Scallywag

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~ Fran Lebowitz ~

Actually Manners Still Matter

May 28th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 23 secs

Are manners fading away?

Are manners fading away?

Don’t be fooled by prevailing attitudes: manners still matter.

Despite that appalling rush for the door before you, that loud mouthed fool by the counter, and the expletive screaming youth behind you, people still appreciate good manners.

Even people who appear to have no idea what manners look like (because they seem oblivious to using them themselves) still warmly respond to courtesy and respect. Which is not in the least bit surprising, for good manners are infectious.

While some hardened individuals pointedly refuse to oblige, the great majority of people appreciate being treated well and that’s what good manners are all about.

Despite many folk using politeness as a means to extract what they want from others, there’s something greater that makes manners much more agreeable and it’s called care. This “X” factor makes all the difference and manners amplify it.

People aren’t stupid about picking up feelings. So when others use manners coldly in a controlling way, they see such behavior as fake, patronizing, and superficial. But when courtesy is shown with good grace, barriers melt. People feel the implicit sincerity and, ultimately, it inspires them.

That’s what makes manners so splendid. They do far more than lubricate our movement within society. Manners provide a forum to enable us to frame kindness and show regard, so that they’re more likely to be understood. Saying a genuine “thank you”, “please”, and “after you”, for example, formalizes the process by showing what we mean.

Although some speak the language of manners more roughly today, courtesy continues to have clout. Regardless how many people fail to pick up on the basics or act oafishly, those who are fluent in care-backed manners have greater capacity. By communicating gratefulness, expressing acceptance, and dedicating your deference manners will always be welcomed. And with them you have the unique ability to make even the plainest of day-to-day situations assume an undeniable shine.

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