is rude to never respond to a text or respond 2 days later. Maybe I need a class on that or something!
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 13, 2014:
@ JayeWisdom--I know what you mean. I taught my children as well, and it was a real battle with the younger girl. She just did NOT like to write--ANYthing--including homework! These days, she does say thank you, and I'm happy with an electronic reply. She is teaching her children, though, and I have gotten hand-written thank-you notes from them, so I'm glad the message got through on some level. ;-) Thanks for adding your experiences.
@ brownella--Thank you so much; I'm glad you found this to be helpful. I know what you mean about biting your tongue. I've had to do it myself more than once, and a couple of times, when I was having a particularly bad day, my inner censor shut down, and I responded to being roughly crashed into in a grocery aisle by an inconsiderate shopper (who did not even seem to notice), with a very sarcastic, "Well! You're EXCUSED!" She was still oblivious that she had done anything wrong, or that she was the one being addressed.
And yes, please get to that RSVP! ;-) I have 2 annual parties; one summer; one winter, and it seems I am always left guessing or chasing people down to find out if they are going to show, so I know how many to plan for.....it is frustrating in the extreme.
Thanks very much for stopping by, your comment--and your honesty! ;-)
brownella from New England on July 12, 2014:
Great hub! It does seem that common courtesy has gone down the drain. Unfortunately it often seems rude to correct or point out bad manners as well. I find myself constantly having to bite my tongue especially about people texting during conversation. Though reading this I have to admit that on the flip side I am horrible about RSVP's...in fact reading this just reminded me of one I need to respond to, so thanks :-)
Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on July 12, 2014:
I taught my children when they were small to write 'thank you' notes for gifts from grandparents and other people. When they had children of their own, I hoped they would do the same. (Okay, so I did remind them a couple of times.)
Many years later, only two of my adult grandchildren can always be counted on to call and say 'thanks' for a gift or send an email. (I'm not rigid about hand-written notes in these days of electronic messages.) And with the rest, I'm like Paula--I just want to know they received it! Is that too much to ask???
Suzie from Carson City on July 12, 2014:
MizB....You just brought up a good point....with "grandchildren." If they could only get it through their heads....that I'm less concerned with the "Thank you," and just really want to know if they RECEIVED my gift or card with the $$$ in it!!! Know what I mean? Hello! grandchild? Gram is waiting to hear Something!! LOL.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 11, 2014:
@ travmaj--You are correct; social media has shifted the how and where of some things, but the old courtesies should still rule. I lament what the future will be after the last of us "old-timers" are gone. Will it even be a world worth living in? Thanks so much for your comment.
@ MizBejabbers--Oh, yes, I know how you feel. I've been using FB for several years, now; I started as a way to try to promote my former business, but my focus has now shifted more to keeping in touch with family and friends, and political action advocacy.
I'm glad you were able to find all the thank-you notes; funny, I've never seen any "back messages;" they always seem to start at the date of accepting the friend request. And lately, FB has this new thing, wherein anyone not on your 'friends' list is unable to see any message you send them. It won't show on their feed, but will be sent to their "other" folder. The problem with that is, most folks are unaware there is any such folder, and even if you are, it is not easy to find.
Thanks for the update!
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 11, 2014:
I’m commenting again because of this little incident in my family a couple of days ago. Oh how manners have changed! I have a two grandchildren in college and I still send them gifts for their birthdays. I always get a thank you of some kind from my granddaughter, but I had not received a thank you from my grandson for his birthday gift 2013 or Christmas 2013. This year right after his birthday I got a friend request from him on FaceBook, so I accepted. There in personal messages was a thank you for his birthday gift this year, and above it were all the thank you messages from 2013. He hadn’t realized that we weren’t “friends” on FB, and his sister told me that he didn’t use FB so I hadn’t tried to friend him.
While I would have appreciated a real note on paper from him (to file away in the little box with the rest of my sentimental cards and notes), I at least appreciate that he did thank me. I guess we grannies are just going to have to get used to the new etiquette, although it doesn’t mean that we have to like it.
travmaj from australia on July 11, 2014:
Well said. I was brought up with so many 'good manners' I guess they are just ingrained in me and habitually passed on to my family. But things have changed and we now have another era of manners regarding social media and technology. Still think the old - please, thank you, excuse me, holding doors open, etc are relevant. Being thoughtful and courteous should still be a priority but sadly isn't always so.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 10, 2014:
@ The Examiner-1--Thanks very much for your thoughts and the vote!
@ erinshelby--Yes, thank you, there are times and places. Not only is talking on the phone while driving rude, it's also dangerous and illegal in most states! Yet, people still do it daily!
Thanks much for your input! ;-)
erinshelby from United States on July 10, 2014:
Interesting that you mention the proper time and place for using a cell phone.. Might I add that it's rude to talk on a cell phone while driving?
(I see it every day.) Useful hub, DzyMsLizzy.
The Examiner-1 on July 10, 2014:
That had real meaning DzyMsLizzy. It had its good and bad sides, the good of course being the better side. I voted it up.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 10, 2014:
I've heard from several fellow hubbers who admit to trying their best to be courteous. It can be trying, especially when faced with rude, obnoxious and just plain mean people bent on causing trouble or drama.
Thanks very much for being one of the "good gals." ;-) Thanks, too, for the vote and share!
Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on July 10, 2014:
Good manners are rare in today's world. I try to be mannerly and courteous no matter what I do and most of the time I am. This is an important hub and I am glad you wrote it. We all need to be reminded to be mannerly and courteous throughout our day. Voted up and shared.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 08, 2014:
Agreed--most of the time, and doing the best we can is all that can be expected. After all, we are human, and anyone seeking absolute perfection is on the wrong damned planet! LOL But--please put down your phone if you are talking to me. ;-)
I do get so annoyed with inconsiderate drivers--they are actually creating dangerous situations with their road-hogging tactics.
Thanks much for stopping by and sharing. ...and your honesty! ;-)
Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on July 08, 2014:
Most of the time, I do the right thing, then there are the times when I play with my phone while others are talking to me. Oops. This morning, while driving, I had my blinker on for at least 3 minutes to merge left...each time I tried I got a HONK. 3rd car left me go...no manners!
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 08, 2014:
Thanks, fpherj48!! That's 'some' comfort. LOL
Suzie from Carson City on July 08, 2014:
Dzy....."Comfort in numbers." If I had a nickle for every time I've put thought & time into a comment & then left the page w/o posting.......Well, let's put it this way: I'd have a heck of a lot more money than I've actually EARNED on HP!!! Don't know how I manage to do it.....but I totally feel for you!
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 07, 2014:
Oh, my gosh!! I had everyone answered, and somehow managed to leave the page before hitting “post comment.” I will try to remember what my replies were, as I now work to overcome that brain blast!
@ ChitrangadaSharan--I so agree with you. I don’t know what happens to some people when they grow up and become rude--which is essentially reverting to the self-absorbed state of infancy. They are then very poor role models for their own children. I’m glad you liked the article; thanks very much for the vote!
@ wordswithlove--Thank you so much for your wise words. It is so important to remember the “small” courtesies, for in the end, those are the big things; the important things. Acknowledging people for being polite is vital feedback for the behavior to continue. It’s all connected. Just as the media should ignore the “bad apples,” instead of turning them into “celebrities,” thereby spawning copycat behavior. Ignore the rude person, and eventually, they may catch on. Glad you liked this hub!
@ Marie Flint--You are so correct; I thank you for stopping by and leaving a positive comment.
@ Trisha Roberts--You know, that is so true. Manners, or lack thereof, does have a lasting impact, and goes beyond the individual with whom you interact in that moment. I poor experience could affect that person’s outlook for the rest of the day, having who-knows-what repercussions. Thanks for your insight; I’m delighted you found this a worthy article.
@ Stephanie Henkel--Thank you; I do try to give ‘credit where credit is due,’ but when I see children behaving badly, and parents scolding them for behavior they, themselves are guilty of, I must bite my tongue hard to keep from pointing out to them, “You want to know why your kids are acting up? Just look in the mirror.” The old “do as I say, not as I do” method of “discipline” does not work, and only produces the opposite result as intended. Many thanks for the vote and share!
@ Patsybell--LOL--you know, that’s a good question. I’m not sure it matters, because, for the most part, it feels as if we are preaching to the proverbial choir, and those who most need the information either won’t read it, or feel they are exempt, or that it does not mean “them,” but “that other guy.” Quite frustrating. Thanks very much for your intriguing question.
@ JayeWisdom--Oh, yes, being taught both by example and reference material, as a child is vital to having well-mannered adults. You are lucky to have grown up in such an environment.
I have read parts of Miss Post’s book, and yes, there is plenty of dull stuff concerning which fork or spoon of 5 to use, and on which foods. Things of that nature are more or less irrelevant to the mainstream folks, who may never attend such a dinner in their lives. The rest, however, including how to write thank you notes, is always timely.
I am reminded of a story I read about her, many years ago. It seems she was dining with a companion, who had some trouble cutting his steak, it slipped, and flew off his plate and landed across the table. Mortified, he got up, retrieved the meat and put it back on his plate. He then asked Miss Post, “Well, you’re the etiquette expert; what do I do now?” To which she is said to have replied, “Under the circumstances, I believe you’ve done the only thing you could.” Showing that in spite of what seemed like stuffy rules, she also knew that accidents happen, and good manners requires forgivness and overlooking such things so as not to overly embarrass the victim.
You make some excellent points, and yes, I do try to acknowledge good behavior when I see it. Thanks very much for your well-though-out comment, votes and share!
@ MizBejabbers--Oh, yes, I think you are correct--driving manners need to be taught in drivers’ education courses. Just because you technically may have the right of way, does not always mean you should force the issue: you could end up (literally) ‘dead right.’
And oh, do I ever know what you mean about those electric shopping carts! I had to use one for a few months myself in 2013, after my knee replacement surgery. Below eye-level as you are, it seems you are invisible! People cut you off all the time, like you don’t exist! While those carts DO stop very quickly, they do so with a sharp jolt, which is very bad for someone like my husband who uses them because of a very bad back. He keeps threatening to just run into the next person who does that to him, ‘just to teach them a lesson.’ Good guy that he is, I don’t think he would; but he does need to vent and say such things in private. In my opinion, those carts should be fitted with those tall flags used by some bicyclists, to make them more eye-level-visible.
Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and experience, and for the votes!
@ fpherj48--Yes, well, it seems to me that an awful lot of our laws are an attempt to legislate two things that were FORMERLY thought to be ‘common:’ sense, and courtesy/decency. What a sad state at which we have arrived.
Oh, yes--thank you notes--these days, you’re lucky to even get an e-mail or instant message ‘thank you,’ let alone a nice note in the post. Thanks so much for your observations.
Suzie from Carson City on July 07, 2014:
Dzy.......Manners....common courtesy. Seems to me this is so very simple and automatic, there can't possibly be anyone who fails to "get it."
BUT.....we need to sadly face reality, mustn't we? Hard to believe, but manners are not used nearly as often or by enough people....and getting worse in our society.
I'm with you all the way Dzy. All we can do, is continue to do what we have always done.......the simplest niceties we began learning and practicing since we were toddlers!
BTW.....What ever happened to the "Thank You Note???" Unbelievable!.......Take care, Dzy.....and THANK YOU! :)
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 07, 2014:
Good manners are very important, but I think some people have forgotten, especially on the road. I think Driver Education classes should teach good manners as well as safe driving rules.
We talk about not teaching our children manners, but you’ll love this on. I am a senior citizen and last winter I broke my leg. I was using a handicapped cart at the grocery store when a woman older than I am impatiently pushed a buggy right in front of me cutting me off. Then she stopped to look at a box of crackers and blocked the aisle. I said “excuse me” and drove around her and her sourpuss face. It isn’t just our young folks who are rude. Very good hub. voted up++
Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on July 07, 2014:
I grew up at a time when good manners were taught to children and became (good) habits. When I was a girl, my mother actually had a copy of the original Emily Post etiquette book and encouraged me to read it. Since I read everything in print I could get my hands on, I enjoyed it. While it stressed good manners, some of the 'ettiquette' rules didn't actually fit our less formal lifestyle, but the gist (plus Mom's and my grandmother's rules) got through to me. Good manners, after all, are more concerned with how you treat people than which fork you use for which dish.
These days when I overhear children speaking rudely to adults I'm appalled, but realize that if they weren't taught to be polite, they aren't likely to pick up the behavior by osmosis. Here's hoping they realize the need for good manners as they grow older. No doubt someone will call it to their attention!
I applaud you for praising the good manners of youths. I also believe in giving 'credit where credit is due.' Positive reinforcement makes it much more likely the good behavior will be repeated. Once children reach an impressionable age, such reinforcement can make all the difference in their future actions and increase their self-esteem.
As pointed out, there are a lot of adults who need either refresher courses in good manners or (if they weren't taught early on) to learn from scratch.
Voted Up++ and sharing
Patsy Bell Hobson from zone 6a, SEMO on July 07, 2014:
Oh, is it bad manners to forward this to people with bad manners? Good manners are a better choice than bad manners. We all need a reminder now and then. Thank you.
Stephanie Henkel from USA on July 07, 2014:
Great hub! Good manners are so important, and parents who instill good manners in their children are doing them a wonderful service. The frustrating part is when people who have been taught better still behave badly by not replying to invitations, not sending thank you notes for gifts or in other inconsiderate ways. Your way of acknowledging good manners in children is a perfect way to reinforce their good manners! Voted up and shared!
Trisha Roberts from Rensselaer, New York on July 07, 2014:
Very interesting and very true. I believe good manners has an impact on other's and also how others see you. Great hub and definitely a great read.
Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on July 07, 2014:
We are here on this earth to uplift one another, and that's what good manners are all about.
Neetu M from USA on July 07, 2014:
One can and should take nothing for granted in this world, and good manners reflect good breeding, mutual respect and ought to be the norm both inside and outside the home. It isn't always found, even where one expects it would be, and arrogance, so much a characteristic across all sections of society today, hinders people from practicing simple courtesies. So, when I meet a real gentleman or a lady, who does, or even an adolescent or child who says a polite "thank you" to the server in a restaurant, or to someone who holds the door open for them, I think it is a treat to behold! Great hub! Good to remind people what makes the world a better place.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 07, 2014:
You are right that we should exhibit the same good manners, which we expect from others. All through the childhood, we are taught to behave properly. Unfortunately when some people are grown up, they behave differently. And surprisingly, they expect their children to behave in a good mannered way!
Thanks for sharing this useful hub! Voted up!
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on July 06, 2014:
@ Jodah--I know what you mean about on-line conversations. This is especially true if folks do not use the "emoticons," or "smileys" that are intended to convey whether they are angry, being silly, or sad. Going on the words alone, you are right--the intonation is missing, and the message can be misinterpreted.
I'm glad you are one of the lucky ones from a well-mannered family. Maybe you could point the others in the direction of this hub. ;-)
Thanks much for the vote!
@ FlourishAnyway--Thank you so much. I'm always quick to scold someone for being an idiot--(such rants of mine usually apply to politicians)--but I believe it is equally important to give the old 'credit where credit is due.'
Thanks very much for stopping by and your positive comment.
FlourishAnyway from USA on July 06, 2014:
I like that you caught someone in the act of behaving well and gave them an on-the-spot compliment. It probably made their day.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on July 06, 2014:
Hi dzymslizzy. I know a lot of people who could benefit from reading this, fortunately none are immediate family who fortunately seem to have picked up good manners I am proud to say. I do think good manners are one of the greatest attributes a person can have but nowadays this seems to be lacking, especially with the popularity of social media now. People who chat online and in forums etc need to be especially careful to use good manners or what they say can easily come over as gruff and critical. If we can't see or hear the person we are chatting with we can not hear the intonation in their voice or read body language, so good manners are especially important. I notice this problem all the time in the forums here. Some people are very knowledgeable and full of good advice but their comments come over as critical, demeaning and even rude at times. Great hub here, voted up.