Good manners are important because we live in a community. Good manners are the way we make social connections run smoothly. They give us a formula to deal with the unexpected, the awkward and an easy opening and closing ritual to meeting people. They can help us to mask our dislike of another merely by obeying the traditional courtesies of our culture. By treating others with respect and demonstrating good manners, we show that we expect the same respect in return. It is possible to disagree with someone very strongly, but if the argument is conducted with politeness and good manners, both sides come out of the situation well. The dispute might not have been settled to the satisfaction of either, but an agreement to disagree, reached amicably, means the relationship is not lost and further work can be done.
There is always the hope that you can convince the other of your ideas in a future discussion. Quite often, long lasting friendships emerge from such well run conflicts because with the good manners comes respect for the person, even if not for the ideas. Human beings are complex, the product of their experiences and circumstances. Basic drives in each is strong and could make individuals self centered unpleasantly. Good manners give us the boundaries to behavior which are acceptable to our society, and these vary with each community, often in subtle ways. The elemental part of good manners is that you do not embarrass another person.
It’s a simple as that. With these guidelines we can deal with many unexpected situations with aplomb. Good manners are a protection as well as a way of easing communication. It is much more comfortable to be with those who are polite. The language is more agreeable, the behavior is inclusive and it helps everyone concerned to feel good about themselves. Those who are feeling relaxed, safe and comfortable are more likely to be productive in their enterprises and good company.
Even if this is only because they can concentrate on what they are doing. They are not worrying about what other people think of them or having to remembering that they are in a feud and are ‘not speaking’ to certain people. All that takes energy and is a waste of time as well. While it is possible to be very rude to someone else with subtly, within a framework of good manners, this is not the aim of the rules by which communities abide. It is also rather pointless, but it happens. Simply, good manners are important because they ease communication between people.