Hard feelings over missing "Please"
I am a very considerate and polite person. I think it's very rare to find someone who actually treats people they come across as, well, people, and I am usually rewarded by being considered a thoughtful and friendly person, and am well liked.
However I don't take part in what I consider meaningless ritual. Very recently it has become a hot button issue with my girlfriend that I don't use "please" in all the situations where she feels it is appropriate. I don't mind going out of my way to make others comfortable--and that includes 'please' and 'thank you,'--but I strongly resent the indication that my general inclination to put other people first is meaningless without tagging "please" onto my speech. This issue has never come up in regards to how I speak with her and our friends, but rather with acquaintances and strangers.
She comes from a much more 'refined' childhood than I do, but I really feel like I'm being asked to "pretend" to respect other people instead of simply demonstrating it.
May 05, 2011
Is Please and Thank You the only part of manners and etiquette?
by: Kevin (Modern Manners and Etiquette)
You pose a great question and it is one that deserves to be handled differently than most. Usually, people ask questions about what to do, or who is
right and who is wrong in various situations. Your question is more about principle than "how-to."
With that in mind, you have to truly understand the core principle of manners and etiquette. Manners and etiquette, at the fundamental base, is all about thinking of the needs of others and how you treat people. When you say please and thank you, you are responding to the emotional needs of others by showing appreciation and gratitude.
However, true manners and etiquette is not rooted solely in what you say, but it is also largely rooted in what you do. What you do to show thoughtfulness and kindness to others plays a huge part of manners and etiquette as well. This is visible in simple things such as opening the door for others, or helping someone. These are actions; not just words.
So, to answer your question, both of you have the correct idea. But, the thoughts that you each have independently are partially correct. When you combine both of your thoughts (what you say and what you do) you have fully understood the true meaning of manners and etiquette.
Saying please and thank you is helpful, but it is not all inclusive. Nor is doing something kind without saying something kind. It is the totality of doing and saying that show true refinement and proper manners and etiquette.