mind you manners

Sadly, we can’t change the upbringing we have had; we can’t change the lessons we have learned! Every generation it seems, despairs for the changes they see in the ones that follow them and believes that as times change so does the moral fibre of society get eroded

One thing that never changes however is the value of amazing manners…as a sign of respect for yourself and others there is nothing more than delightful.

My parents were really strict on some things (like…..you can’t leave the table without eating everything on your plate) and really loose on others (elbows were permitted), but as I get older I realize just how important great manners really are!

Its amazing how far truly great manners will get you…so even if you didn’t learn it as a kid…here are my top tips to make you a star!

WAITING TURNSwait-your-turn

I will admit, waiting your turn can be so hard, but if you didn’t learn it as a kid, its time to learn it now. It’s a part of everyday life. Think of all those jerks that cut you off on the highway or push you over during Boxing Day sale shopping. I bet their mothers never taught them to wait turns. If you are a bit short in the ‘patience’ department…it’s a nice skill to develop. Try letting others go first…it’s a lovely random act of kindness!

NO CALLING NAMES

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Name calling is harsh. It’s a form of bullying and as humans we need to put an end to it before it gets out of hand. And by ‘name calling’ I am extending this to the old adage “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing” Unfortunately most of us as children learned speaking ill of others from parents. Think about the number of times your child has heard you say something bad about another person or call them a mean name. I know I’m guilty of it and, I bet if you are honest with yourself, so are you. We have to stop name calling and set a positive example for everyone.

WARM HELLO

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Say hello to people, welcome them into your home, your work, your life…even random strangers. When you meet someone for the first time; introduce yourself, make eye contact, use your name (and theirs). If we all connected on a more personal level imagine what a different world it would be! Funnily it seems we can do it when we are on holiday but we lose the art at home…greet your guests (even if they are uninvited)

THE MAGIC WORDS….PLEASE

Please

Hearing a someone ask for something in a demanding way or even when they just don’t say please drives me crazy.  You aren’t owed anything, ask politely. And smile

AND THANK YOU

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Saying thank you goes along with saying please. If someone does something for you, no matter how small, the polite thing to do is to say, “Thank you”. Thank people randomly, for things they don’t expect to be thanked for (like the bus driver or the mail man…you might just make someones day)

CLEAN UP

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Cleaning up after yourself is another manner we all need to know. Everyone should know how to put their dishes in the sink after a dishwasher, how to put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket (or even better put the laundry on), and how to keep their stuff tidy. If you know how to clean up after yourself the people you live with will love you all the more

GIVE MORE THAN YOU TAKE

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Whether it is going to someones house for dinner or staying with friends on vacation; remember the value of the hospitality of others and repay it in kind! If you can’t afford to take gifts (or stock their pantry) make sure you are around to do the dishes or clean up the house. Remember your friends are neither a hotel or a restaurant and although no one expects to be repaid for their generosity it is so delightful not to have it taken for granted

BE A GOOD SPORT

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Ever play a game with someone that didn’t know how to win and lose gracefully? It’s so ridiculous to see a someone throwing a fit over losing a game or being a jerk about winning. While winning feels good, it’s okay to lose if you tried your best.

TAKE COMPLIMENTS

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Have you ever told someone cute how pretty she is, only to have her come back with, “Yeah, I know.” Excuse me! I admire the confidence, but please a little humility. Just as uncomfortable is someone who can’t cope with praise…then everyone is uncomfortable! A simple ‘thank you’ would be a good start.

OPEN DOORS

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Opening doors isn’t just for boys. Everyone should understand the value of holding open doors for other people as well.

RESPECT DIFFERENCES

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The greatest thing about life is our differences. One manner that everyone should learn is how to respect differences. No one can be excused for  pointing, staring, or say mean things about another person because they look or act differently. This kind of behavior is rude, hurtful and unnecessary. Intolerance is just ignorance in disguise

SHARING

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Sharing is kind of a hard concept to understand. Think about it, apart from immediate family, how often do you share? Do you let your neighbor use your car just because he doesn’t have one? Probably not. Yet, we all need to be able to let go of our possessionary nature sometimes and be prepared to let others have what we have.

RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S THINGS

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With sharing comes respect. If your friend is going to be so kind and share her favorite shoes with you, then you also need to be so kind and treat them with the up most care.

RESPECT YOURSELF

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Is respecting yourself a manner to learn? Of course it is. We can’t expect people to show respect for others and their things if they lack self-respect. Learning to value yourself and how important you are is a vital life lesson. You shouldn’t talk down about yourself or belittle your own importance. “Graciousness” can cover so many other important qualities that add up to good manners, like grace under pressure, controlling your temper, sharing, and forgiving someone when they’re made you angry. These are all important things to learn but a life without self respect and self belief is hardly a life worth living

GOLDEN RULE

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There is always the golden rule that puts all manners in to prospective. We all need to know how to treat others the way we want others to treat us. If you really, truly, honestly put yourself in someone else’s shoes, its amazing how much more understanding and tolerant we become.  Of course, understand that the rule in reverse does not work..You can’t treat others the way they treat you.

TABLE MANNERS

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Have you ever had to share a meal with someone with horrible table manners? They start eating before anyone else is ready, talk with their mouth full, eat with their hands, and belch at the table. You probably wondered why this person’s mother never taught any manners to her kid.

COUGHING AND SNEEZING

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We were all taught to cover our coughs and sneezes however we could, with a tissue or our hands… but now science encourages us to sneeze and cough into your elbows, to help prevent spreading germs. Yes, there is a polite way to cough and sneeze. I don’t know too many people that enjoy getting sprayed with the snot of random strangers.

HELPING OTHERS

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Always offer to help others…even better when you get to help out strangers. Nothing will make your day more than a random act of kindness