Manners and Mannerisms

Often we are unaware of our mannerisms. Some cannot be identified easily while some are reasonable and acceptable, but some mannerisms irritate others and reflect badly on our personality. Some of such manner- isms/bad habits are:

1. Making noise while walking, drinking or eating or yawning or sleeping or brushing and mouth- washing. Unkept hair shows an unruly head. Chappals show your feet, the lowliest parts of your body. Loose shirt and loose dresses are always unruly. A buffoonish walking style with over bending does not represent humility or obedience but shows lack of confidence. Indecent mannerisms irritate one and all and make you a ‘buffoon’. A serious face with no smile on it reminds nothing but a dead body.

2. Say ‘Hi’ with a pleasant smile even to the unknown, the US way. If you’re going to do it tomorrow, why not today in your own country with your own countrymen?

3. Don’t make noise with the spoon. Avoid discussions while eating. Don’t open your mouth to talk while chewing pan. Keep your plate neat while dining. (Some people eat so badly that others do not feel like staying there. Your dining plate should not appear like a war-field!) Using shirt or dhoti or sari instead of a handkerchief. Coughing and sneezing in the open without using a handkerchief.

4. Entering someone’s office or house without seeking permission. Even if the doors are open, one must knock the door before getting in. While entering as well as while leaving the room, walk straight, stand straight and sit straight. Also, don’t look here and there while entering as well as leaving the room. Over bending represents overhumility, a weakness. It shows lack of confidence.

5. Not giving a firm handshake or scratching other’s hand during the handshake. (For, a friendly hand- shake, you should always present an energetic lively hand, never a dead hanging hand.) While giving a handshake, look into his/her eyes, not at others.

6. Instead of looking into the eyes with a pleasant smile some people look at others or talk to others. (You can do it only if you’ve a squint. Otherwise, always look into the eyes pleasantly while talking.)

7. Offering water, fruits, books or any article with a left hand or receiving. with a left hand.

8. Maintain good postures while sitting, standing, walking and even sleeping. It also keeps one’s mind and body active, bold and confident. Moving legs like a simple pendulum while sitting and playing with hair while listening, are very common bad features.

9. Raising eyebrows while asking or enquiring something or Closing eyes frequently in awkward manner.

10. Many people describe their personal problems in detail irrespective of the context, like ‘yesterday I had four big vomitings and five bloody motions’. During the lunch or dinner also he won’t hesitate in not changing his filthy topic ‘I don’t take spicy food today as I’m suffering from vomitings and dysentery. I am getting vomiting sensation even on seeing these curries and this sambar’.

11. Not listening with curiosity and courtesy. While listening some people appear bored and express their restlessness, by Cleaning their eyes, Scratching legs and head alternatively, Cleaning ears with a pen or Forcing one corner of a handkerchief deep into the nose and then applying torsion, Cleaning spectacles with his own shirt or that of the speaker if he is his intimate friend or Humming songs loudly or Yawning with funny sounds or Talking on an entirely different topic or Asking about cricket score etc. Many managers have the habit of talking or listening to their juniors, guests and clients while shuffling and arranging papers, look for some document on the table or talk to secretary on phone- all simultaneously. This can be highly dangerous for the manager as well as the organization. The first step of success is listening. As called by Shakespeare, let us not suffer from “The disease of not listening”.

12. Many people have the habit of touching the body while speakingkeeping the hands on the back or patting the shoulders with a gentle
hug or swatting the hips or gently touching the chin or ears etc. These are not bad habits but many people dislike such things even with close friends. For example, I myself had the habit of keeping the hands on the shoulders while walking till I was seriously warned by one of my very close friends, who said, “Can’t you speak without touching Last week another guy did the same thing, and I slapped him left and right”. I don’t find fault with my friend, but, better be careful, especially with new friends and some conservative people. In many developed countries, if a boy and a girl move very closely, nobody bothers, but, if two men are very close, it may be considered obscene and vulgar!

13. Table Manners: Don’t make noise while eating or drinking. Keep your dining table, as well as your dining plate neat and clean. Don’t waste items at all, don’t waste even a bit of an item. Don’t touch food items with naked hand. Don’t transfer food items, from your plate to others in the party, however close he/she may be to you. Tea, water or drinks- avoid placing them directly in the hand. If possible, keep them on the table or in the tray itself. Not that we’re encouraging untouchability, but, due to the fact that during the hand to hand transaction there is every possibility of spilling over on the dress:

Before leaving the place of sitting or standing, say ‘Excuse me’. Follow queue system in Buffet. If you’re eating non-vegetarian items, keep distance from the vegetarian section. Don’t ask for things not available like salad, ice-cream, pan, hot water for throat gargling, finger bowls, new napkins etc. Be happy with what is available. Don’t give free advises like “It would have been better if you had ~ provided with ” or “If I were the organizer, I would have “, unless there is a separate suggestion box available.

14. Don’t be too Specific:
Don’t be too specific and too rigid in your dealings with your friends and colleagues. ‘Please come in yellow Punjabi dress, free hair and a red rose when you come to the park tomorrow’. Some boys are too specific like that.. Give her a chance to come in her own style that suits her the most. What you need is that she should present herself with a calm and open mind. I know a friend who asked his wife to wear a black bra for the first night! Such demands often look silly and degrade your personality.

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