Manners are the backbone of your personality.
Yes, it is important to have proper manners. It can make a big impact in your everyday life.
As the head of a local etiquette school, I would like to offer some observations based on what I see.
We live in a world that is impersonal. People are distant from one another. E-mails and text messages are replacing phone calls and letters. There are fewer interactions among people, making it easier to ignore proper manners and etiquette.
Respect is a word of the past. There is no respect for the elderly, parents and teachers. People talk loudly, use foul language, make inappropriate noises and often do not pay attention to their surroundings.
Sweats and sneakers are replacing pants, skirts and shoes.
Bitterness and anger are replacing kind words.
Slang is popular among young children and adults. They replace the word "yes," with "yep," and they answer thank you with "ahhh" instead of "you are welcome."
Gathering around the dinner table and eating as a family is a thing of the past. Mealtime is the best time for families to interact, share their thoughts and ideas and get to know each other better.
Our lives are getting more stressful than ever. We're working longer hours at a faster pace.
We are distancing ourselves from one another. Phone calls and visiting among friends has been replaced by cell-phone calls and e-mails with no personal touch.
If we want our children to have proper manners, we should start with ourselves. We must exercise good manners and protocols among ourselves so that our standards pass on to the young generation.
We should initiate conversations regarding manners and discuss the importance of being a well-mannered individual. People respond positively to individuals with proper etiquette. There is a famous phrase that says you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. By speaking kindly and politely, you attract and gain what you are after.
The first impression is always the most important. It can make or break you. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Your image, behavior and carriage represent who you are. They tell your background, education, upbringing and confidence level. Make your first impression a lasting one.
Mimi Raghian is a certified etiquette and image consultant at the Northern California School of Etiquette. For more information, call 559-9958 or visit www.NorcalEtiquette.com.