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Mind Your Manners!

At the risk of sounding like my grandmother, I have to say I’ve noticed a lack of social etiquette among a lot of guys, especially the younger generations, who for some reason haven’t had the rules of common courtesy beat into them like generations before.

Simple respect and good manners seem to evade even the nicest of guys; making us, as a gender, look like Neanderthals. Well, I’m here to do my part in saving the world by laying out an easy guideline to becoming the polite and well-mannered gentleman your grandmother wants you to be. Honest… she told me!

Let’s start with the “no-brainers”

• Say thank you. Say thank you to anyone and everyone who is courteous to you. Thank your waitress who brings you a glass of water; the cashier who hands you your change; the support desk who spent an hour explaining your new app… seriously, thank everyone in every situation who you should extend appreciation and respect to. It’s free to say, and brings you good things in return: a smile, a reciprocated thank you, a you’re welcome, maybe even a date, but most importantly, it makes you feel good about yourself for doing the right thing.

• Be Polite. Nothing melts a woman’s heart like a polite guy. Not that women are the only people who deserve politeness, but you’ll be noticed for the right reasons when you show how well-mannered and considerate you are. As challenging it as may be at times, always remember to be polite, even when a person’s not remembering their manners. Rising above a tense situation, and being the bigger man by showing control and sense of etiquette, says volumes about you.

• Keep your cool. Again, rising above a touchy situation and exercising control of your temper says big things about you. Anyone can go off, but the guy who can keep it together displays an emotionally balanced quality, which bleeds over into many arenas and says you’re the guy for the job, the date, whatever. Nothing’s wrong with getting angry, as long as it’s handled properly. Use your words and express yourself without being explosive.

• Don’t speak loudly or yell… unless you’re sitting on the 50 yard. line at the Super Bowl. Seriously, being loud at times when it’s not appropriate puts people on guard, and doesn’t give them warm fuzzies about you. It shows poor judgment, which people will assume is one of your personality traits. Follow the crowd on this one, and you’ll be noticed for the right reasons.

• Keep it clean – your mouth, that is. When you’re in public or mixed company (meaning women, seniors, youth, etc.) don’t pull out the profanity. It’s just bad taste to curse in front of anyone because it shows a vulgar and disrespectful side of you that makes people uneasy. You can also be perceived as someone who has a limited vocabulary, and who can’t express himself properly. What may seem harmless can potentially harm your image, a lot.

• Respect your elders by displaying all the good manners you have. If anyone deserves our best, it’s these folks. From offering your seat to carrying a bag, elders deserve to be treated with all the kindness and thoughtfulness you can muster up. Treat seniors the way you want your own seniors (parents, grandparents, etc.) to be treated. It’s a quick gauge when in doubt.

• Don’t interrupt others while they’re speaking. Easier said than done, I know, especially when you have something of major importance to say. Waiting for your turn to speak, which is typically when the other person stops speaking, says you have good manners, great listening and social skills. It’s unpleasant and difficult to have a conversation with someone who won’t let you get your thoughts out because they constantly interrupt. Don’t be this guy.

• Don’t spit… PLEASE! I understand why, but the reason doesn’t make the act any easier to deal with. I’m going to be blunt – IT’S GROSS. It’s that simple. It makes everyone’s stomach queasy, which is not something you want to be connected to. Get a grip on the habit and change it. If tobacco is the cause, limit your use to when you’re not in public. Better yet… quit!

• Take your hat off at the table. Hey, if you’re cool enough to sport a hat, be cool enough to know and practice hat etiquette. Dining tables (whether you’re eating or not) and hats NEVER mix. Being respectful of others and food by removing your hat before you sit down scores major points. Actually, all hats should be removed whenever you enter a building of any kind.

• Speaking of dinner tables, be a gentleman and wait until everyone’s seated before you begin eating. It’s rude not to wait for everyone, and is especially insulting to the cook, who deserves everyone’s consideration and appreciation. Show the world you weren’t raised in a barn… no matter what my mother says! I mean, your mother…

• Oh, no – you didn’t just laugh, did you? Talk about the epitome of poor taste and bad judgment. Laughing when someone makes a mistake or gets hurt is cruel, insensitive, thoughtless and just flat out says some ugly stuff about you. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and respond the way you would want to be responded to if you just fell down the stairs… with kindness and sensitivity, I’m sure.

• Don’t stare; it’s not polite. How many times have you heard that one? Well, it’s true. It’s also intimidating, scary, threatening and just plain rude. I don’t care if you’ve just seen the most beautiful woman in the world; gazing intently will probably creep her out. Regardless, being stared at makes us feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable, so don’t be the guy who makes people feel this way.

• Keep your word and your handshake. Seems like a lost art, but being accountable for promises made or agreements reached says you’re a standup kind of guy; who has integrity and is trustworthy. Man, talk about a chick magnet! Everyone appreciates and admires a guy whose word is good and can be counted on. Make me proud!

• When meeting someone new, or when greeting anyone, make eye contact, smile and say hello. If it’s another man, go ahead and extend your hand for a handshake, also. A guy who uses the “handshake” gets mad respect and acknowledgement from others. It’s a very mature and responsible gesture that communicates honorable things about you, and is the finishing touch to a polished image.

Hopefully, none of you need these reminders, but if any ring true, go ahead and up your game by adding “nice guy” to your image. Being a respectful person, who treats others well, is a status worth striving for and being proud to own. My next article will address dating etiquette, which should be fun. In the meantime, mind your manners and chew with your mouth shut!

by Aaron Marino

Past Topics

New Topics Added Weekly!
Image Killers | Men's Style Details -
December 14, 2011
Ever wonder why it takes your wife so long to get ready?  Does it blow your mind how she tries on six different outfits before she decides on the one she will wear?  Well, gentlemen, the answer to these age old questions are… because she is paying attention to minor details that she knows make a difference. Before she leaves the house she makes sure that all pieces of the image puzzle are in oRead More»
Bad Breath | Cause, Detection, Fix, and Cure for Halitosis -
June 3, 2011
Professional male image consultant, Aaron Marino, talks about the causes of bad breath, how to tell if you have bad breath, and how to fix bad breath.  Bad breath could be the reason you are sitting at home on Friday night and is an easy fix. CAUSES Halitosis is bad breath. We all have had it. What causes it? It happens because of poor oral hygiene (chronic), foods we eat (temporary), and a dry mRead More»

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