Being from the South, manners have been genetically instilled in me since birth. Don’t get me wrong, all Southerners do not have manners, but manners are still pretty much prized as being the ultimate quality to have, especially for a woman, around here. Certain manners can enhance your relationships, help you meet people, snag a new job you want, maintain a good professional demeanor, help you meet a man, make you more generous, keep you humble, and enhance your social skills. Read on to find my 7 favorites and do share yours with me, pretty please!
1. Always Offer a Handshake
In the germophobic world we live in, no one seems to want to shake hands anymore, but offering your handshake is one of the most important manners every girl should have. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve met someone new and they seem a little hesitant towards me, or shy. I immediately offer my hand out to them and tell them how glad I am to meet them. This breaks down a barrier between you and strangers, and lets them know you’re friendly. It also loosens you up and makes it easier to meet others each time you do it. If someone refuses to shake your hand, don’t take it personally. They simply might have a germ issue, and in that case, just put down your hand and give them a smile. This manner is especially important on a job interview, where I always offer a handshake to the person interviewing me. It suggests confidence, which is priceless in the work field.
2. Always Say Ma’am or Sir
I don’t care if someone is the same age as you or not, or even if they are younger. Anyone who is your employer, teacher, leader, mentor, co-worker, etc. should be called ma’am and sir out of respect. Trust me, they’ll probably tell you that you don’t have to call them that, but it still implies you are kind, respectful and courteous. Just say it and thank me later.
3. Always Say Please and Thank You
Most girls know this is a manner that we need to have, but it still has to be said. Saying please when requesting something and thank you upon receiving anything, even if it is just an answer to a question, is crucial to having manners. Do this with anyone, not just someone above you.
4. Open Doors for Others
Unless you’re on a date, it is a great idea to open doors for other people when out in public. Never open your date’s door for him though, that’s his job! Opening doors for other people signals that you’re courteous, kind and aware of others. It is also one of the best hospitality gestures you can offer others. You don't have to be the bellhop and hold it open for everyone; one person will do!
One overlooked manner every girl should have is to smile. Smile at strangers, school mates, and co-workers whenever you get the chance. A simple smile and “Hey, how are you?” will get you further along in developing relationships, meeting people, maintaining a good work relationship, and generally make you seem happier and easier to talk to. Plus, a smile is the prettiest thing you could ever wear!
6. Sit like a Lady
This might sound old fashioned, but it's true! When you’re out in public at an event or on a date, cross your legs, or at least your ankles. Don’t slouch in your chair with your legs hanging out in front of you, but instead, sit up straight and maintain a good ladylike position. You don't need to look stiff like you're at a tea party, but simply sit up tall with good posture and gently crossed legs or ankles. This manner will help you seem professional, feminine, graceful and classy.
7. Don’t Curse
For the love of being a lady, stop cursing! Unless you’re at home alone and just broke that glass dish your mom gave you for Christmas, of course! Then it’s okay since you’re alone! Seriously though, don’t make a habit of cursing, especially around guys. They want to date someone who is a lady, not a potty mouth. Cursing is also a big no no on the job. Employers don’t want their employees having bad language or it might influence their company’s image.
Having good manners doesn’t just equate to wiping your mouth at the dinner table, though that is a great manner to practice. These simple, yet effective manners are actions every girl can and should take, to maintain a ladylike, professional and classy appearance. After all, we are girls so let’s act like one! What is an important manner you were taught to have?