I think good manners were at an all time high in the 40's and 50's. The late 60's brought on more of the "me" beliefs, and most of those people failed to teach their children good manners, so now the cycle has come full circle. We need to teach them when they're young!
11 months ago
Last edited at 4:20AM on 1/27/2013
Earlier times. People seem to be less cordial and more self centered than before. Especially youth. Men are less gentleman like and woman seem less appreciative. Nothing personnel girls. Then again, I live in a busy city.
I agree manners are at an all-time low. Either it is not taught, observed or people are just into the me generation. I see the lack of table manners when I am eating out; rude, crude and unsanitary. I see no manners when it comes to holding a door open for someone else, especially when that someone is involved in texting or talking in the phone. My reaction is 'smother them with kindness'; I say Thank You to people who Don't hold the door or let it close on me; they stop to see what happened, when I am only being cynical. I am not sure if we, as a society, can teach manners anymore.
It depends. Good manners used to be killing people in a duel only if they are facing you, we don't kill people in duels now. I think my friend is annoying with how much she ignores what I say because she's so self absorbed though and I was raised to not interrupt people and all those things. Seems to me there have always been some rude people, but none of them have ever been my friends until recently.
It's actually a fallacy called argument from nostalgia to think people had more manners in earlier times.
First off, you made no mention of WHaT times. The Middle Ages were earlier. Shall we know consider picking your teeth at the table with a knife polite? Thing is- it was considered perfectly acceptable at the time.
Manners evolve. What is considered rude today or in our culture might actually be considered a show of respect in others. This nostalgic glow people put on earlier eras in American history is a bit silly. After all, back in the much touted fifties, it wasn't considered rude to make derogatory jokes about women and blacks, or to call a black man a "n!gger" right out in public. People smoked everywhere (considered rude today), slapped women secretaries on the backside at work, and a host if other things we conveniently forget about today when yammering on about the "good old days".
"Good manners" is a very elastic term, which can be stretched to cover a great deal more than simple consideration for other people. The requirement of knowing which one of half a dozen different forks is the correct one to use has nothing to do with consideration for other people and everything to do with maintaining class distinctions. The classification of certain topics - racial or gender discrimination for example.- as rude or inappropriate is as often as not a means of avoiding challenges to conventional wisdom (or the status quo). The use of polite euphemisms is often just a ploy to avoid reality. that being said, high density urban living with its attendant anonymity certainly has reduced the perceived need for good manners among many, and high speed mass communications at a distance has exacerbated that.