Southerners like to think good manners are all about Southern traditions and only come from Sunday dinner eons ago. Not quite– though Southerners love to harp on manners and doing things with Southern hospitality, most manners are manners every good and decent person should know. And teach to those that come after them.
15 Manners Every Good and Decent Person Should Know:
1. Address elders as “sir” or ” ma’am.”
Give respect and you will get respect. Or a strong backhand, if you don’t.
2. Modesty is key.
Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t wear in front of your daddy.
3. Refer to females as ladies and males as gentlemen.
The title comes with a responsibility. If you are referred to as a lady or gentlemen, you must behave as one.
4. When a man is walking alongside a lady on a street, he must walk on the street side of the sidewalk.
This is a Southern gentlemen’s tradition that every man should know. This makes a lady feel safe and protected.
5. Take your hat off before saying the pre-meal prayer.
And when you enter a building, sing the national anthem, and so on.
6. Welcome new neighbors with a plant or dessert.
Homemade desserts and hand-picked plants are preferred.
7. If someone has had surgery, a baby, or death in the family, neighbors should take turns fixing dinner for the affected family.
Be the person to organize a plan for the neighbors to take turns making dinner each night of the week and bring it to the house of the family.
8. Your napkin should be on your lap when you’re eating.
A napkin is not meant to be tucked into your shirt like a bib, or sitting next to your plate. Put it on your lap and sit up straight.
9. No elbows on the table.
Unless chicken wings are involved, your elbows shouldn’t be seen during a dinner.
10. Men should help women take a seat at a table by pulling out their chair for them.
Prove to the world that chivalry is not dead.
11. Chew with your mouth closed.
Here is a good life lesson that your mama should have taught you a long time ago.
12. Offer guests something to drink when they come to visit.
Down South we offer sweet tea to our guests. But, it doesn’t matter what you offer your guests to drink, just make sure you do it.
13. Respect the older generations.
Granny and Poppa get the best seats at the table, the biggest slices of pie and they get to re-tell their life stories as many times as they want (even if you’ve heard it a thousand times and they forget every time).
14. Wait for everyone at the dinner table to get their food before you start eating.
This is a huge sign of respect. It also shows selflessness.
15. Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy.
Kacey Musgraves reminds us of this tip in her song, “Biscuits.” It is so essential to the core of a respectable person, that we had to put it on the list. Don’t judge others and don’t get in business that is not yours. Mind your own business and life will be great.
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