The Importance of Manners and Self-Respect
By Katherine Baker, LCSW, LCAC
Most people are looking for ways to be more confident in their daily lives. But what exactly is self-confidence? According to Webster’s Dictionary, “Self-Confidence is defined as confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities.”
A lot of people do not realize that manners and self-confidence are closely related. Combine these qualities with self-esteem, and you have the building blocks to becoming a healthy and productive human being. Parents have the responsibility of role modeling good manners and self-confidence for their children. Children learn how to function as a human being by what they observe from the caregivers in their lives.
When you know the proper way to act, you show respect for yourself and others. People are always watching each other. Adults should be a positive role model for those around them. As adults, you are teaching young people how to respond to daily situations. I would encourage you to do your best and always try to do the right thing. Show love, support, and encouragement to build others up versus tearing them down with negative words and actions.
What are basic good manners? This basic list includes the following:
1. Be thoughtful.
2. Be cheerful.
3. Be generous.
4. Be cooperative.
5. Be helpful.
6. Don’t be bossy.
7. Don’t put people down or say rude things.
8. Respect the privacy of others.
9. Be on time for appointments.
10. Be honest.
Implementing and practicing these 10 positive manners can lead one to feel more in control, feel better about yourself (self-respect), reduce stress, and allow for a general sense of peace.
Keep in mind that all of these factors are intertwined, and some days are easier than others. Give yourself grace if you do the wrong thing. Apologize genuinely and say you are sorry for your behavior if you do something to negatively impact others. Make it a priority not to repeat harmful actions.
It is important that you practice being a good human being, as well as role modeling for others the good and not the bad. Remember that your kind words may be that person’s only “pick-me up” or encouragement received that day. It costs nothing to say “hello” and smile at others as you walk by them.
Life is difficult. You do not know what trials in daily living others are going through. To say the least, these past two years have been stressful for everyone. Be nice and support your fellow human beings.