Are some manners considered old fashioned?
I love this question. Let me tell you about something that just happened to me. I was hosting some longtime friends for lunch. Their two sons, 19 and 21 years of age, were with us. The table was preset and I asked the guests to please seat themselves while I gathered lunch. As I approached the table with a platter of food both boys stood up. I was at the same time, amazed, shocked and delighted. I glanced at their mother; she gave that “I know” look. The boys proceeded to help with the platter.
It really gave me pause – is this old fashioned? Why was I so pleased? The answer: it is a simple act of respect and appreciation, and I am easy like that.
Later I called the boys’ mother and said, “Wow!” She said her husband was raised by his grandmother with traditional manners and they have in turn raised their boys this way.
So, when do you stand without it feeling old fashioned and uncomfortable? And, who should stand?
Standing to greet someone shows you’re a welcoming person before you’ve even spoken a single word. In a social setting, men should stand every time a woman joins or leaves a group. This is the standard of traditional etiquette and used by men who prefer traditional manners. Most gentlemen will stand only once. Anyone who is unable to stand is not expected to do so. And ladies, because etiquette has evolved, the following manners apply equally.
One should stand when someone new enters the room and please put down your phone and acknowledge. One should also stand when saying hello or goodbye. Always look the person in the eye and show a little enthusiasm.
In the end, it’s about making people feel comfortable. If it isn’t genuine, it’s not true kindness.
The next time you are thinking certain manners are old fashioned, try dazzling someone with a singular, simple act that still has the power to astound – even in this day and age.