I’ve always been interested in manners. I’ve studied manners since I was a child: how to address dignitaries, which fork to use, and how to shake hands are subjects I’ve studied. To be sure, I’ve yet to meet the Queen or a foreign dignitary, however, I did see Her Majesty when she rode by with her entourage in downtown San Antonio in the 90s.
Over the course of my career and personal life, I’ve had the opportunity to engage in many situations in which I’ve used the manners I learned as a child or have had to acquire quickly so as not to look like a buffoon. As social mores become more relaxed than ever, you may think that there is no need for manners; after all, women aren’t wearing gloves anymore and don’t require a man to pull out their chair. Given our more relaxed society, I say that manners are needed even more. Everyone values respect: gangs fight over it, men fight when their women are disrespected, and minority groups all over the globe fight for the respect they deserve.
Manners may help you avoid an accidental disrespect (hence the slang term ‘dis’) of someone and potential embarrassment or gang fight or lost job opportunity. Additionally, with the globe becoming smaller we are interacting more with people of different values and cultures (and yummy food) and it’s important we treat others as we’d like to be treated (am I channeling something your mother used to say?). And that treatment is called respect. And how do you manifest respect?
I’ve recently finished the book: Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top by Dorothea Johnson and I thought it might be interesting to begin a discussion about manners.
I’ll discuss manners, etiquette, and protocol in subsequent posts. Additionally, I teach a manners lesson monthly to little tea party goers at the bookstore, which is more about having fun, but somehow, they get it.
I hope you’ll join me in this manners discussion. Tell me the ONE manners rule you abide by EVERY DAY.
I’ll start: I say good morning or good evening to everyone I meet.