Manners are often demanded but, seldom given. Etiquette is frivolous.
Is this true? Growing up we were always taught to use our manners and be respectful. That information has come in handy for years. We respect others, and they respect us. However, this wasn’t always the case between children, and adults. Etiquette is a… Sport? If you ask some, they’ll say yes. It’s just not something that’s spoken of on a day to day. We’ll come across Business Etiquette, or phone etiquette- and honestly this is only when you’re looking. Most of the people I’ve spoken to feel that etiquette doesn’t apply to them.
Manners ARE Important
You say “excuse me”, you also say “thank you”. Your children say “yes ma’am” and “no sir”, and your sons hold the door for strangers. These are good manners. Do you know why manners are so great? Manners are great because they are a form of acknowledgement. When you use manners, you are showing the person you are engaging with that you see them. You’re showing them that you care. There isn’t a person on this planet that doesn’t want someone to care for them- not one that I’ve encountered at least. When we use manners and be polite, we express how much we care.
It’s hard because, not everyone cares. I see this a lot. We can use anything as an example. For instance, not everyone cares that you’ve held a door for them. Not everyone cares that you don’t want to see their privates through their clothes. They most certainly don’t care if you feel anything in particular no matter what it be. However, when you care regardless of all that, you show everyone who you are a a person. You become what everyone wants and no one has. The next time they walk up to a door, and the person behind them disregards them- they’ll think of you positively.
Etiquette Is Going An Extra Step
Etiquette is a tricky one- because it has to do with both parties; yourself, and the one you’re engaging. I deeply enjoy etiquette because it answers questions that I’ve had for years, and sometimes adds value to what you’re doing. It’s the next step after manners. Not as important, but equally appreciated. Under the category: Etiquette, you will find posture, speech, manner of dress, hosting, socialization, and more. They’re basic guidelines on how to handle things.
I was relieved when I found etiquette. Being an introvert, I’ve always found social situations difficult. Because, I don’t like when things become awkward. I don’t like when myself or others feel uncomfortable! You understand, no? Going to a social event and having to socialize, but not knowing how. It is assumed that this is something you just pick up, but that isn’t the case AT ALL. Otherwise, drama would be easily avoided by both young and old.
Etiquette is a form of deep awareness. It forces you to be aware of the people around you and how they feel, or what they’re dealing with. It forces you to look at yourself, and see how others see you. This is often putting others before yourself. This may not always be true (I’ll explain in a later post), however it is most often true.
Some of It IS Frivolous!
You don’t have to know what each fork is for or when to use it, but it is useful. You don’t have to squat, or bend your knees when you go to pick something up- but it keeps others from seeing what they shouldn’t. No, you don’t have to rise to offer your seat to the woman first, but she’d probably appreciate that. Yes, there are a lot of etiquette books and series that tell you to do things that just aren’t practical. Some of the suggestions – they are not rules, but guidelines – aren’t very useful.
That’s when I suggest you be like Ruth; glean only what you need. You can learn how to enter or leave a room, but you don’t have to apply it if you don’t wish to. If you don’t find it useful than leave it be, but at least you know it. It’s better to know and never use it than to not know and be in need of it.
None of It Is Absolutely Necessary, but Both Are Appreciated.
People may not always be polite to you- or they might not notice how you’ve held the door for them. That’s okay. You have to remember that this isn’t just for them- it’s for you. You are bettering yourself and being the person you want to be. You’re setting examples for others and setting a standard of respect for those around you.
How do YOU feel about manners? How do you feel about etiquette?
Until Next Time~