I have always been impressed by southern manners. By and large, it seems like it is a way of life for them all and that is the way that they are taught to live. I think there is a lesson in that for all of us.
I think it starts with how they are taught to address people. they are very proper to use "sir" and "ma'am" as they are speaking with people. In my younger and less mature years, I thought that this was too formal. I thought I was too cool to show this kind of respect. I really missed out all those years.
I have since started using sir and ma'am as I speak with people and it is something that people really admire. It makes them feel special and appreciated. This begins to open up lines of communication and is very important.
It isn't really that Southerners do anything out of the ordinary. After all, good manners are good manners no matter where you are or where you were raised. It has to do with their consistency.
Manners and etiquette is something that we use sporadically. We go to a nice dinner with friends and we act as sophisticated as possible. Then we go home and eat a meal and forget the meaning of manners and etiquette. That is why I really appreciate southern manners. It is a way of life for them.
They do all the little things. They hold the doors open for ladies. They stand up when a lady enters or exits a room. They do their best to think of others first.
When it comes down to it, that is what manners are all about. You want to show others that they are important and that they matter. That is really the heart of etiquette and manners is to help others feel important through your actions.
They were taught not to be rude or obnoxious in public places. This was a sign of a lousy upbringing and that you didn't know any better. That type of behavior would be unacceptable for a true Southerner.
We also use the phrase of "Southern Hospitality." They are well known for being friendly and treating people as an equal. That is another important part of southern manners is to treat people as you would want to be treated.
As I said before, there is really nothing new or different about the rules of etiquette that they use. The key here is that they USE them. That is what makes all of the difference.