Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. Clarence Thomas

Your manners and thoughtfulness make your life and other’s lives better. Good manners enables positive engagement with others. A person with good manners can move through any environment or situation with ease and grace. Good manners will elevate you from an ordinary to an extraordinary existence. It is easily and quickly learned with practice.

Modern manners requires the following:

Smile. A ready smile diffuses most tension in all situations.

Greet others appropriately. Say hello to others, making eye contact and smiling naturally. You may shake hands or hug where appropriate but always say hello, especially to people you see every day. Remember and use others’ names.

Be Punctual. Respect other people’s time. Showing up late is rude and shows a lack of respect for others’ time. Letting others know that you are running late does not excuse your lateness. If you are running late, always give an accurate indication of when you will be there.

RSVPs – répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning please respond. RSVP on an invitation means that the invited guest should tell the host whether or not he or she plans to attend the event on the date specified on the invitation. Not RSVPing is not the same as declining an invitation. You need to communicate your intention. Late cancellations require a phone call and an explanation.

Doors and Lifts. Hold the door for people behind you. Say thank you to those who hold the door open for you. Allow those in the lift to get out before getting in. Hold the lifts for those running to catch it.

Always use ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Sorry’.

  • Always start with please when asking for something. If somebody offers you something accept with Yes please or decline with No thank you.
  • Always thank others for their help, kindness or contribution.
  • Say sorry for your mistakes. If you say or do something that may be considered rude or embarrassing, apologise immediately.

Be approachable. Maintain an open, respectful and friendly attitude, even when you are having a bad day.

Be compassionate. Be mindful of others’ challenges, problems and difficult life events and go out of your way to be kind and supportive.

Congratulate and praise others on their achievements. You should congratulate others for their successes and achievements, even when you think it is underserved. Sending a handwritten card or note to say congratulations sets you above the crowd.

Do not boast. Boasting about your good fortune and great lifestyle to someone who doesn’t have the same opportunities is bad manners.

Maintain a good personal hygiene. Floss and brush your teeth and wash your body regularly. Also clean and change your clothes regularly.

Comportment. Remain poised in every situation. People respect and admire you, when they know that you are who you say you are even under difficult or stressful situations.

Dress appropriately for the occasion. Respect dress codes. If no dress code is indicated on your invitation, commonsense should prevail. Consider the venue and timing of the event, the event itself and the other guests, and dress appropriately.

Avoid nasty habits, in others’ company. Do not pick your nose or ears, chew on your fingers or bite your fingernails in public.

Use appropriate language when speaking to others. Avoid swear words and vulgarity. Sentences laced with swear words and vulgarity indicate lack of manners and emotional instability and are offensive to others. Do not make derogatory or potentially inflammatory comments on race, religion, politics, and so on.

Use humour appropriately. Humour relaxes and puts others at ease. However, always use it appropriately and within the bounds of good taste.

Listen intently, respectfully and empathetically when others are speaking to you. Maintain eye contact when you’re in conversation with others. Never interrupt or finish other people’s sentences.

Talking on your mobile phone. Keep your phone calls and conversations private. Don’t use your mobile phone in places where you can disturb others. It shows a lack of consideration and makes you appear indiscrete.

Social media / Online Etiquette. Keep your personal conversations and arguments away from facebook or other networking sites. Good manners means that you are never offensive especially online, where your words are written and can be shared beyond your control. There is always a strong likelihood that your words will come back to haunt you, when you’d long forgotten about them.

Avoid gossip. Avoid gossip with and about friends. If you share gossip with someone, that person must be wondering what you are saying behind his or her back.

Ending a relationship. Thinking of breaking up with someone by text, email, phone message or facebook, so that you don’t witness discomfort or awkwardness is cowardly, inhumane and tacky. Be considerate. A person whom you liked well enough to date deserves more consideration.

Tipping. It is appropriate to tip servers who provide you with the various services that make your day go smoothly. To ensure that your server gets every penny of their hard-earned cash, pay all your tips in cash, preferably into your server’s hand.

Good manners should be extended to everyone. Check your attitude to the people in your world and make sure that each person receives the same level of kindness, respect and consideration from you. If you find that you are discourteous to a small group of people, you should seek the help of a therapist to help you face into the reason/s for your behaviour.

Have a great week,



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