Top 10 Small Polite Gestures

These Top 10 small gestures of kindness never fail to impress.
Aimee Symington on Charlotte Today.

According to some national surveys, people feel that manners are worse today than ever before. That must be why when someone does even something small that shows civility and nice manners, we are so grateful and it makes such a big impression on us.


Below are the Top 10 Small Gestures that we can do every day to demonstrate polite behavior and make others feel happy, appreciated, and respected. Or, click HERE to watch the Charlotte Today TV segment.


1.    Hold doors open for others.  This is not only for men to hold open doors for women, but for everyone to do it for each other. And, if someone does hold open the door for you, remember to say, “thank you” as some people forget!


2.    Write thank-you notes. If someone has done something nice for you, you will truly show you appreciate it when you take the time to write them a note and put it in the mail. It’s too easy to text or send an email and while’s its appreciated, it doesn’t have as much of an impact as a hand-written thank-you note does!


3.    Use yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir with those older than us. This is especially important if you live in the South, but it’s always nice to show respect to our elders. If you live up North, I would not use these terms with those who are close in age, but to someone who is obviously much older it will be very much appreciated.


4.    Wait until everyone at the dinner table is seated and has their food before starting to eat. This is just nice table manners! It shows respect to the host and the other diners when you don’t just dive in as many tend to do.


5.    Men let women at the table order before them. Again, just nice table manners and show of respect. When the waitress comes, men should let women order first starting with the (obvious) oldest.


6.    RSVP by the requested date. If someone is nice enough to invite you to a party, you should be polite enough to respond by the date indicated! They need to plan and so it’s just the right thing to do to let them know if you will attend or not, and not simply wait to see if you have something better to do that night.


7.    Introduce friends to friends, by name. When you are in a situation where people do not know one another, you should make the proper introductions. This includes introducing each person by name using their first and last name, and then give some background as to who they are or how you know them. For example, if I’m with a friend and I run into a neighbor, I might say, “Beth, I would like to introduce you to my neighbor, Jenn Swart. Jenn, I’d like you to meet my friend, Beth Cashion.”


8.    Wait for people to exit an elevator before entering. This used to be standard practice, but these days you see people just pushing their way in before others have even left the elevator. The polite thing to do is to let everyone get out and then women should be offered to go in first.


9.    Help the elderly load or unload their groceries into or out of their car. Any task you can help others in need to do is great! If you see someone at the grocery store laboring to reach something, go over and offer to help if you are much taller. Other people will appreciate your offer to help no matter who they are.


10. Send cards of condolences, congratulations, well wishes. It really shows people you care if you take the time to send them a card of concern or congratulations. If this is hard for you, I suggest buying a variety pack of cards at places like Costco, get a book of stamps and put them together at home so they are easy to access and mail as needed.

LAST children's etiquette class for 2016 will be held on October, 23 from 4:00 – 6:00 in Davidson, NC. To register go to Davidson parks and rec or click HERE.