How to Acquire Good Manners

It’s hard to know how best to behave around people. Some say that it is only natural for humans to have primitive instincts and live in harmony with everything, but others argue that there are times when even the most well-meaning individuals must do what they can to survive. Ultimately, society will be shaped by those who adopt a set of manners equaling their circumstances.

The “what are the 10 good manners” is a question that many people ask. The answer to this question can be found with the following list of 10 good manners.


Editor’s note: Bentley Bates’ “How to Acquire Good Manners” was featured in The Boy’s Own Book of Leadership, which was released in 1933.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson Life is not so short, but there is always time for civility.

Any youngster, like any other human achievement, may learn good manners by studying himself, imitating the finest examples, and then practicing – practicing. Establish a list of your positive characteristics and make a plan to improve them. It is frequently simpler to “remove the weeds” by purposefully crowding out poor manners with good. Then develop a list of your flaws and work on neutralizing them by pursuing their polar opposites. For example, if you are selfish, you should learn to become less selfish. If you’re a boisterous person, learn to be quiet. If you’re a pessimist and a jerk, practice being generous with your compliments. If you’re feeling down, whistle, smile, share wonderful tales, and look for something lovely and beautiful in others every day. Every new nice approach you acquire is an accomplishment.

Associate with people who have the kind of manners you want to have – remember, good manners are infectious, and seeing others who have reached desired manners inspires you to feel that you, too, can have similar traits. According to Lord Chesterfield:

Imitate the real perfections of the good company into which you may fall; copy their politeness, carriage, address, and the easy and well-bred turn of their conversation; but remember that, however bright their virtues may be, their vices, if they have any, are just as many spots, which you would no more imitate than you would make an artificial wart on your face because some very handsome man had the misfortune to have a natural one upon his face.

Always strive to expand your bank account of nice manners so that you may “check on it” to any amount without shame, no matter what the situation. Napoleon, according to legend, lacked manners until he was too powerful to require them. This is a blunder. Men with sophisticated manners are generally great and powerful. If you have any doubts, study the biographies of the world’s greatest men, and you will be readily persuaded of the importance of manners in their lives, for although they each gained renown and grandeur in a different field, they all reached brilliance in the Fine Arts of Living Together.

In a letter to his son, Lord Chesterfield wrote:

However insignificant a genteel manner may appear, it is of great importance in pleasing in private life, especially the women whom you will think worthy of pleasing at some point; and I have known many a man who, due to his awkwardness, gave people such a dislike of him at first, that all his merit could not overcome it later. A polite demeanor, on the other hand, attracts people to you, bends them toward you, and makes them want to like you. Awkwardness might result from one of two factors: not keeping excellent company or failing to heed to it.


Following are a few pointers on excellent manners that each male should take the time to learn. “Be Prepared,” as usual, is sound advise in this situation.

  • Standing with your hands in your pockets is not a good idea.
  • In public, never pick your teeth, clean or trim your fingernails.
  • Breathe and speak via your nose instead of your mouth.
  • Listening with your mouth open is never a good idea.
  • When you lose a game, do not lose your cool.
  • Interrupting a discussion is not a good idea.
  • Don’t try to be clever at the cost of others; there’s enough of enjoyment to be had by everybody.
  • Never be snarky or make fun of each other.
  • Don’t speak too loudly.
  • If you’re teased, don’t become irritated.
  • Develop decent table manners.
  • When you want to talk to a woman, don’t touch her arm.
  • Never be late for an event. Your tardiness may cause your hostess to be late, and it may give the impression that you were hesitant to accept her offer.
  • When invited to a dinner, a reception, or any other event, respond officially or informally in accordance with the invitation, and include all those specified in the invitation in your response. 
  • Accept every invitation as soon as possible, so the hostess may invite someone else if you reject, or someone specifically for your enjoyment if you accept.
  • Wait outside your dressing room door or at the top of the stairwell if you’re taking a woman to a dinner or a reception so you can see when she’s ready to walk down.
  • Always be prepared before the woman you’re escorting is, and never complain if she keeps you waiting. If she is insensitive, try to avoid future interactions with her as much as possible.
  • If you’ve been invited to a party in honor of a particular visitor, call as soon as possible after the guest has left.
  • When you are asked to dinner or receive any other particular kindness, respond as quickly as possible with an invitation of your own.
  • Never take your watch off during a call, and especially don’t attempt to sneak a peek at it. Leave anytime you like, but don’t keep an eye on your watch.
  • Introduce young men to older or more prominent men, and young women to older women — never the other way around.
  • Always have a gentlemanly demeanor.



Good manners are a person’s way of showing respect to others, and they are often seen as the most important part of etiquette. Good manners have been around for centuries, but it is important to learn them at a young age so that they become second nature. Reference: good manners essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we acquire good manners?

A: The best way is by gaining a lot of experience, which should be done through talking to people and interacting with them.

What are the 5 good manners?

1. Communication is very important and should always be kept positive, respectful conversations are a key component to all relationships.
2. Its polite to say hello before saying goodbye (even if its just Hi or Goodbye).
3. Do not interrupt others when theyre talking; wait your turn patiently!
4. If you need something that belongs to someone else, ask them politely before taking it away from them – take care of things in such a way that wont cause anger or resentment toward yourself later on down the road!
5. Be kind even when no one is looking; people will remember you for being good-hearted

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