Manners are polite behaviors that reflect an attitude of consideration, kindness and respect for others. They are learned behaviors to be used every day to make a good impression on others and to feel good about yourself. Good manners go beyond opening doors and writing thank you notes. The really polite person is tuned in to other people’s feelings and can put herself or himself in another person’s shoes. Using good manners encourages others to act in a similar fashion.
Etiquette expresses consideration, respect, and honesty, the three qualities that stand behind all the manners we have. Etiquette is timeless and crosses cultural boundaries, unlike manners, which can change over time and differ around the world. Without proper manners and etiquette, the customs of polite society would soon disappear and we would act more like animals and less like people.
Good manners are a powerful source of self-confidence and help facilitate life’s relationships in general. Manners are important for considering the feelings of other people and being the kind of person others will like and respect., “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the Golden Rule, exists in every culture on the planet.
Good manners impress people and put them at ease. And people who are impressed and relaxed are more likely to respect you and agree to your requests. Manners make the world a better place. Best of all, good manners don’t cost a thing. You can have the very best for free!
Lorraine Gerstl, bestselling author of Omni Guide to Reading Comprehension Strategies, is truly a woman for all seasons! She taught deaf children in her native South Africa before migrating to the United States, where she raised her own children, then recommenced her teaching career on California’s Monterey Peninsula, where she taught for nearly three decades at Robert Louis Stevenson Lower School and Santa Catalina as its beloved third grade teacher. Since her “retirement” in 2017, she and Margie Lotz, a colleague from Santa Catalina, formed Omni Learning Center, which provides educational enrichment for home schoolers. Omni has recently expanded into teaching unhoused women at Gathering for Women not only to return to the active workforce, but to reclaim self-respect and social validation. Lorraine has produced, directed, and acted in plays, musicals, variety shows, picked up a National Disney Teacher of the Year nomination, and traveled a good slice of the world in the process. An editor and internationally published writer, who won’t hesitate to stretch her students’ reach to the stars, she still revels in her favorite title – “Mom.”