21 Polite Gestures That Never Fail to Impress

polite gestures

Manners have fallen by the wayside.  Children rarely remember to say please and thank you anymore and adults aren’t any better at making polite gestures than kids.  My parents stuck with their guns when it came to good manners.  I have taught my daughters good manners and have no leniency in how they treat others.  

Here are 21 polite gestures that never fail to impress: 

  1. Holding doors
  2. Written thank-yous
  3. Using yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir
  4. When walking or reaching in front of someone say, “Excuse me.”
  5. Waiting until everyone at the dinner table has their food before starting to eat
  6. Letting the women at the table order before the men
  7. Men opening any door for a woman and/or children
  8. RSVPing by the requested date
  9. Introducing friends to friends, by name
  10. Waiting to get up from the table until everyone is finished or excusing yourself if a bathroom break is in order
  11. Putting away the cell phone when approaching a checkout counter
  12. Chewing with your mouth closed
  13. Keeping one hand in your lap when eating
  14. Letting your guest choose what to watch on the TV
  15. Serving your guests first
  16. Waiting for people to exit an elevator before entering
  17. Letting people complete their sentence before interrupting and if interrupting, saying excuse me
  18. Helping the elderly load or unload their groceries into or out of their car
  19. Sending cards of condolences, congratulations, well wishes
  20. Waiting until someone you have dropped of enters their house and is safely inside
  21. Remember birthdays by calling or sending a card

Courtney Lawless

Courtney is the traveling mom! She runs Detroit Mommies and Discovering Arkansas, runs the Community Projects for Collective Bias and has 3 girls under 12 years old. Courtney is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Arkansas. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.

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8 Responses

  1. Amy says:

    This is the south that I know and love. We don’t know any other way! Bless your heart

  2. Heather says:

    Not just the South.
    It’s just being raised with manners, which sadly is a list art.

  3. Tonita says:

    Polite Gestures is what we call manners in the South. When you use manners you can never go wrong.

  4. Tracey Weiser says:

    This is a fantastic list! As a Canadian, and thus a Northerner, I love all these gestures… except, of course, calling me Ma’am! 🙂 I hate being called Ma’am. It always makes me feel 100 years old, and not like a great, active, aging-gracefully, 100 year old, but run over by a truck for 100 years 100 year old. I always have to have a second wherein I tell myself that it’s about the speaker and not about how bad I look. lol

  5. Mary says:

    We must have had the same beautiful mother.

  6. Cammie says:

    I thought #13 was interesting; I’ve never heard that one before. In my family (and Chinese culture), the polite thing is to hold your bowl with your non-dominant hand while you eat with your dominant hand.

  7. D Frederick says:

    Sad that common courtesy needs to come with a list of instructions.

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