Today we are constantly bombarded. By technology, work, people and generally, life itself. It’s easy to get caught up, or even lost in the very act of living. We live in a fast-paced society and you can either fly or die as they say.
In all this hustle and bustle it’s easy to forget yourself, to let yourself slip into bad habit or ritual.
Many a time I’ve witnessed people barging by others onto commuter trains, not standing up when another on an inside seat needs out, not holding doors open for others behind them. Basic stuff that makes me cringe when I see.
The word may sound stuffy and old hat. Manners. It goes against the modern modus operandi of nice guys finishing last and being ruthless to get ahead. Well, if it’s one thing the old times one up on us that us futuristic barbarians don’t, it’s being more mannerable.
I’m not going to talk about why you should be nice to everyone; hopefully you arrived here out of the desire to improve on what manners you already have or to maybe use this as kind of literate smelling salt to avoid giving up on even trying to be mannerable.
Here are some basic manners you can apply to spit-shine your behavior:
Mind your Ps and Qs
If you want to go far in life, learn to be very well mannered towards every single person you come across
– Mufti Ismail Menk
Never underestimate the power of simply polishing up your language. A simple; thank you, please, you’re welcome and excuse me, will show the world that you are someone who’s been brought up right and not as my Mom would say; dragged up.
Saying these simple expressions can make someone’s day, so don’t be afraid to overuse them. There’s nothing wrong with being too kind, this I promise you!
Dressing well is a form of good manner
– Tom Ford
Your visible appearance to the world is your own personal brand. It’s what people judge you on even before they meet you. It is a first impression that you can very easily change for the better.
Here are 3 easy things you can do right off the bat:
• Shower every day (unless you’re a rock star or sick).
• Find yourself a good barber and get a classic hair cut.
• Buy more; shoes, shirts, suits. Buy less; sneakers, jeans, t-shirts.
Stonewall Jackson, the stalwart confederate General was known to have a purposeful rigid posture all his life, when seated he never permitted his spine to touch the back of a chair. Despite his many eccentricities he also infamously confident. Coincidence? Maybe, but just picture a well mannered man for a second, how does he look? Slouchy? Or confidently postured? Exactly!
Jordan Harbinger form the Art of Charm talks about applying ‘the doorway drill’. A method conceived to quickly improve overall confidence, which suggests, whenever you pass through a doorway, to straighten up, put your chin up and smile. I can attest, I’ve been trying this one and it’s pretty damn effective.
By simply standing straight, with your shoulders back and chest out, you will immediately notice the boost it gives you. Throw in a slight smile (not a huge grin!) and you will look and feel like a well manner Duke of Confidenceshire.
When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen
– Ernest Hemingway
If you take away any one of these manner suggestions, make it this one.
Listening to someone is the highest compliment you can give them. You’re non-verbally saying; I respect you enough to hear you out. Respond back thoughtfully and considerately, if even required, not everything requires your opinion, some people just want to vent.
Photo: Getty Images