Have you ever been told to keep your elbows off the table, or to chew with your mouth closed? I’m sure a lot of us have heard it at some point in our lives, more than likely by our parents when we were just starting to learn what good manners and proper etiquette was. While a lot of these lessons are still appropriate today, they made need a small upgrade to match today’s world.
Good Manners Never Go Out Of Style
While it is true that times are changing and there are new social scenarios that we wouldn’t have imagined 50 years ago, you can’t beat a classic. Here are some manners and habits that are always good to remember and to pass along.
Looks Aren’t Everything
It’s never nice for someone to comment on someone else’s physical appearance. While children are naturally curious and have a knack for pointing out things that they find interesting or strange, it’s important to teach them not to comment on someone’s physical appearance.
Whether it’s a person’s weight, their clothes, or maybe if they have a disability we should be teaching children that it isn’t polite to comment on appearance. It also teaches them that appearance isn’t everything, but who a person is on the inside is what truly matters.
Table Manners Are Still A Thing
While this may seem pretty obvious, it’s amazing how easy it is to forget your manners when at the table. A great way to make sure that you and any young ones that are around remember their manners is through practice. Be conscious of where you are and who you are with, and enjoy the meal in front of you. Sharing meals is a great way to show someone you care about them, and being polite while doing it is even better.
Clean Up After Yourself
Now, the young ones may be able to get a pass here but it’s also important to teach them that if they make a mess, they need to clean it up. It may be a struggle at first, but the earlier they begin to understand that, the better. Pretty soon they may not even want to make a mess because they know that they’re the ones that will have to clean it up!
It is important that we teach children and remember ourselves how important it is to show gratitude. Just saying the words ‘Thank You’ isn’t enough though, it is important to remember what that means. It is acknowledging that someone is willing to do something for us, or share. From opening a door to giving a gift, it’s an act of kindness from one person to another, and the least we can do is understand that and say thank you.
Holding Open Doors Isn’t Just For Knights
While we won’t discuss whether chivalry really is dead or just on hiatus, we can talk about how it is always nice to hold the door for someone. It is literally showing someone that you are putting them in front of yourself. You never know just how the smallest things can affect a person, and a great place to start is with the door.
Like we’ve talked about already, some facets of proper etiquette stand the test of time, while others understandably have fallen by the wayside. But as times change, and new social situations appear, new manners and customs follow. Here are some important things to remember to be polite in this day and age.
Face Time, Without The Screens
One of the biggest inventions of the 21st century has to be the smartphone. It is an amazing device that practically puts the world at your fingertips. It’s so good that most people forget about the world around them!
When you’re with someone, either sharing dinner or even just a coffee, put the phone down. Be there in the moment. Nothing is worse than trying to have a conversation with someone when they’re having one with dozens of other people through a screen.
Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say? Don’t Say It From A Computer
While technology has been able to bring so many people together from so far away, it has also made some of us forget that there are real people on the other side of the screen. We shouldn’t use the anonymity that technology gives us to try and hurt others. Instead, look at that screen like a mirror; would you like it if it were you?
As we’ve said, manners are simply social conventions, and they change from generation to generation. It’s important to keep in mind that if you think that someone is being impolite, they may not necessarily be doing it on purpose. But if we can at least keep at least a few of these things in mind, we can make a big difference in the way we interact, live, and grow as people.