By Featured Guest ~ Lisa Gache
I automatically assume everyone heralding from the south is polite and cordial. The moment babies are old enough to formulate their first words ‘mama’ and ‘dada,’ they simultaneously learn the differential responses, “yes ma’am” and “yes sir.” Respect and civility are held in the highest regard adding to the endless southern charm. The antithesis, some might say, of what is revered in our little mecca of Beverly Hills where excess and entitlement plague our minds along with our streets.
Not to fret. Whether raised as a Southern belle or a Beverly Hills socialite, good manners and etiquette level the playing field. Regardless of where you hail from or what your circumstance or environment, the wonderful thing about this information is that it is available to anyone interested in attaining it. The education is everywhere and it doesn’t cost a dime. It does not discriminate or judge. On the contrary, it is a woven fabric made up of empathy, compassion and kindness. One has to only be open to acquiring and applying a few elementary skills.
Remember the Golden Rule. The old adage reminding us to treat others the way we would like to be treated will always hold true. So does putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Imagining ourselves on the receiving end ensures we think twice before saying something or doing something that might inadvertently offend, sadden or frustrate another.
Wear a Friendly Smile. Smiling is the surefire way to endear oneself to another. It conveys affability, friendliness and is an open invitation to connect with others. Taking the time to greet people with a smile is a simple acknowledgement that pays dividends. If smiling isn’t your thing, this is one area where you can fake it ‘til you make it. Studies show that just forming a smile can change your demeanor. Practice your smile in the mirror when brushing your teeth each day. In no time, it will begin to feel genuine.
Maintain a Positive Attitude. One of the three key ingredients to having good manners is an open, positive attitude. Those that are willing to learn new things or are eager participants and jump right in to be a team player or help someone in need embody the true spirit of manners.
Recite the Magic Words. The five main magic words: please, thank you, you’re welcome and excuse me, should be used without discretion often and always. The reason they are called the magic words is that when you say them to another person it’s as if magic fairy dust is falling helping you to smooth over situations and keep your relationships in good stead.
Heighten Your Awareness. We live in a global society where tolerance and acceptance is a must. One cannot afford to walk around with blinders on anymore. Good manners and etiquette stem from a mindfulness and awareness of one’s environment that filters into our everyday interactions, our words and our deeds. Since manners do not come naturally for most, it is a daily practice that requires our undivided attention.
Lisa Gache’s recently debuted her book "Beverly Hills Manners." Availabel paperback out now.