Manners and happiness

While thinking about the new theme of my blog I started trying to compile a list of essential good manners because I think, no, I know, that manners are central to happiness. It’s not only that manners soothe (or maybe smooth) the turning of the wheels of social endeavour, although they do precisely that. It’s also that both the exercise and the experience of good manners makes you feel so good.  It’s a simple but effective route to happiness.

So here are my first thoughts, some gleaned from other people; some my own. More will follow in due course.

  • ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are essential ingredients in any conversation. That’s any converation.
  • Able young people should give up their seats on public transport for older, less mobile people.
  • If someone pushes past you in a queue, give them enough space to fall flat on their face, or pinch them hard on the bottom while whistling innocently and looking the other way.
  • If you’re invited to a meal at someone’s house it’s good manners to comment positively on the food, and to call or email or write the next day to thank them.
  • Speak about people as if they’re there — ask yourself when gossiping, would I like to be spoken about this way? And if you must gossip – and most of us must – follow the Terence de Vere White golden rule: only gossip about someone to another person who knows them as well – or as little – as you do.
  • Try to be kind, even when you don’t want to have to bother.
  • Be grateful – for life, for moments of happiness, for health.

2 Responses to “Manners and happiness”

  1. mary mccallum Says:

    I’m with you there, Belinda….

  2. Belinda Says:

    I’m so glad you do, Mary – I am busy compiling further lists as we drive around the bits of Florida that are off the beaten track (and believe me, there are lots of those). Maybe list making is another form of happiness? I find it very satisfying…

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