Proper Southern Manners Addressing Others #manners #etiquette
Children,  Just Plain Southern

Proper Southern Manners Part 4 – How To Address Others

Proper Southern Manners Part 4 – How To Address Others

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In the 4th part of our series “Proper Southern Manners” we will share the section on how to address others.

This is something I have noticed fading away, even in the South (insert gasp here).

I actually saw a gentleman reach out to shake a young mans hand and the young man gave him a fist bump.  This was during an introduction mind you.**

I can only imagine the First Impression that young man made!!

Enjoy and please  be sure to pass this around to others.

Make it a great day, you deserve it!!


How to Address Others

An important part of manners is how to address people.  This partly depends on whether the person addressed is a man, woman, older, younger, boss or subordinate.  In today’s world, there is a move toward everyone being on a first name basis.  While this may make things more “friendly,” it also tends to make people forget who is the boss and people seem to lose respect for those who have earned it through hard work or by the simple fact of their age.

A friend of mine, who used to work for my father, referred to my father by his title, “Dr. ——-,” while at work, but away from work he referred to him by his first name.  Rare are the individuals who can separate their personal relationship from their professional relationship.  Respect begets respect, and studies show that regardless of who you are and where you come from, everyone wants to be treated with respect.

When addressing a subordinate or younger person outside of work it is best to use their sir-name (last name), but it is okay to use their first name if you are familiar with the individual.  When addressing a superior or older person always use their sir-name.  For peers it is okay to use first names, but familiarity can break down the barriers that support proper conduct in professional and personal life.

This move to familiarity is especially confusing for children and young adults who are not yet adept at distinguishing what is proper.  In the past, children called their friends’ parents by Mr. or Mrs. (Sir-name).   It has now become common practice for young people to use first names or at the most formal, Mr. or Mrs. (First-name).  This practice creates a blurring of the lines of authority and a loss of respect.   Adults wanting to be a child’s friend instead of their authority figure or role model has wreaked havoc on the fabric of our society.

Rules of Introductions

  1. When you introduce a friend to a friend, always say the girl’s name first.
  2. When introducing a friend to an adult, always say the adult’s name first.
  3. Always stand when you are being introduced to someone.
  4. Always look at the person’s eyes, smile, and say something simple and pleasant, such as, “Hello, it’s good to meet you.”  You may want to repeat the person’s name to help remember it.
  5. Men and boys should remove their hat when being introduced.

Use your right hand for handshaking and use a firm grip.**

**I want to point out that at the moment, we are in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, so perhaps shaking hands would not exactly be appropriate.

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One Comment

  • Tammy

    This has bothered me for years, you go to the bank and always say just my first name and it sends shutters down my spine. What are you my new best friend? I much perfer Mrs E—— or Ms Tammy. I am well into my 50’s so when I am introduced to sopmeone new especially someone older or in case like your father I always say DR. Johnson or what title they are indroduced as unless the person says else. I also feel when a younger person especially a younger male tries to shake my hand I just kind of ignore it without being over the top. I’m not from the south but there are many places you could learn manners that they are not even aware of.. I just want to shake people who have no clue.

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