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Manners, Should I Bother?

Anthony K. Wilson Sr. -- So what is the purpose of manners when the people with whom you are interacting do not show any appreciation in return? Believe it or not, it's actually not so much about them as it is about you.

Manners are very important in life. You have probably been told this ever since you were younger. Your parents and other adults may have constantly reminded you to portray good manners on special occasions and in your everyday world. However, you might not know why it is so critical to display good manners when the people with whom you are interacting do not show any appreciation to you in return.

The best way to look at it is that your manners are not a reflection on the other person; they are a reflection on you. When you hold a door open for someone who does not say "thank you," it is not about what he is failing to do, but about what you are doing right. What you are doing is demonstrating respect for the person and respect for yourself as well. Sometimes you may be led to become discouraged or angry when your manners are not appreciated or acknowledged. You might even be tempted to think of the other person in a negative way. The great news is that there is no reason for this, as long as you keep the right perspective on your own actions. You do not need to focus on the other person's reaction when you are focusing on your own actions.

When you keep in mind that your manners are about you, you will be in the best frame of mind. You can go through life with a wonderful sense of self-respect and pride. You can be proud of yourself, because you will know that the way you treat other people is not based on what the other person may or may not do. It is not necessary for another person to say or do anything in return when you know that you are doing the right thing.

If you really think about it, what is the purpose of manners? When your actions toward others include good manners, it shows that you respect the other person. It shows that you are considerate of him or her. It also shows that you respect yourself enough to think of someone else. None of these positive aspects of good manners need to include acknowledgement or reciprocation from the other person.

Displaying good manners toward everyone in your everyday life will bring you nice rewards. Instead of expecting a reward in terms of a "thank you" or other acknowledgement, you will actually be providing the rewards to yourself. When you know that you have done something kind and considerate for another person, it will make you feel good about yourself. You will know that whatever you did had a positive effect on another person, even if the effect was very small. Your manners may have been helpful to him in some way, or they may have made his day a little brighter. The good feelings this will give to you about yourself will be pride and self-respect well-earned. You won't need a "thank you," because the way your manners make you feel is a wonderful reward in itself.

Anthony is an entrepreneur, artist, writer, and speaker with a dedicated interest in creativity. If you found this information motivating, please check out these additional inspirations and learn first hand how these quotes can make a better life for you. Visit

© 2011 Anthony K. Wilson Sr.

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