Etiquette?

January 14, 2007 11:48am CST
Does good etiquette still have a place in society today. For example, I frequently get a sneer from a young woman if I hold a door open for them (they think I'm a sexist pig). Does it matter if you pass the port to the right, instead of the left? Should you dress for dinner? Does anyone know the difference between 'black tie' and 'white tie'? Smoking, or shooting guns (see attached photo) whilst others are eating or drinking - is it a faux pas? Let rip, and spill your thoughts freely, and without hesitation!
5 people like this
39 responses
@Muslimah (811)
• United States
14 Jan 07
lol whaa i cant believe you get that. women love to have the door held open 4 them, their chair pulled out and so on. well thats what i thought. keep being your nice self.
3 people like this
14 Jan 07
I'm afraid that a misunderstanding of feminism by some young ladies today, has led to a resentment of anything that they perceive as patronising. I shall continue to do what my Mum taught me, though, because she was right. Thank you for response, it was greatly appreciated. All the best.
1 person likes this
14 Jan 07
I think that there are also quite a few people in society who are highly suspicious of anyone who behaves well towards them without having any apparent reason. These people tend to have become very angry at the world, and had their perception of life worped by bad experiences. These people (classic example - Jade's mother on Big Brother) have their heckles up permanently, and don't understand common courtesy, as it's not a part of their world. They interpret it with suspicion and hostility, like the monkey-hangers of Hartlepool). I get the feeling that it's either feminism as you say, or that the people you encountered were like those I've just described. Either way, it's their problem, not yours.
1 person likes this
14 Jan 07
Thanks for the input, though I do feel I ought to explain to the bulk of people using myLot that Hartlepool residents don't hang monkeys anymore. I would hate the poor town to be invaded by animal rights activists! As I recall (and, to be fair Rochdale play Hartlepool at football, so the 'monkey-hangers' chant is never far from my thoughts), the residents of Hartlepool were confused during the Napoleonic Wars (circa 1810), by the arrival of a strange, gabbling monkey on board a ship, and taking the 'better safe than sorry' approach to national security, hung the monkey as a French spy! Who says Britain has no culture. Thanks for the comment.
@devideddi (1437)
• United States
14 Jan 07
Oh I love it when someone is nice enough to open the door for me and such things. I teach my children the importance of good manners. I teach my son to let the women and children go first or help the older woman or man when they need help or a little slow at something or don't understand some of this world's new technology. My girls are very polite and say yes mam and no mam or sir. I think it is respectful and helps make for a nicer enviroment to live in. It does not mean weakness of any sort and if someone thinks such type thing, I believe they have personal issues and are maybe not so secure in who they are.
14 Jan 07
Thank you for your response, your children sound lovely. What actually surprises me most about young women grumbling when I hold a door open, is that whenever I pass through a door, and sense someone behind me, I hold the door, often unaware what their age or sexuality is, until they come into sight. My mother taught me that, and , to be frank, I think bugger the 'girl with a chip on her shoulder', I'm going to keep holding doors open, whether they thank me or not. I should say, that in my experience, most people aclnowledge my act with a smile, nod or thank you, it is a minority that act badly. Congratulations on raising polite children, and I agree, good manners do not signify weakness, often it can take great strength to bite ones tongue, and behave decently. Thanks, once again, for your input, and good manners.
2 people like this
@thatmom2 (126)
• United States
15 Jan 07
i wouldnt worry about someone else's insecurities. Your mom taught you right, have respect and manners, and go through with them. It bothers me when people dont do the niceties they know they can do. In case you havent heard it in a while, Thank you.
15 Jan 07
Thank you, too, for a lovely and supportive response. What amazes me most, is people seem to forget that politness costs nothing, just a little consideration.
@anyablue (363)
• United States
14 Jan 07
First, as a young woman, I would like to apologize for those sneers you have received. I appreciate receiving politeness and assistance from strangers and friends. Shame on those who cannot be gracious enough to receive it. And shame on those (male or female, old or young) who cannot contribute good manners and decency! Perhaps etiquette a la Emily Post is disappearing. This occurance is most likely natural as most generations cast off what they view is useless. Every generation charges the next with ruining civilization. The courtiers of Louis XIV would have been outraged by the Victorians and the Victorians would assume we are all going to hell. My father complains about my generation being useless slackers. And my friends and I complain about the brainless teenage drones. I haven't decided whether good manners are disappearing or not. I know a large part of it is we always remember the rude people. It's harder to forget the insult and we take the kindness for granted. I actually had a discussion about this subject with a few friends the other day. We were talking about how it may be easier to be rude today. With WWII, Vietnam, the counterculture of the '60s, the internet, and the rise of consumerism and me-ism we consider everyone and everything fair game. So if this is the attitude there is no need to acknowledge or defer to anyone since this would go against our personal sovereignty. We all want to believe we live in a class-less and equal society. And as jfglassworks and devideddi rightly pointed out, the lack of manners also points to the circumstances of one's childhood. If a child is not taught what manners and social conduct are that child has a good chance to keep their ignorance into adulthood. I would just like to add though, a person can only be taught ideals. They cannot be made to practice them. I have met nasty adults that have sweet, decent parents. And it can be said everyone has a different idea of what constitutes good manners or etiquette. Ok, sorry about the rant. I will just urge everyone to keep saying "please" and "thank you." Oh, and don't hit anyone who slams a door in your face.
2 people like this
14 Jan 07
I don't know about a rant, what I read was an eloquent, intelligent and very well-argued series of points. I, really, don't know where to start in responding. I think that with the UK, the rot set in during the 80s, when consumerism and greed were highly praised by the media, and seen as something to be attained, whereas I was repulsed. The Hippies may have smelt of Patchouli, never done a hard days work, and spawned a plague of guitar wielding troubadours on the world, but they were very polite! And, I spent my late teen years dressed like something from Louis court, at Versailles (a lovely, if gauche on the interior, building, that is well worth a visit for anyone passing north of Paris), and feel I should have much preferred to be there, than in Victorian England. Though, I believe European etiquette may have its roots in the chivalric code of conduct, so plagues and warring, but all done ever so politely! Thank you for urging at least the use of basic good manners, which I support wholeheartedly. Good luck, and thanks for a magnificent response.
@anyablue (363)
• United States
15 Jan 07
Thank you for the kind words! I enjoy participating in interesting discussions like this one. Keep 'em up! I forgot to add to my first post that a lot of young people (at least here in the US) cast off etiquette because they do not understand what it means. They think etiquette is just knowing which fork to use and how to address the butler. They don't realize it deals with social interactions. Also, popular culture tends to favor those who are outrageous and obscene.
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
The world has always had its rebels; from the Marquis de Sade, to Johnny Rotten, yet has managed to survive, though I must agree, todays cultural icons don't seem to know what they're rebelling against, so it just becomes a mess for everyone. Thanks for the further insight (I thanked someone for their 'inciteful' comments earlier today, proving even English teachers aren't beyond distraction - glad I got it right this time!).
• United States
14 Jan 07
It is an amazing thing that so many of the younger generations are so rude and so unaware of what ettiqette even is. Public schools are not allowed to teach it, parents don't spend much time with their kids to begin with, so when would they have time to teach a child good manners? I was brought up to respect everyone around me UNLESS they give me a darned good reason not to. I don't understand the lack of respect for eachother.
2 people like this
14 Jan 07
I agree, I prefer to show respect from the off, and only change when it is beyond a doubt that the recipient wouldn't know good manners, if they bit them on the bum. I think everyone deserves respect, and should show it in return. I agree that this is something that parents should instil in their children, though society today, does leave some parents with little quality time to make such an impact on their kids. Thank you for your insight.
@angelicEmu (1311)
14 Jan 07
Where's the attached photo, I'm intrigued?
1 person likes this
14 Jan 07
I have to say that as regards your question, I think it's disgusting that good manners (which are after all, all about consideration, and being sensitive to people's needs) are seen as something out of date, or even offensive by some people. Being considerate and nice is never something which should be thrown in your face. Please don't let the nastiness of a few (probably miserable if that's their attitude) people change your outlook or your manners. They had no reason to take offence, and were probably just being objectionable. There's no pleasing people like that, but that really is their problem, not yours. Keep up the good manners - I do, and I find people often seem surprised when I'm polite and hold a door open. I think the dearth of consideration and good manners comes from a lack of respect (for others and themselves) which a lot of people seem to suffer from. Perhaps your good manners will rub off on them - here's hoping!
1 person likes this
14 Jan 07
I think you could well be right about the lack of good manners in society, and be sure, I shalln't allow the behaviour of others to drag me down to their level. Thanks for the comments, and the support.
@dawn5679 (266)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I love when my husband holds the door open for me!! I think we should bring the etiquette from th old days back!
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
I think it is very romantic, and, as I might have mentioned in an earlier response, can turn a nice evening out into a wonderful evening. I'm glad your husband recognises this, and that you appreciate him for it. Thank you.
15 Jan 07
I think it is very romantic, and, as I might have mentioned in an earlier response, can turn a nice evening out into a wonderful evening. I'm glad your husband recognises this, and that you appreciate him for it. Thank you.
• United States
15 Jan 07
I consider myself a feminist and I love when any person, man or woman, is kind enough to hold a door for me. I always do for others when I get the chance. I like it when my hubby opens car doors for me. We are teaching our sons how to be gentlemen as well.
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
Feminism was, and remains, a worthy cause, till all ladies are given the same opportunities and rewards as a man. Unfortunately, a small number of ladies may have misinterpretated the cause. Most feminists still appreciate good manners being shown to all, and I feel that you fall into this grouping. I am glad to hear that you are passing on your good manners to your sons, I hope they will find it advantageous and enjoyable throughout their lives. Thank you very much.
@crazynurse (7510)
• United States
15 Jan 07
Yes, good etiquette will never go out of style. There will always be some of us who have enough self-respect as well as respect for others to use good etiquette. As for your holding the door, that is something that one should do for anybody approaching the door...be it man, woman or child! Sadly, some insecure women are trying so hard to be secure that they see your general etiquette as being sexist. I am really bothered by women who take the sexist crap too far. Why should you lower your standards and then feel badly about yourself, only to please a few insecure women! Lets see, wasn't it Lincoln who said, "you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." Continue on with your etiquette dear man...you are part of a dying breed!
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
Thank you for an eloquent and lovely response, I greatly appreciate all the support I have received since posting this discussion. Abe was a very wise man, and we could all benefit from there being a few more like him around. I shall always maintain my standards, and if I might be so bold as to mention an Englishmans words, 'whether 'tis nobler in mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles..' (Shakespeares 'Hamlet'), I feel as though I have the support of a vast army of like-minded people across the globe, and shall continue the struggle. Thank you.
@adnanmd2 (831)
15 Jan 07
Ya i think some people really have good manners and etiquettes but most of them have never followed gud rules..!!
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
You're spot on, adnanmd2, but I'm glad to hear that you appreciate them. All the best, and thanks.
@akumei1269 (1750)
• India
15 Jan 07
I don't think there is no place for etiquette . There always are some people who fails to realise your courtsey , but you should not be disappointed at it . Your good behaviour will definitely be valued by more in time .
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
I definitely do get a good response on many occassions; a smile, thank you, or nod of the head, and this makes me feel good about myself. I'm not going to give up this rewarding sensation, just because some people do not know how to accept such an act with grace. Thank you very much for contributing, and helping to keep etiquette alive.
• India
15 Jan 07
hi friend, to gain proper etiquettes is a most apprecible thing. In case of your neighbours thinking of you as a sexiest person that depends on your behaviour bcoz if you'll clear them they could think like that bcoz they dont have any kind of clear cut behaviour information about you to gain faith on you. Otherwise if you go talking in a neat and clean way to them they will definitely let to know the well mannered and areas of yours in your society.
15 Jan 07
Thank you, and be assured I shall always maintain my own high standards of behaviour, and I am very pleased that the responses I have received have shown me that there are still a great many people all over the world, who believe in this standards, too. Thank you for your wonderful response, and may your own good behaviour continue to be appreciated by those around you.
• Philippines
15 Jan 07
good etiquette are already uprooted in ones self even if we are bombarded with different cultures. it will always be a reminder of the things that are appropriate.
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
I am very pleased to hear you express such an opinion. Too often, foreign influences can harm, as well as benefit, and people should be open to new decent influences, and ignore tha bad ones. Thank you for yet more evidence that I should come and live in the Philippines, where it seems good manners and decent behaviour towards each other, is still the everyday way.
• Philippines
15 Jan 07
No matter how people deny it, i think majority of decent girls would still love it if men open doors for them, and even old people. Actually, etiquette is everything! You cant set that aside. Those people who cant accept that are narrow-minded. When you meet someone with proper etiquette with just the right amount of that, dont you feel good of having met him? And in some way, you want to copy his ways, even just a few of it. I feel that way. And I always thought it would be a much better place if all of us would show courtesy to everyone most of the time.
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
Thank you, and I do agree with everything contained in your response. I do feel very good when I have met somebody who acts in a decent manner, and you do remember them for a long time afterwards. I must also say that I have had a very positive response from the Philippines, and am very jealous that there is a part of the world where such matters are still respected, and that I'm not there. May many more men continue to open doors for you, and accord you the respect you clearly deserve. A wonderful response, very heart-warming. Thank you.
@AskAlly (3627)
• Canada
15 Jan 07
Etiquette???? We need more. I tried to teach my sons the finer points about manner, eating, opening doors, giving up thier seat to someone else etc. Nothing too refined, but at least they know to stick out their right hand for a good old fashioned hand shake
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
Brilliant, and I hope they find that where respect is shown, it is often reciprocated. A handshake is still a great way to meet someone, break the ice and show acceptance. I do feel that your sons will find that people treat them a little bit better, especially prospective employers and people of influence, because these behavioural actions are getting rare, and it will make them stand out, in a good way. Thank you for continuing to keep decent manners, and behaviour alive.
• Pakistan
15 Jan 07
i agree with u in this regard i also feel that mannerisnm is now art forgotten
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
Yes, you're right, it is an 'art'. But, hopefully, like with many of the great arts, it will never disappear. All we can do is try and keep the dream alive, and hope it spreads across the globe. Thank you very much for your contribution.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I know what you are talking about it and it's shame that it's happened to you. I know I always thank someone for holding a door for me. I also will open doors for others even if I am female, I just think of it as being nice and polite. What realy irks me is when I see someone who is having trouble opening the door and there are others nearby and they ignore them. I rush over to help and the person is grateful but all these others could care less. My thought is be helpful to one another. I don't think the newer generations are learning such things as Black Tie affairs. They certainly don't know what RSVP means. Try planning a birthday party for a kid and not having any clue as to how many will be there because the parents never call to let you know. Etiquette should still be taught, should still be honored. It makes us better then just cavemen. It is very sad to see how society is going with some things and realizing that nicities we took as being part of the world are fading away.
15 Jan 07
I think you have the right concept feminism is not a bad thing, and it is great to hear a lady point out that a woman can hold the door open just as well as a man. I, too, have witnessed people struggling, be it with bags full of shopping, a baby buggy, or frailty, and am gobsmacked to see people walking by them. It's great when you help someone out in such a situation, because the thanks, and a genuine warm smile are a reward in themself. Congratulations on your general attitude, it is wonderful. I suppose that as a society, we don't gather together as often as we used to, and the number of 'black' and 'white' tie functions are dwindling. Though, my grandfather (who was a profound influence in my upbringing) was of a generation, when he wouldn't leave the house without a tie, shiney polished shoes, and his hat! There are many forms of etiquette, and a lot of it seems to be about taking pride in yourself, your appearance and your behaviour. Whilst it may seem that these things are fading away, I suspect that one day there will be a social backlash, and these things shall come back into fashion. I do hope so, and soon. Thank you for your comments, and I hope you are satisfied with my RSVP!
@Meljep (1668)
• United States
15 Jan 07
Don't ever let anyone laugh you out of good manners. Maybe it wasn't a sneer, maybe they couldn't believe that there are actually people left in the world that are mannerly. I applaud you for trying to keep good etiquette alive in our crass society.
15 Jan 07
Thank you for your plaudit, which, I have gladly learnt, should be shared with the many contributors (including yourself) who have shown that I am not alone in this activity. You may also be right, I may have, on occassion, misinterpreted shock as disapproval. I shall continue to show respect and decency, and thank you again for your support and contribution.
@mishang (501)
• Philippines
15 Jan 07
yes it does have place in the society. i appreciate it very much when men becomes gentlemen once again, and when girl becomes ladies. i think that we should look back at those times when the society was refined with their mannerisms, it looks good and feels good when you know that you are surrounded by people who knows some good etiquette.
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
You're absolutely right, it feels good to be surrounded by good behaviour, and I, too, shall look forward to the day when decency becomes the norm. Thank you.
@gynbel (52)
• Philippines
15 Jan 07
Etiquette is still appreciated. I appreciate it when my guy opens the door for me and I gave him a resentful look when we cross the road and I am on the danger zone. His sister commented his action once when she saw us crossing the road and I'm on the danger zone. I once told him "You are not a gentleman, you don't know how to take good care of a lady, you should not be my boyfriend." He was shock and from that day on he watch his manners. lol. Sometimes you just have to say it for them to understand.
1 person likes this
15 Jan 07
A good point, a gentleman should always walk roadside of a lady. My partner was a little confused, at first, because I'd be on one side, and then after crossing the road, she'd reach for my hand, only to find me on the other side. Once, I explained, she got used to my odd behaviour. Thanks for raising this important point of etiquette.
@mrstigs (63)
• United States
15 Jan 07
Good manners and etiquette are still appreciated. I think it's sad that so many people lack them. I used to love to read etiquette books and its a disappointing thing that so many people lack in those social graces. I love to go out for dinner and have my husband order for me. Of course I tell him what I would like before the waitress comes but there is something to hearing him say "my wife will have the...." We recently went out to dinner with a group of people and the quiet exchange of what I'd like was missed by one of our companions. Later she remarked on my husband ordering for me and I filled her in. Once she realized that it was a courtesy and not a sexist thing she thought it was very sweet.
15 Jan 07
I agree with your friends sentiments, good etiquette can make a pleasant occassion into a very special occassion. I am a fan of such novels as 'the Great Gatsby' and 'Jeeves and Wooster' and they show that grace is not just the domain of the wealthy (which a post above also pointed out), and can have a sense of comedy and humour, all to itself. I'm glad you have a partner who feels the same, and that you are spreading the word amongst your friends. May you have continued success, and many special evenings.