What Makes a Woman – a Lady: Manners, Manners, Manners

(a follow up from our series on What Makes a Woman – a Lady)

Manners, no doubt come hand-in-hand with being a true Lady.  Can you imagine an incredibly elegant, successful, graceful woman without a few manners?  No, it’s almost an impossibility!  So it would be correct to conclude that manners definitively form a very integral part of the making of a lady and also the makeup of a well-balanced and prosperous society. It’s like the oil that creates a happy and successful society.

Oddly enough for this current generation “manners” – the little courtesies and expected acts which your parents taught you at the dinner table when you were 4 years old – are now fading into irrelevance and these past forms are being regarded as “old-fashioned” and too “dated” for Generation Z.

This is evident as we breakout into what constitutes “modern society”.  Where the commonplace individual naturally behaves more rudely, making interaction difficult and hence creating an unpleasant social environment that makes people sometimes just want to run and hide.  In today’s society, bad manners can be observed anytime, anywhere. This sort of discourtesy is ever present and examples are too numerous to count or even mention: the disrespectful treatment of elderly people; invitations that aren’t responded to in any way; the lack of commitment to any event, job, or person; confirming attendance with no intention of attending; the strange disappearance of “please” and “thank you” from most people’s vocabulary; line-jumping; serial texters and cell-phone addicts who talk on the phone, as well as read and send text messages instead of paying attention to physically present persons; the friend or colleague who never offers to pick up the bill at lunch, or even pay their own way; repulsive children (the spitting image of their parents) who think that the world rotates around them and behave obnoxiously because of it, etc, etc.

Yet ironically we tend to blame the younger generation for these rude behaviors, but the truth is that the situation is degrading all ages and levels of society. So much that now it is commonplace to see couples openly insulting each other in public and treating each other with absolutely no common courtesy (a sliding scale which leads directly to physical and verbal abuse).  Just as unfortunate, and equally common is disrespectful and dishonest treatment between colleagues in the business world, who fall back on tricks, half-truths and crude vocabulary to make ends meet. And then, to add insult to injury, these issues are left to be resolved by enormous and costly governmental programs, that can do nothing when facing this irreversible deterioration of personal relationships without the involvement and commitment of everyday people in their everyday lives.

So we conclude that we need to put a stop to this seemingly steep spiral of degradation and deplorable behavior.  We need to revolutionize this generation and bring forth some action.

You may sit back comfortably in your office chair and wish me luck but I’m here with a plan of action bubbling with inspiration from my own heart to uphold these values and integrate them back into society.  It is my belief that we aren’t going to convert the whole world into a revolution – with thousands agreeing to raise the standard and step up the plate.  Yet you and I, as humble and common-place as we may be, pacing through our day-to-day activities in life can actually be the change that we want to see today.

Listed below are some of the everyday acts which we can bring into our life.  However modest and humble these qualities may seem – try one and see how much it makes a difference in the lives of those around you and what a presence of joy in shines upon your life.  So lets start small. . .

  • Saying “please” and “thank you”.
  • Never intentionally embarrassing another
  • Never talking only about oneself
  • Not gossiping
  • Not prying
  • Not asking personal questions
  • Not staring
  • Not pointing at someone
  • Not talking loudly
  • Not asking intrusive personal questions
  • Chew with your mouth closed
  • Cross your legs if you are wearing a dress
  • Wipe your feet at the door and take your shoes off in a persons home
  • Offer food or drinks to guests
  • Open doors for people behind you
  • Please, don’t skip in line
  • Apologize to someone if you bump into them
  • Watch your language in front of children
  • Wait to eat until everyone at the table is seated and ready to eat
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Always wash your hands after using the restroom
  • Dress accordingly for events
  • No excessive PDA
  • Ladies first
  • Make eye contact when talking to a person
  • Say excuse me when you wish to speak to someone who is engaging in conversation
  • Ask to borrow people’s personal belongings
  • Introduce yourself to people when you meet them
  • Don’t put your elbows on the dinner table
  • Don’t burp at the dinner table
  • Don’t comment on people’s weight or age (unless it’s positive)
  • Respect your elders
  • Don’t hit other people
  • Don’t lie or steal
  • Say sorry when you do something that hurts someone else
  • Mind your own business
  • Be a good listener. Don’t interrupt.
  • Do not discuss sex, religion, or politics when you first meet someone. Be courteous when you do.
  •  Anticipate the needs of others.
  • Don’t have your radio or TV so loud it bothers others.
  • Use your turn signal.

In the above we have highlighted quite a few of the common every-day acts and gestures.  But since we focus on the making of a woman in this series we feel it apprpriate to highlight some of the deeds that are particularly noticed and appreciated when displayed by a lady.

  • When you mention your enemies speak about them with respect – not matter what they did – they are human and still deserve respect (Yes, I do mean you’re ex too!)
  • Dress appropriately for the occasion. Yes, this is a tricky one but do you’re best.  A lady never deliberately sticks out of the crowd.
  • Cut the whining and complaining.  Seriously, who like a girl that constantly whines and nothing is ever perfect for her?  Take what you’ve been given with grace and use it to the best of your ability – however meager it may be.
  • Honesty.  One of the greatest attributes bestowed upon mankind.  Use it with tact and pride.
  • Project yourself – real, human, feminine, (and slightly imperfect!) with spirit and vitality.  Don’t try and be a copycat.  You’re unique – embrace it.
  • Be charming.  Strive to be lovely, use small-talk and your smile.
  • Cut out the crudeness.  Enough said.
  • Know how to handle yourself and your emotions.  Know what makes you upset, angry, depressed, moody.  Learn how to curb the unloveliness.  Yes, this takes time and effort maybe a bit of actually trying and failing but remember that old saying, “practice makes perfect?”.
  • Be punctual.  If you’re late – apoligise beforehand.

…and finally remember…

Kindness and courtesy needn’t always be deliberate and planned. Spontaneous kindness is an attribute of a person who already is well-mannered and courteous and whose natural instinct for courtesy is demonstrated in everything he or she does.

18 thoughts on “What Makes a Woman – a Lady: Manners, Manners, Manners

    • Lovely to see you again, Shalamar! Please do share it with your friends, or even on Twitter or Facebook by clicking the links below the post!

      Blessings to you!

  1. I came across your blog through a blogroll and can’t believe it took me this long to notice! I really like what you’ve got here. In the future, could I consult you on writing articles for a blog I contribute to? Thanks and keep up the great work!

  2. Oh I am so thrilled that I found your blog! It took me a long time but your blog is truly lovely and definitely needed. I hope you won’t mind if I put a link to this particular post on Facebook.

    Thank you for reminding us all!

  3. I like and “almost have everything that is mentioned” but still would love to learn how to be more feminine and sweet and charming. Any book recommendation?

  4. 1. One God alone, for evermore
    By faith, and hope, and love, adore.
    2. Thou shalt not take his name in vain.
    3. The Lord’s day thou shalt not profane.
    4. Honor thy father, and thy mother.
    5. Thou shalt not hurt nor hate thy brother.
    6. Thou shalt do no adultery.
    7. Thou shalt not steal.
    8. Thou shalt not lie.
    9. Thou shalt have no impure desire,
    10. Nor to thy neighbor’s goods aspire.

    [pg. 278]

    • I agree wholeheartedly what is the standard of society coming to when please and thank you are occasionally a miss, reintroducing proper mannerism into society will create less conflict and a more accepting society

  5. I truly appreciate the context by which you are writing this from. I feel as though the up and coming women of our society need to educated or at least reminded of many of these mannerisms as it appears that the “generation z” as you have mentioned grants the slump’s influence on our behavior. And though, this blog post is specifically calling the women to the pulpit, I believe men can adhere to much of these words of wisdom. Thank you, Clare for bringing this to our attention. Look forward to reading more!

  6. Pingback: Và bỗng giật mình thấy ta bồi hồi một nỗi nhớ mong… | How I Met Your Father (since 2012)

  7. …Lovely reading. I am ‘ old school’…manners, Respect. Being cordial. Being ‘ friendly’…ALL which are often misinterpreted…as ” FLIRTING”…! FLIRTING ! can you imagine…??? ! ( Comments from a boyfriend, not from those I am being cordial to ) However…I have not allowed those with small minds to dissuade me from my Authentic Self …, that is to be ‘ who I am’…CORDIAL. FRIENDLY. HELPFUL. Show manners. I find , as you stated…its become the ‘ new normal” to allow NO MANNERS to permeate our Social and Personal lives.Screaming , disrespectful children, who are repulsive, as you stated…and are mirror images of the bad example of the parent. Sigh. Its disheartening. You are also correct about the ‘ business world’ as well.Sigh. Thank you for such a lovely article…reminding us that manners, style , class and being a lady are things that ought to be revered and not ever be ‘ out of style…; There is a difference between being of the female persuasion …and BEING A LADY.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts . . .

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