Manners can be defined as the behavioral traits and choices we possess and display in varied social contexts that reflect our values such as politeness, kindness, social propriety and conformity.
The importance of manners is as follows –
- Manners are mirrors of social etiquette and expected norms of our humane interactions with others.
- Manners differ from society to society, country to country.
- It shows that manners are social constructs, dependent on that particular society’s culture and traditions.
- Manners are not absolute. For example, in some western countries, eating with your hands instead of spoon and fork is considered a lack of manners, whilst it’s an everyday thing in some eastern countries.
- Some of the manners are only old, outdated social stereotypes, for example, “Good mannered girls don’t jump around. They sit quietly.” is a typically repressive and harmful social etiquette born out of gender bias.
- Many imposed manners don’t focus on the inner values but outer display of it merely. Focus should be on manners based on our heart.
- Little children are taught manners so that they can grow up to be good, humane, polite and loving adults, but this can happen with right kind of manners being inculcated.
Manners are to an extent important for social order. But manners should be based on our own values, ethics and understanding than imposed upon us blindly by traditions, religions or social leaders.