“Etiquette, the manners and forms prescribed by custom, usage, or authority and accepted when people deal with each other, as correct or proper behavior”. – Colliers EncyclopediaEtiquette is necessary to have an effective and well groomed personality. It is considered as an everlasting impression on the people you meet. This does not only refer about etiquette but also public mannerism. Mannerism is any exaggerated style, distinctive traits, or behavioral habit of one individual.
Etiquette and public mannerism can be good or bad impression depending on how we behave. To have an everlasting good impression on the people we meet, we must possess a qualities to build a personality that is charming, decent, lovable and welcome anywhere & everywhere we go.
Most of us have been trained by our parents to be well-mannered when we’re a child. As a Filipino, we are accustomed to say words such as “Po” & “Opo” as a sign of respect to our elders, Similar to Japanese’s honorifics san, chan, kun, sama, sempai, sensei & shi. Dropping the honorific suffix implies a high degree of intimacy. Although in this current era, some Filipinos are not accustomed saying these honorific words to their elders anymore. It might be because of the influence of the western culture to the citizens of my beloved homeland. Sad but true.
Anyway, what I’ve just stated are some of the manners we learned to our parents and teachers who try and implant us the importance of being well-mannered. At some point, our manners are categorized as good or bad depending on the society we live in and on the environment we grew in.
Here’s a list of some very poor mannerism we observed a lot (actually there’s a lot more of them):
- Eating with your mouth open
- Making loud noise and slurping sound while eating
- Picking your nose in the public
- Biting nails
- Spitting in the public
- Coughing and yawning and without covering your mouth
- Sneezing without covering your nose
- Crossing the road wherever you feel like (ignoring No Jaywalking signs)
- Acting rude and vulgar jokes in front of ladies colleague
- Not saying please and thank you
- Not saying “excuse me” when trying to get pass someone
- Ridiculing someone for his physical limitations and shortcomings
- Smoking at prohibited places
- Barging on someone’s room without permission
- Not saying “sorry” when you bump into somebody
The main reason for making us forget social courtesies is eccentricity. And one way to gain respect in the society is to learn to respect also the society. Remember the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. All good manners start from home. Though there are times that we learned on what we saw. Some male youth pee on the public post and walls because when they’re young they saw grown-ups doing that thing and they think it is ok which is definitely NOT.
Having good manners is not just about blending with the best; rather it is more about considering the feelings of others and taking responsibility. Take for example when you eat in the restaurant or in public places, try not to chew with one’s mouth open. The unpleasant sound and scene is repelling for others. In public speaking, we must not interrupt when he/she is talking. It is considered highly ill-mannered if you do not complete his sentence. These are just some of the things we should avoid doing.
There’s a lot of method on how to mend your ways. You can find comprehensive books of etiquette available for all age groups. Try reading”The Seventeen Book of Etiquette and Entertaining” by Mrs. Enid A. Haupt, as these deals with the special etiquette problems and responsibilities of young people. Or also try watching High Five Etiquette.
The point of etiquette is not, of course, the rules themselves but the comfort of the people concerned. Exhibiting bad manners and “I don’t care a damn” attitude are the ones who are the social outcast. Manners that put a strain on others are not good manners, no matter whose rules they follow.
Remember, having good manners and etiquette can gravitate everybody towards you. J