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.

What Makes a Woman – a Lady: An Introduction

Over the years I’ve discovered that there are some integral characteristics that are an integral part of making a woman become a lady.  Of course there are many, many attributes that we can reflect on but on the upcoming posts we will be highlighting five in particular.

Here’s the sneak peak:

1.  Manners, manners, manners

2. Embrace your femininity!

 

Do You?

Yes, we’re all guilty of getting caught up in the daily grind and forgetting about the little niceties in life.  There are some basic acts of behaviour that will make you as a Lady more lovely and more likable.

And the good news is – they’re not hard, time-consuming or expensive!

So what’s your excuse?  Try one today!


 


Telephone Etiquette


Doesn’t it add a sparkle to your day, when the telephone sounds, and you’re greeted with a cheery “Good Morning!”, or “Good Afternoon!”?  Have you ever telephoned a business house to find the most courteous and helpful assistant, who after satisfying your request sends you on your merry way with a “It’s has been a pleasure serving you, thank you for calling!”  This is indeed a rare ocurence these days.

However I’m sure I’m not the only one who has telephoned someone only to be taken back by a booming voice coming over the receiver with a demanding ” ‘ello” or “Who is it?” – to leave the caller politely enjoining “Could I please ask who I am speaking to?”  In this article I would like to share with you some helpful points that will make using the telephone a more pleasant experience for both the caller and receiver.

Answering the Telephone
Answer promptly (before the third ring if possible).
Before picking up the receiver, discontinue any other conversation or activity such as eating, chewing gum, typing, etc. that can be heard by the calling party.
Speak clearly and distinctly in a pleasant tone of voice.
When you answer the telephone, make sure your message is cheerful.  A few examples of pleasant greetings are “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” for a more formal tone, or to keep it friendly and relaxed use a sunny “Hello” followed by your name. (eg. “Hello, Clare speaking!)

Making Calls
When you call someone and they answer the phone, do not say “Who am I speaking with?” without first identifying yourself: “This is _______. To whom am I speaking?”
When you reach a wrong number, don’t argue with the person who answered the call or keep them on the line. Say: “I’m sorry, I must have the wrong number.  Please excuse the interruption.”  And then promptly hang up.
If you told a person you would call at a certain time, call them as you promised.  If you need to delay the conversation, call to postpone it, but do not make the other person wait around for your call.
If you don’t leave a number or a message for someone to call you back, don’t become frustrated if they are not available when you call again.
When dealing with people, the comment “naa, not a problem” comes from an arrogant, egotistic puppet, a more acceptable phrase could be “Yes, I can do that for you”, would be more appropriate.

How to End Conversations Gracefully
There are several ways that you can end a phone call without making up a story or sounding rude:

  • End on an “up” note.
  • Tell the person how much you’ve enjoyed speaking with him/her.
  • Promise to finish your discussion at another time.
  • As long as you are honest and polite with the other person, you shouldn’t have any problems getting off the phone.


Leaving a Voicemail Message for Another Person

Remember to speak clearly and slowly.
Be sure to leave your name and extension number. It’s best to say it at the beginning and end of your message.
Keep messages short and to the point.
Remember that you want to leave the person you are calling with a good impression of you, so be cheerful and polite.
Leave the date and time you called in the message.
Don’t forget to let the person know the best time to call you back.
Cover one topic in one message; specify what you want the recipient to do.

Emilie Post’s Everyday Manners for Children

(Frederick & Mary enjoy a traditional breakfast of Oatmeal with their family)

Emilie Post has a set of delightful little printable thank-you notes, tip cards, and a downloadable placemat, that can teach your little ones of the simple manners they can use on a day-to-day basis, to help make their life (and yours!), more pleasant and enjoyable.

Image Credit –Danish Royal Watchers