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Benefits of good manners

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people lament the lack of good manners in today's society. There tends to be a "me first" attitude that can manifest itself in rudeness and bad manners. Some people focus on their own needs and forget about treating others with respect. You can use the lack of good manners to your advantage. If you make it a point to be mannerly, you'll stand out and make a good impression on everyone from potential partners to bosses to total strangers. This can lead to some tangible benefits.

Workplace

Using good manners on the job will give a good impression to your co-workers and bosses. It can be hard to stand out at work when you have the same skills and ability level as everyone else on your work team. Good manners can set you apart, helping you to earn recognition and possible raises and promotions.

Customers

If you deal with customers, good manners can help you maintain your current client base and win new customers more easily. In a study by Eticon Inc., an etiquette consulting company, 58 per cent of people surveyed said they would stop dealing with a business if they were treated rudely. Using good manners also can bring down hostility and defensiveness when a customer comes to you with a problem.

Relationships

Good manners can make you more attractive to potential partners. According to a Men's Health magazine survey, 60 per cent of women said that good manners make a man much more attractive. They viewed men with bad manners as ignorant, selfish and badly raised. Most women said that good manners were more important than physical appearance and income level when assessing potential dates.

Drivers

Try to maintain good manners on the road, even when other drivers do foolish things like cutting you off. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 8 per cent of Americans exhibit a condition called intermittent explosive disorder (IED), which often manifests itself in road rage. Even drivers who do not have IED may exhibit a high level of anger while on the road. By maintaining good manners, you'll reduce your own stress level and reduce the chance that another driver will try to get into a violent confrontation with you.

Family

If you use good manners at home, you are being a good model for other members of your family. This is especially important if you are a parent. Children see bad manners being demonstrated by strangers every day. Make it a point to use good manners within the family, and use the bad manners of others as a cautionary example. You can even turn bad-manner spotting into a game, letting your children find examples and tell you what should have been done instead.

Everyday Contacts

Use good manners and treat others with respect, even if they are everyday contacts who you do not know personally. This includes store clerks, petrol station attendants, salespeople and just about anyone else you might encounter in your daily routine. If you treat others with respect, they are more likely to respond in the same way. If you end up having a problem, they will be more likely to go out of their way to help you if you use good manners instead of getting upset, argumentative and confrontational. Using good manners with a stranger can brighten the other person's day, even with a simple act like holding a door open or giving up your seat on a crowded train.

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About the Author

Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."