With each passing day and year, the world keeps changing. Our values and beliefs as a society fluctuate over time. Something that is important one decade may not be as important the next. Also, ideas, concepts, and traditions vary from generation to generation. Yet, there are common threads that still connect people within our communities. These threads are the spoken and unspoken rules of society that, no matter your age, you follow. One of these threads is manners.
Manners can be defined as “a person’s outward behavior towards others.” They are etiquette rules that show polite and respectful behavior. Manners are dictated by acceptable social norms. Like other values and beliefs, they can, and do, alternate based on cultures, social groups, and expectations.
Within our society, there are certain manners that people still find respectable to show and teach the younger generations to abide by, as well. At the root of having manners is a general care and consideration for others. You are thinking outside of yourself for a moment and adding that “personal touch” to different aspects of life. With manners, you build empathy and relationships with others. They are social skills. For example, saying “please and thank you” shows regard for others with appreciation and gratitude. Apologizing is an example of taking responsibility for your actions. Asking questions about others indicates your interest in other people’s lives. These manners are mainly spoken ones that we learn growing up, but there are also unspoken ones that are implied throughout society.
These unspoken manners may seem “old-fashioned” to some, but they are the etiquette norms that never go out of style. Again, they all relate back to having that general care and consideration for others. Some of these manners include not doing loud yard work in the early morning hours during the weekend, taking the time to send handwritten thank-you cards, putting away the electronics at dinner, and reaching out to those in need.
To help complete this list of spoken and unspoken manners, I gathered some feedback from our writers. Here’s what they think are the manners that should never go out of style:
- “Bringing a small hostess gift when invited to a party, holiday event, etc. Also, RSVPing. I think it’s common courtesy to let someone know if you will or will not be attending. If they were kind enough to extend an invitation, take the time to acknowledge the invite and help them get a proper headcount.” – Taryn Jerez
- “Returning things you borrowed in a timely manner.” – Martie Emory
- “Holding the door open for people.” – Megan Black
- “Not overstaying my welcome as a party guest or house guest. Also, helping my host with chores or whatever I can. Lastly, saying ‘yes and no, ma’am’ and ‘yes and no, sir’ to my elders.” – Karen Cooper
- “Being on time. If you are late, it sends a vibe that your time is more valuable than the person you are meeting.” – Keela Johnson
- “Two spaces after a period to help with reading.” Throwback to typing class!” – Melanie Lamm
Sometimes it can be hard to remember your manners, especially when life gets tough. But they can take you far in life. What manners do you think should never go out of style?