Aug 29 2011
Where did all the manners go? More and more people are beginning to notice that the interactions between those coming in contact with each other, whether it be by phone, internet, or in person, are becoming less polite and more indifferent. Most of us can remember parents and teachers chiding children on good behavior, respect, and proper manners.
When put into constant practice, these habits make a person polite. Being polite is more than just remembering what you have been told; it is the sincerity of treating everyone else just as you would want to be treated. In a country wide search for good manners, Specialty Answering Service, a nationwide call center, performed an informal study of the attitudes present throughout a number of cities. The cities were then ranked in accordance with the politeness of the area population.
The top 10 most polite cities in the US are:
- The Quad Cities: Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa and Rock Island and Moline in Illinois
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Charlestown, South Carolina
- San Diego, California
- Houston, Texas
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Ft Lauderdale, Florida
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chicago, Illinois
So what constitutes being polite or impolite? Specialty Answering Service does acknowledge that there are people in every state and city that fall into these categories. Unfortunately for the cities involved, the impolite residents and those just having a bad day were counted as one and the same.
The guidelines for being polite are culturally established and therefore can vary drastically from one part of the world to the next. In the United States many people have been taught the same things from grandparents, parents, teachers, and any other authoritative figures. In general, polite behaviors include respecting people, sharing, showing gratitude, being helpful, and being kind. In essence, being polite now revolves around common sense ways to treat people.
Manners make up the foundation of being polite. They are a way to be courteous to others around you so that no one has feelings hurt, gets offended, or feels unimportant. Some of the things that were considered in the informal study included the use of ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ holding a door open, and willingness to offer assistance. It is sad to say that many people would rather pretend that other people and their feelings simply do not exist or are not important.
The use of manners is for the benefit of ourselves as well as those around us. They are a way to lessen tension, decrease the amount of conflicts, and to make people feel comfortable throughout day-to-day interactions. In many cases, being polite is infectious and when one person does it, others will begin to follow. It makes us feel good to be acknowledged and respected in the way that everyone deserves.
The cities that ranked high for politeness had people that were glad to offer a smile as they walked down the street, would offer to carry heavy bags, get the door, or volunteer directions. Not only do their courteous actions make people feel welcome, but they make people feel like others care; which is sometimes all someone needs to make the day a little brighter.