Why don't people have manners?

January 10, 2010 2:35pm CST
I don't like to be negative. I generally believe that there is good in everyone ; I really do. But I have been really struck by the lack of basic politeness in some people. I sent a friend a gift recently, that for me was very expensive, and they haven't even thanked me for it. Isn't that rude? At work, I did a quick straw poll. As I served people on the till, around 70 - 80% were polite and said 'thank you' However, when I was on clearing tables, and sweeping duties, aroung 10% of those who asked me for direction to the toliets/door/ local swimming baths/best pub in town etc. actually said thank you. Why do some people hold doors open for others, and some don't? I wonder if people are less polite if they think someone is in a lower paid job? I wonder why people don't say please and thank you as a matter of course any more. Are young people really any less polite than their elders -just for the records, I don't think so. I am in my 30's, and generally find people younger than myself to be as polite, or more so, than those older. So what do you think? Is it important to be polite? Are you? and do you notice that people just don't seem to have manners any more?
3 people like this
19 responses
@lelin1123 (15635)
• Puerto Rico
10 Jan 10
I have very good manners and was taught that as a young child. Its just nice to be nice I think. Saying thank you, your welcome, holding a door for someone should come natural. Its just doing the right thing. The one thing I can't stand is when you are driving and you let someone go ahead of you and they don't acknowledge and say thank you or wave. They just keep going without saying anything. That is being so rude to me.
2 people like this
@Cutie18f (9560)
• Philippines
10 Jan 10
I totally agree with both of you guys. It is always nice to have good manners. I think some people do not have this because they were never taught this. Manners result from good education and good breeding. You get it from a good school and good family. It is obvious that those who do not show manners most likely did not go to school nor were they taught at home. People with good manners are always respected and appreciated. And when we talk about good manners, it should not be selective. One should be polite to everyone, and not only to people they think have positions.
@megamatt (14323)
• United States
10 Jan 10
It's important to have manners but unfortunately it is a dying art. I have them but it frustrates me to see others around me who do not. It makes me feel like I am the odd one at times. The reason being, at least how I see it, as I was taught at a young age to have manners. That behavior stayed with me as I got older. These people may have not had those values taught or if they were, they were not taught well enough. It is much easier to teach a young child something than a teenager or a young adult. Once they are set in their ways, its very hard to reverse the situation. Thus we have situations where a lot of people seem to not have even the most basic of manners. Sad but true.
2 people like this
@udnisak (610)
• Australia
11 Jan 10
i think it is really important to be polite.. it is essential and there is no argument about it.. if you are not polite enough you will look like a jerk.. and how can you expect someone else to be polite if you act like a jerk.. we have to undesrstand that we all do mistakes.. i believe most people act like jerks when they are angry.. but we shuld try to control our anger and try to be polite whenever we can..
1 person likes this
@knkshrt (27)
• India
11 Jan 10
Greed! People in this times pass relied on neighbors and the kindness of strangers to get by. Today's Society has expressed people with less need for handouts and help therefore they din't feel they need to have manners and be kind.You never know the recession might change all of that.Time have changed over the year. Because of humanities rising level of egoism. It's really that simple.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
11 Jan 10
It is important in being polite. It shows we recognize a person's existence in this world. It also shows tolerance in sharing a world where all of us live in together. Still, manners is something quite abstract. What was mandatory in act of manners to someone, can usually mean less important to others. Like friendship, some says there's no sorry or thank you in it, while some got hurt when their friends did not say sorry for their mistakes or thank yous to appreciate them. In some places, when a woman bow down their head, not seeing a man's eyes, it was called subtle politeness. In another place, it's called oppression. So, it varies highly on the place, situation, and the person.
1 person likes this
@chulce (1539)
• United States
11 Jan 10
Hi Freddy, You bring up a very good subject here. You are right about the lack of manners in our society now-a-days. A lot of this has to do with the changes that have happened. Many people have lost their social skills for one. They sit in front of the computer, order in their food, and frankly don't want to be out in society around others. Due to this, they don't know how to behave around other people any more. Even though I am sure their parents taught them proper manners, many have chosen to either not to use them, or have simply forgotten how. Other cases may be the lack of self respect. If you can't respect yourself, in many cases, people can't show respect for others. Schools today don't help our children with the aspect of manners. I have sat in my children's classrooms and observed different situations. I actually called a teacher on a problem that I saw. She didn't realize she had even disrespected the child the way she did. I informed her that if she wanted respect and manners from a child, that she should show them as well. Yes, it isn't entirely the teachers fault either. The child's parents also need to help their child learn about respect and manners as well. But, without all of us helping to mold the young, or help each other by showing respect and using manners ourselves, well, as you have seen the outcome, you know. It would be nice to see people open their eyes and realize they too need to use their manners.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jan 10
I was raised to show respect for others and it just feels natural for me to be polite. I do notice that a lot of people do not have the same inclination. I think manners are more of a southern trait (southern hospitality) and I really noticed this when I started taking trips to NY..lol. I was amazed at how rude people were but I didn't take it personal because I understand that most have them have been conditioned to be that way. Like, it is nothing for me to say hello to someone in passing so when I would get funny looks was I kind of set aback. Even when saying thank you to people in customer service positions it kind of went over their head. I realize that people are different and even sometimes I have my days when I may be holding on to a little bitterness and I'm not as focused on being polite but generally it is just part of who I am and I'm glad that I get it honestly. Whenever you can give off any bit of positivity it makes a difference and it is a good thing.
1 person likes this
@smileonstar (4012)
• United States
11 Jan 10
Hello, I know what you meant... I work with people everyday, and I know how people are. some are so polite and some just like a jerk. U think young people are more polite than older? I think just some... cuz I am here, and the kids are so much. they dont even say HI or thank you or say any word to you... all they do just point to what they want. I think people who never deal with public, that's why they are rude. some people hold the door for others and some don't cuz they think other people take advantage of them. To me, I dont think so... sometimes, I feel like they are teaching me how to be rude or something but I dont let it bother my mind at all... I just do what I am and I think a good thing will return back to you someday. And I dont care about others either
1 person likes this
@allknowing (85917)
• India
11 Jan 10
Having good manners shows that they have been brought up well. It does not matter which part of the globe one is manners are universal and they have to be shown to every strata big and small.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Jan 10
yeah! it's totally rude. one time in college, we, the seniors got to be the godparents of the juniors for the capping and badge pinning ceremony for the nursing students and had to give them tokens. when i met my godchild, i gave her a flower, and i expected a "thank you" in return. but i didn't get any. not even a glance! i mean, come on!! is that rude or what?!! in our culture, the Filipino culture, we pay our respect to our elders by kissing their hand or by putting it on our forehead. nowadays, it's rarely practiced and worse, the young ones even answer back to their elders. respect and virtues are simply forgotten along with the coming in of new trends. most think that by having the latest glam they will be "in" and the two things aforementioned are just less than important. i hope this will be realized and adjusted!
1 person likes this
@laydee (12811)
• Philippines
11 Jan 10
You get manners from your home. You will know if a person has good breeding if he/she is polite. Aside from being polite, I think we should also look at fact that most people nowadays have accustomed themselves to heavy swearing. In fact, there are those who can't finish a sentence without swearing. As for the friend you sent a gift to, perhaps they were busy for now, you know how the holidays just drains out all your energy. I myself haven't gotten the energy to thank most of the people who greeted me. Well, I guess it's not about being rude, but perhaps they're just hung up on something.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jan 10
i have manners but it never really occured to me that other should do it it doesnt really bother me much they have to be rude and noticble.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jan 10
i have to agree with you, it does seem like people don't have manners anymore. I am sorry about your friend not even thanking you for your gift. I always thank people for the things they give me or do for me. I always make an effort to remember to say "please" and "thank you" and so on... I actually got into the habit of doing that when I was a kid and I still do it to this day lol...
@tap0991 (2767)
• United States
10 Jan 10
It might depend on where you are and maybe your job, but idk it bothers me too when people dont say thank you or please or hold the door open. Like there is this thing down south that they are suppose to be the most polite. Well yea when they talk they say yes sir/maam, but other than that most of them dont do anything else. Dont get me wrong not saying they dont have manners as there are some very outstanding people down south that are very well mannered. It is that some just dont seem to know anything else in manners.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24141)
• Carlisle, England
22 Feb 10
I'm so sorry I've only just got round to thanking you for my Best Response, it is much appreciated.
• United States
13 Jan 10
the sad part about this whole problem is that it is trickling down to today's children and they are becoming extremely rude towards adults and other children. What happened to the days where parents parented thier children, and we didn't have to worry about letting children play outside without having to worry about them being kidnapped, etc. I think people need to be accountable for their actions and they need to start teaching their children the values that were taught long ago so that this society can get back on the right track.
@Java09 (3080)
• United States
13 Jan 10
I think when someone doesn't have manners it's because they were brought up with out manners.Here where I live ,these kids in my neighborhood are brats.They make fun of me and I'm an adult.Since I moved here to this neighborhood these kids have been harassing me for no reson at all.Their parents only tell me their kid wouldn't do that and I'm crazy.That just tells me why they are brats.The parents don't care what their kids do and they pay no attention to what they do either.These kids have damaged my property here.the cops don't do anything about it.I'm looking to move away from here.The adults here are just as bad as the kids.They are so mean.They just don't except me here because I'm the poorest person who lives in the neighborhood.I've never had problems with any kids or adults until I moved here.
@Janey1966 (24141)
• Carlisle, England
11 Jan 10
I am a great believer in saying "please" and "thank you" and leaving doors open for others...and I'm a female! It's the way I have been brought up although the way we all live our lives now (usually frantic) a lot can't even be bothered to raise their eyes from the floor to respond to a friendly "hello" and the worsed person I encountered over this was a guy in his 50s! I actually asked him once why he didn't reply sometimes when I said "hello" to him and his response summed it up. He said, "I can't be bothered!" I mean, what could I say to that? It's not stopped me from being courteous towards others though, why should I be like him, the miserable git hehe lol!
@Hatley (164229)
• Garden Grove, California
10 Jan 10
hi freddystickman hi again. So many people are waited on or helped by someone and never say that simple thing, thanks. I am irritated that at times when someone helped me out, I just plain did not say thanks. I am the sort of person who almost always does thank anyone who had helped me in any way at all. I thank the various care givers here who pour coffee and hand out plates of food, the nurse who gives us our medications, the person who makes our beds and cleans our room. they are all servers and deserve our thanks. we also should thank the ones we love who help us without hesitation each day. You are right, a lot of the older ones here never say thanks and it really irks me. the helpers all deserve a thanks very much from us all.