10 Good Manners (Remember Those) To Live By

Contrary to popular belief, having good manners is still cool. Not only is it cool, it’s appreciated. Not only is it appreciated, it’s welcomed and embraced with open arms.

Who would have thought that having good manners would be viewed as rare and unique? I always just thought it was the norm and what you did. Times may have changed, but having good manners has not.

It’s not rocket science, it’s common sense and caring enough.




Regardless of what’s going on around us, how fast life seems to be moving these days, or what everyone else around us is saying or doing, we still control who we are, what we do, and how we represent ourselves.

Do your part every day to practice good manners. By doing so, you are helping to build a more polite and happy world. Strive to leave this world a little better than you found it.


Work and live to serve others, to leave the world a little better than you found it and garner for yourself as much peace of mind you can. This is happiness.

~ David Sarnoff ~


Ten Good Manners To Live By:



If someone calls, emails, or sends you a message, have the common courtesy to get back to them in a timely fashion. BySMS icon timely fashion, I don’t mean the next day or next week. Reply instantly after you read the message, within the hour, or at the very least, the same day.

If you have time to read the message, you have time to respond (unless you’re driving of course, then do it afterwards). Whether it’s an important message or not, that’s irrelevant. It’s about being considerate and letting the person messaging you know that they’re important to you.



If you commit to doing something, do it. Especially if you promise or tell someone you’ll do it. If you say you’re going to call them, then call. If you say you will send them an email, send them an email. If you say you’re going to stop by their party, for the love of Pete (not sure who Pete is), stop by their party. Do what you say.

Words are cheap. Our character is defined by our actions and what we do, not by what we say we will do.



Being courteous requires us to stop thinking about ourselves and be consider and polite to others. If you’re driving and you see a car having a hard time getting into a lane or crossing an intersection, be the one who slows down and lets them into the lane or the one who stops and helps them get through the intersection.

If you’re walking into a coffee shop and you get to the entrance at the same time as someone else, open the door for them and let them go in before you.

If you’re on a bus, in an auditorium, in church, wherever, where you have a seat and others are standing, give up your seat for a mother who may be holding her child, or older folks who could use the comfort of a seat.

Be considerate to others and think about how you can add some comfort and ease in their life.



I could have listed saying “Please” and “Thank You” under the Be Courteous category but I thought it needed a category of its own. It’s possible that these two words are on the “endangered words” list, on the verge of being extinct.

As with all good manners, saying please and thank you costs nothing but conveys much. It portrays appreciation, consideration, and respect. Say thank you to your mailman, your banker, your barrister. When ordering or asking for something, preface it with please. It costs you nothing to do so.



HelpinghandBe aware of what’s going on around you and care enough to help others. If you have a friend that is headed to the airport in the morning and you know is planning on taking a taxi to get there, offer to take them yourself. Don’t wait for them to ask, they might not. Make the offer without them asking.

If you have friends or family that will be visiting your city, offer to let them stay at your place while they are in town, if of course you have the space to accommodate them (nothing wrong with an air mattress).

Offer to help at an upcoming charity event that a friend or family member may be hosting or participating in or that your employer is sponsoring.

One of easiest and most obvious ways of helping. If you see a couple trying to take a photo of themselves, offer to take a picture of them so they aren’t struggling to get it right and so that they can both be in the photo together. Care enough to make a difference in the lives of others.



If the invitation says the start time is 6pm, be there at 6pm or earlier, just not late. If you’re meeting up with friends and everyone agrees to meet somewhere at a certain time, make it a point to be there at the specified time. Don’t be late and make others wait for you. Be respectful of others and their time.

Having lived in Southern California for 14 years, I always found it both bothersome and amusing (had to for the sake of sanity) that meeting at 6pm really meant, come whenever you feel like it and if it’s hours later, that’s perfectly fine.

I understand the casual party where people show up at a variety of different times, but if it’s an actual planned event with a specified time where others are involved and everyone is planning on being someone at a specific time…. no excuses. Be respectful, be on time.



Listen twice as much as you speak. There’s a reason we have two ears and one mouth.

When engaging with others, listen to them. Genuinely listen to them and what they are saying. Don’t think about what you have to do that day, what’s going on around you, or what you’re going to say next. Just listen. Care enough to just listen.

If they’re telling you a story of somewhere they have traveled to, instead of interjecting and starting to talk about how you’ve been there as well and what you liked about it and other places you’ve been, stop. It’s not about you. Ask questions. Ask what they liked about the place, where they would recommend going, and where they plan to travel to next. Share your stories as well if you’re asked or if the opportunity seems right to do so otherwise, ask and listen.



I would think this one would be a no-brainer but I certainly don’t want to assume. You know what they say about assumptions…. it’s the mother of all screw-ups.

If you’re leaving or entering a building, be aware and care enough about others and your surrounds to look and see if someone else is behind you and if  they are, hold the door for them. If there is one door and you’re coming in and someone else is coming out, open the door for them and let them come out first.

Attention all gentlemen…. ALWAYS open and hold doors for all women. Car door, house door, Starbucks door, any door. Chivalry is alive and well because we make it so.

These acts take little effort and cost nothing. Let’s take care of each other.



According to my Google studies, it takes 72 muscles to frown and just 14 to smile. Even if the numbers were reversed, smile because you can, because you’re alive, and because the world is your oyster, ready to let you explore, to dream, and to discover all that is and all that can be, if you so chose.

Smile at family, friends, spouses, your significant other, and especially at strangers.  You never know what hardships or difficulties may be going on in the lives of those you walk by and how a simple, sincere smile may make a positive difference for them that day.

We often look down, away, or straight ahead as we walk by people. We’re afraid that if we look at them and smile, they won’t smile back or just look away. We fear that rejection. Remember that you’re smiling at them not because they asked you to, you’re smiling at them because you want to and have chosen to. It’s your character, it’s who you are.



 Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the people in my life that have helped me, believed in me, and bestowed their confidence upon me. From my grandparents, to my parents, to a particular youth group leader who believed in me when everyone else had given up on me. To a college friend who helped me purchase books for my classes that I couldn’t afford. To my sisters who have always stood by me, supported me, and cheered me on. I am forever grateful to all of these wonderful and amazing human beings. Words alone will never come close to conveying my level of gratitude.

Be grateful for the people in your life who have loved you, supported you, and believed in you. It’s because of these select individuals we are who we are today. Call them often, send them birthday and thank you cards, have them over for dinner, support them in all that they do. The best things in life aren’t things, it’s the people who make you feel loved and cared for.


Be respectful, helpful,and considerate. Make a positive difference in the lives of others. Not because you have to, but because you want to. It’s who you are, it’s your character. Whether or not others reciprocate or follow any of these good manners is irrelevant.


Be you.

Make a difference.

Leave this world better than you found it.


What are some other good manners not mentioned here that you live by on a daily basis? Which of the ones mentioned here are most important to you? Please share your thoughts and comments with me below.


  • This is a great post! You help remind us to stop looking at other people, and that we are the change we want to see. We tend to think big actions only matter and forget about the small actions we can choose in the moment that actually matter more because the opportunity to perform them is always present. I definitely see how this idea can be a norm changer!

    I started practicing meditation and when I attend meditation sessions, the folks in there would perform a slight bow where they bring the palms come together, like in a prayer form, and raise to the noise level. This action reminds one to be appreciative. The idea of appreciation or gratitude is transformed from a thought into an action; and I think an action, like this one, repeated over times, can help us stay humbled : )

    • Thanks! It’s the small, considerate actions done regularly that matter most. I love your story of practicing meditation and the actions you mention representing being appreciative. Thanks for sharing your story and experiences.

  • I am in the habit of walking around with a grimace on my face and I don’t even know why. It feels good to smile and it often triggers a return smile. Contagious happiness!

    I am re-reading Getting Things Done and so many of the suggestions in the workflow management system hold true for your top ten list.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Thanks for your comments John. The good thing is you’re aware that you’re walking around that way. Just a matter now of making a choice to change it from a grimace to a smile. The more you do it, the more smiles you’ll get in return and therefore the more you’ll want to smile. Just like you said, it’s contagious. Also cool to hear my top ten list reflects many suggestions in the book Getting Things Done…. awesome! Thanks for that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we will contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.