Being raised in the south, I had manners ingrained into my head from a very early age. I can’t remember how many times I was scolded for not using “ma’am” or “sir” or forgetting to hold the door open for the next person.
While I know different regions have different customs, there are basic manners that everyone should practice. Coming to a large university, I realized the shocking lack of manners among my peers. Across the board, there are people from all backgrounds that have no regard, and possibly no clue, of the importance of common decency.
I am a firm believer that many issues could be prevented if everyone took the time to be polite and respect each other. In order to help reverse the epidemic of poor manners, here are 20 manners that will never go out of style.
Note: add “ma’am” and “sir” to the end of these when in the South
1. Saying “please” and “thank you”
The golden rule of the South.
2. Hold the door open for the person behind you
3. Acknowledge peoples personal space
4. Don’t interrupt
You may not respect what the other person has to say, but it is common courtesy.
5. Use “excuse me” and “pardon me”
I promise people will be more likely to let you get by if you start with an "excuse me."
6. Addressing someone by their name
It's the small things that count.
7. Cover your mouth
I think the recent flu pandemic is enough evidence of the importance of this.
8. Chew with your mouth closed
No one wants to see your chewed up Chick-fil-A.
9. Ask someone how they are doing
10. Do not cut in lines
11. Don’t talk while someone else is talking
Especially if you are in class and your professor is teaching!!
12. Clean up after yourself
Living in an all-girls dorm my freshman year felt like living in a frat house since everyone miraculously forgot how to put stuff in the trash.
13. Use your blinker
I cannot read your mind.
14. Offer to help carry something if someone’s hands are full
15. Be considerate of other people’s time
In today's society, everyone has a busy schedule. If someone takes time out of their day for you, be considerate!
16. Give someone your attention when they are talking to you
Yes, this means putting your phone down every once in awhile.
17. Sending thank you notes
While this might seem "old school," thank you notes can go a long way with people and future employers. Handwritten notes are ten times better than an impersonal email.
18. Offer to help the host/hostess with anything
They will probably say no but it is a nice gesture of appreciation.
19. Don’t shove people out of the way
20. Be kind to everyone
If anything else, please remember to be kind. In a world full of violence and hate, it is the small acts of kindness that restore my faith in humanity.