15 Quick Tips for Improving Your Manners (Because They Matter!)

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While the 21st century is seeing a lot of social norms being thrown out the window, there is one thing we can always agree on: good manners make for a better world. What social etiquette do we need, though?

These manners made the cut because they’re about more than just politeness; they’re the glue in our daily interactions, keeping things smooth and friendly. In this fast-paced world, remembering to hold a door or say “thank you” can make a big difference. These are the unwritten rules that keep us connected, showing care and respect in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They’re small gestures, sure, but they pack a punch in making society more livable and enjoyable for everyone.

1. Holding the Door

young lady holding door
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Showing a small act of kindness, like holding the door, can have a ripple effect, improving someone else’s day and encouraging them to pass on the kindness. It’s especially helpful for those carrying heavy loads or managing a stroller, creating a moment of ease in their potentially hectic day. This gesture of politeness not only fosters a sense of community but also reflects your consideration for others around you.

2. Listen Before Speaking

Listen Before Speaking
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In our fast-paced world, everyone wants their voice to be heard, making active listening a cherished skill. By listening attentively before responding, you respect the other person’s perspective, helping build a more meaningful and understanding conversation. This practice not only helps build stronger relationships but also avoids potential conflicts and misunderstandings that arise from hasty replies.

3. Tip People in the Service Industry

Waitress takes the tip.
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This is a hotly debated topic to some, but the ultimate etiquette rule remains, you should tip in service settings. While we aren’t going to insist you tip the customary 20%, we will say that workers who work in those industries rely on tip income the most.

4. Be On-time

Be On-time
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Time is valuable, and punctuality shows respect for other people’s time as well as your own. Being on time for meetings, appointments, or social gatherings demonstrates your reliability and consideration, setting a positive tone for the interaction. It signals that you value and prioritize the event and the people you’re meeting.

5. Phone Down for Meals

Phone Down for Meals
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Mealtime is a chance to disconnect from our screens and reconnect with each other. Putting the phone away means you’re all in, ready to share stories and laughs over a good meal. It’s about making those around the table feel more important than your digital world.

6. Act Your Best Always

Act Your Best Always
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Consistency is key. Whether it’s a first impression or the hundredth, how you act paints a picture of who you are. Staying true to your best self regardless of the situation shows character and earns respect.

7. Ask Questions

Ask Questions
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Conversations are a two-way street. Asking questions shows you’re not just there to talk about yourself. It’s about sharing the spotlight and showing genuine interest in what others have to say. Plus, it makes chats more engaging and balanced.

8. Keep Personal and Business Lives Separate

Young Woman Using Smartphone
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This is sometimes hard to do in the age of social media (especially when your job is social media), but keeping your two lives separate is best. Not only does this allow you to focus on each part of yourself, but it also keeps you safe from facing professional backlash for personal reasons.

9. Know Your Audience

Big Dinner Garden Party Celebration with Friends
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Not every setting is right for every topic. Reading the room and saving the heated debates for a more appropriate time keeps things smooth and respectful. It’s about striking the right balance and keeping the peace.

10. Use a Coaster

Use a Coaster
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Hey, if you don’t want to use them in your own house, we can’t stop you. One rule, though, is always to ask for one when visiting someone else’s home. Water stains are hard to clean and can even damage certain furniture.

11. Keep Private Conversations Private

Mouth silent
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Trust is huge, and once it’s broken, it’s hard to mend. If someone confides in you, keep it under wraps. Sharing secrets can hurt relationships and reputations, and honestly, it’s just not worth the drama.

12. Phone Off in Theaters

Woman using her phone in Theaters
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Many go to the theater for an immersive movie-watching experience. Unfortunately, that powerful scene can instantly be ruined by someone’s bright phone screen. Keeping your phone off, or at least on silent and put away, is always best.

13. Please and Thank You

happy smiling woman say thank you
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These magic words never go out of style. A simple ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ goes a long way in showing you’re polite and appreciate others. It’s the easiest way to smooth over daily interactions and leave a good impression.

14. Give People a Pass

Give People a Pass
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We all have off days, right? Showing a bit of patience and understanding when someone else is struggling can make a tough day better. It’s about spreading kindness and remembering we’re all human.

15. RSVP

RSVP, Wedding Invitation Cards Papers
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Got an invite? Don’t leave the host hanging! Whether it’s a wedding or a backyard BBQ, giving a quick yes or no helps with planning and shows you’re considerate of their efforts. Plus, it’s just good party etiquette.

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Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.