Manners Make a Comeback

The whole thing about manners may all seem a bit “yesterday,” until you discover how manners can open doors and hearts, and a whole lot more. What no one tells you is that manners make life easier, more beautiful, and more fun.

High up on the manners list is knowing how best to say ‘thank you.’ Finding the perfect way to express how much you appreciated a sleepover, meal, or present is important. Seeing as someone gave you a moment of happiness, why not give them a little joy in return? A quick verbal thank-you is okay, as is a text or email, but they don’t have the same zing as a handwritten note. The amazing thing about handwritten notes is that they often hang around for ages. Even weeks or months after you wrote them they continue to give someone a lift whenever they are feeling a bit down or overwhelmed.

One of the places manners, or the lack of them, is pretty obvious is when you sit down to eat. It’s not a good look to stab at your food or to start eating before everyone else is served, and no one likes to see someone talking with a mouthful of food. When someone has made a meal, or if you’re out catching up with friends, it’s a much nicer vibe if everyone begins eating at the same time. It creates that fabulous feeling of togetherness.

Table manners are a big thing in the workplace too. Some companies even take people out to lunch before they hire them. Those who don’t know how to select or hold their cutlery, or how important it is to offer food to others before they help themselves, are unlikely to get the gig. If you’re lucky enough to have these details under your belt, then you’re more likely to be relaxed and attentive: two key skills needed when out representing your company.

If you’re looking to add a touch of class to your repertoire, then manners are definitely the way to go. This isn’t about being a snob so much as learning how to be noticed for all the right reasons. Choosing a garment that’s too tight, too short, or too low will make you the center of attention, but not in a good way. While it may be tempting to get a little extra mileage with a plunging top or extra short skirt, it’s not the smartest choice. Who wants to draw attention from guys who are into sleaze?

The thing about manners is that they’re also about putting others at ease. That’s why it’s so special when someone stands up for an old person or a pregnant mom on a bus or a train. A lot of elderly people stop catching buses and trains when their legs get old and wobbly because they’re unable to stand too long. It’s not easy to stand up when you are expecting a baby either, as expectant moms often have aching legs and painful backs. To have someone offer their seat helps that person get through the day. It makes them feel worthwhile and nurtured too. And you feel happy to have made someone else’s day a little lighter.

Manners have a way of making life sparkle for you and for those you meet. So why not brush up on your social skills, and you’ll be surprised how well others respond.

Manners Checklist:

Never finish your food ahead of your hostess.

No elbows on the table.

When eating out, start from the outside with your cutlery and work your way in.

Always place your knife and fork side by side on your plate when you are finished.

Fold your napkin and place it on the table when you have completed your meal.

When you are introduced to adults, always stand up and shake their hand and look them in the eyes.

Though you know someone well, ask before helping yourself to something to eat or drink.

Help out where you can with a meal, setting a table, clearing away dishes.

If you’ve stayed over with a friend don’t betray their hospitality by gossiping about that household.

Always show an interest in other people’s lives.

No feet on other people’s furniture or at the movies.

Treat everyone as you would like to be treated.