Essay sample: Manners

Children are taught good manners so that when they grow older, they will understand how to behave appropriately and will show respect and consideration toward other people. In Britain, good manners were once considered as proof of one’s dignity. An old saying goes “manners maketh the man.” However, people have become more lax about accepted behavior over time. Even so, people still tend to judge others according to the way they behave. For instance, people may be said to have no manners if they are rude and do not consider the feelings of others. For example, speaking too loudly in public places and belching or yawning without putting a hand in front of the mouth are considered impolite actions and are likely to attract criticism. On the other hand, a polite and modest person who has consideration for other people and respects their points of view tends to gain a positive image and a good reputation. Moreover, British and American parents always teach their children that “please” and “thank you” are magic words, special keys which can open any door. When children use such polite words, their parents are more likely to give them what they want, reinforcing good manners.

People in Britain tend to be polite. They say “thank you” several times at the checkout, such as when the cashier tells them the total cost of their purchase, and when they receive their change or take back their credit card. They also thank the cashier for his or her service. Other examples of good manners are seen in everyday actions. For example, when receiving a present, it is expected for the recipient to say “thank you” and to add some additional comment like “This is fabulous! He is my favorite designer!” The person who gives present will be pleased with the recipient’s pleasure. When a present is sent by post, it is polite to send a thank-you note, a short letter, or a card to express one’s gratitude. Good manners are also important at meal times. Although meals are less formal than they once were, people still pay attention to the way one behaves at the table. When eating with other people, one is expected to keep one’s napkin on the lap, to chew with the mouth closed, not to talk with food in the mouth, to keep elbows off the table, and not to hurry while eating. Furthermore, it is bad manners to take a lot of food at once or to take an extra portion before being offered some. One should always ask somebody to pass the salt or sugar rather than try to reach for it across the table. Furthermore, when invited to dinner at someone else’s house, it is a good idea to take a bottle of wine, chocolates, or flowers as a gift. Moreover, it is considered rude to look around other people’s places without being invited to do so. Many people do not smoke, so one should ask for permission to have a smoke. Close friends are less formal at each other places and often help in the kitchen as a form of courtesy. If you follow these simple rules, you will always be treated as a well-bread person.

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