Friday, May 21, 2010

Excuse ME! How most people believe manners are unimportant in 21st century Britain

They say that good manners cost nothing. So you'd think that even in these credit-crunch times, we could still afford to be polite. Apparently not. For researchers have found that fewer than a quarter of us think that common courtesy is important today. Those simple acts of kindness, such as giving a stranger your place in the queue, or writing a thank-you letter to Auntie Jane, are also in decline.
According to the survey, which investigated attitudes towards courtesy, just one in three of those polled have ever given up their place in a queue.

Almost one in ten sometimes forget to say 'please' and 'thank you' - and one in 50 said they had 'too much on their minds to worry about other people's feelings'.

But although the majority thought that common courtesy just isn't a must these days, it seems that plenty of us appreciate it when someone takes the time to be kind.

Everyday acts that made us smile included paying a compliment - the gesture that made men and women happiest.

This was followed by sharing a chat with a stranger - and receiving good customer service.
For those feeling the pinch in the recession, it will be welcome news to find that flowers were further down the list.

Just eight per cent said being given a bunch was the act of kindness most likely to cheer them up.
And only 14 per cent liked it best when someone remembered a birthday or anniversary.
Courtesy isn't a trend that's necessarily helped by modern technology, it seems.

The carefully crafted thank-you letter has been overtaken by electronic mail for many, with 40 per cent admitting they preferred to use digital methods, such as social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, to send their appreciation.

On the other hand, there are those of us who want to show our thanks, but never quite manage to get that handwritten note in the post box.

And 20 per cent found new technology actually made it easier to be considerate to others, revealed the survey, from the bank First Direct.

But it seems that most of us think a recession is a good time to bring back traditionally British characteristics such as respect and honesty - something on which 64 per cent of those polled agreed.

Dr Gary Wood, a social psychologist and author, explained that manners are an easy way to make others feel better during the economic crisis.

'There's great power to be found in the fine detail. Good manners and social courtesy cost nothing and can have a profound effect on other people.

'We can literally make someone's day, and help to reduce their stress by paying attention to these little things, which then has a knock-on effect in our own lives.

'A smile or a kind word can actually set us up for the day, making it more likely that we focus on the good things rather than the doom and gloom.'
Courtesy MAIL

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