Being mannerly is essential to getting along in society. Good manners make good friends and knowing how to behave appropriately affects practically every aspect of a person’s life—from the kind of job they are able to succeed in to the way they are perceived by family and friends. People with poor manners generally have a more difficult time succeeding at school and work, making and maintaining healthy relationships, and just being considered overall likable. It is important for people to be taught good manners from a young age since what is taught young embeds itself in a person’s mind until it becomes nearly second nature. It is fairly easy to teach children simple manners and many books, television shows, and other child-related media is geared toward these concepts. Best of all, teaching manners requires that children only take an extra second or two to make someone’s day more pleasant. Below is a list of three simple ways to mind your manners.
Say “Please” and “Thank You”
The most basic ways to be polite is to use the terms “please” and “thank you” while talking to other people. The places where these terms are most frequently used are in shops and stores when addressing staff members. Simply saying “please” to someone before making a request and thanking them after the task has been completed goes a long way in making someone’s day a bit better. Being a shop keeper is hard work and it is even more difficult when one is faced with rude and curt customers. Being courteous to someone makes them feel more valued and automatically puts them in a better mood than they would be if they were being ordered about. The best way a parent can teach children about “please” and “thank you” is by modeling these behaviors. For example, parents should make sure to always say please and thank you to shop keepers (and others) especially when the children are listening. Additionally, being polite to children goes a long way to making them understand why being polite is nice so remember to say “please” and “thank you” to your child when you speak with them in the same way that you would to anyone else at the appropriate time.
Slamming doors and making a ruckus are staples of bad behavior and, unfortunately, these are all too common occurrences. Holding a door open for someone who is struggling with heavy bags or is coming into a building right behind you is an incredibly easy way to show good manners. No one likes a door slammed in their face and children should be taught from the time that they are very young that it is important to be considerate of others when you are sharing a space (like a doorway) with them. Additionally, if you see someone like a neighbor struggling with heavy shopping bags offer to help them carry the items to their door. Often times merely offering to do someone a kindness—even if they do not accept the offer—brightens their day and eases a struggle. People who are notably young, old or weak should be taken into special consideration since they are the people who will most likely need a helping hand occasionally.
Human beings can be very impatient and we are a species that is known to have members with explosively bad tempers. Yelling is one of the most common forms of aggression among people and it is also what starts many altercations that quickly turn physical. Shouting is a key way that people vent frustrations at all ages—hence, yelling and screaming are staples of tantrums thrown by even the youngster children. Worse still, many aspects of current pop culture—like reality TV shows—seem to promote and reward bad behavior and consider people who are argumentative and loud to be assertive role models. Yet, in actuality, people who shout and scream are far less likely to actually achieve their goals since they generally have difficulty getting along with others. Yelling might be a natural knee-jerk reaction to annoyance but it is not the way to deal with problems. Part of basic manners is learning how to control your temper and find healthier ways of dealing with problems—like talking them out calmly and rationally.