Proper Southern Manners
Just Plain Southern

Proper Southern Manners

Proper Southern Manners

What has happened to Proper Southern Manners? Heck, what has happened to manners in general?

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I have noticed lately that manners have basically just gone right out the darn window. Walking into a store, young men don’t hold doors any longer (well my son Jacob does and Aileen’s son Zack does).  The language you hear coming out of some of these kids these days is enough to make a sailor cringe and I should know as I am married to one. Even though Tom was a sailor he often cringes hearing these kids.

Well I decided that I would post portions of a Booklet on Southern Manners, with permission of course.


Over the next few days I will share these pages with you in an attempt to not only get us to step up our game where are children are concerned (yes, it’s our fault if they are not using their manners as WE are the ones that are raising them with our morals and values) but also to put a smile on your face as you read through and think back to how most of us were raised.

Now some of these may seem silly, and some of them are, but most hold true.

Make it a great day, you deserve it!


P.S. Please share your thoughts and opinions on these with us. Also, please please please share these “manner” posts with friends and family.

Here we go…


Many readers of this booklet have witnessed, over the last three or four decades, a precipitous decline in not only the practice of good manners, but also the comprehension of the need for good manners. Many people bemoan the ever-increasing anger and violence of our Socialist-afflicted society, and wonder aloud at the causes and cures for such widespread discontent in a nation greatly blessed in natural resources. It behooves us all to recognize the importance that good manners play in the satisfaction and enjoyment we all receive from the society in which we live.


While concern for our conduct toward others is down, the assertion of our Constitutional rights is up. There is also a serious increase in negative political ads and the use of vulgar language. We do business with little thought for others. What happened to the time when a man’s word was his bond and you could do business on a handshake? Some say civility is in a permanent state of change. On the contrary, the basics stay the same indefinitely, and have since the earliest times of recorded history.

This is no argument for a return to a less advanced technology, but rather a simple recognition of the many stresses present-day humans have to endure that lead to poor attitudes and shortened tempers. Indeed, a far more significant stress on interpersonal relationships is the increase in population in this and most countries. In the past, people sometimes went a long time without seeing other humans, or were restricted to interacting with only a very few persons. This scarcity of societal contact inherently increases the value of other persons and inclines individuals towards appreciating others.

crowded highway

In stark contrast to this is the all too frequent frustration of having other people crowding our lives on the highways as we drive, on lakes as we boat or sail, on city sidewalks, in restaurants and any number of other public places. This crowding from so many people (especially in cities) causes us to appreciate each other much less, and consequently to relate to people in a less kind fashion. It is these stresses, along with the general decline in societal morals that has led to such things as “road rage” where rudeness goes past the boundaries of crudity into the realm of unlawful acts.

Therefore, we must first recognize the raw logic that demands the exercise of common courtesy, and then move on to the art form that makes it more than a perfunctory exercise. Good manners are an essential ingredient in a healthy society because they smooth relations with the people with whom we interact and prevent a host of problems. More than this, good manners make life more pleasant and enjoyable. Such courtesies actually honor God by giving respect to that part of His universe that was created in His image: humans. When good manners are practiced sincerely, the respect that flows outward creates self-respect, something the Socialists and others of their kind try to generate through false and demeaning government-sponsored programs and clichés.

Good manners have been a concern of the South and part of our culture since the earliest times in America. In the South, hospitality has always been a universal virtue. The sharing of food, bed and other amenities, regardless of one’s financial status, has been second nature to Southerners. Southerners have been known to offer help and ask for nothing in return, even turning down offers of payment for their help.


Concerning manners, every action done in the presence of company ought to be done with some sign of respect for those that are present. The way people behave in polite society is related to how they order their society. In determining our actions, we would do well to consider the words of Robert E. Lee, whom Winston Churchill once described as the greatest example of manhood to ever come from America. Lee said, “I am opposed to the theory of doing wrong that good may come of it. I hold to the belief that you must act right whatever the consequences.”

Values govern our behavior, and principles govern the consequences of our behavior. If our values are out of alignment with enduring principles, we will suffer the negative consequences. It is our duty to teach, promote and expect good manners from family, friends, and all others. Otherwise, we will continue down a path that will lead eventually to anarchy.

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It is the hope of all the people who contributed to this booklet that readers will explore the principles and recommendations in this booklet and then weave them into their lifestyle. This will improve the personal, social and cultural quality of your own life and the quality of the lives of the people with whom you interact.

Be sure to leave us a comment below to let us know what you thought of this post.


  • Lisa Garber

    I am appalled by this and will not share it. Th decline of good manners attributed to ” the Socialists and others of their kind try to generate through false and demeaning government-sponsored programs and clichés?”

    Code words for liberals and black people. You should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves for promulgating such racism and hatred.

    • Marilyn Henson

      Good manners are extended to everyone, so that “racist” garbage does NOT apply. Good manners puts everyone at ease and makes them feel valued and comfortable. Respect for others, as well as ourselves benefits anyone you are with. We need to bring this back and to treat others with courtesy.

    • Anonymous

      It’s true. Socialism is entitlement. Entitlement means you get what you want whether or not you are grateful for it. There are no manners in Socialism. Deal with it. It has nothing to do with race. White people abuse the system just as bad. If you took offense to it, you must be a socialist yourself. Therefore you were offended with your entitled attitude!

    • Bella Marcle

      Absolutely agree with Lisa Garber. It jumped off the page. I was anticipating a lovely group of posts about Southern manners and upbringing. Not comments reflective of right wing racism.

    • Ann

      This is really a shameful reaction to such an interesting article. Everything you say and do boils down to racism these days. So my response to these people, get a life and read your Bible. Thank you and have a nice day.

  • Anonymous

    Marilyn Henson, if what you say were true, there would have been no reference to “Socialists” etc in the original post, don’t you think? You help make my point. And to the “Anonymous’ poster – your comments are irrelevant unless you have the courage to affix your name to them.

  • Lindi

    “Concerning manners, every action done in the presence of company ought to be done with some sign of respect for those that are present.” With the exception of the “something Socialists and their kind”, the post is spot on. If the kind readers care to post, please remember that the “Thumper” rule, If you can’t say something nice, don’t say something at all. That is the whole point of a post on good manners needing to be part of social discourse. As our pastor said this morning, what if the posture of faith was silence, rather than a declaration of righteousness?

  • Quin Browne

    Long ago, and far from my roots buried in New Orleans and Mississippi, I was married and raising five children, doing my best to install everything from times tables to appreciating their Southern heritage. As with any lesson you teach your child, I hoped some of it was sticking.

    One Saturday, as we–myself and my tow headed four year old son–walked towards the local mall door, he dashed ahead to open said door for both myself and another customer.

    She stopped and glared at him. I can open doors. I don’t expect you to open a door because I’m a woman!

    He blinked, and responded. Well, M’am, my Mama does.

    I tutted as I went on my way and he was rewarded with some ice cream.

    • Two Southern Sweeties

      Absolutely wonderful Quin!!!
      My husband and children (including my new step-son) ALWAYS open doors for others with a big smile and a “hello”. My grandson will be raised the same way. Thank you so much for sharing your story and experience with us. I love it!!
      Make it a great day!

    • Rendalynn Simpson

      Good for you and your son; Perfect answer for that woman. I raised my four sons the same way. I don’t care what others do, but in my house, you will use good manners to each and every person that you come in contact with whether it’s on a daily basis or a chance meeting.

      I’m sorry to say that it does not extend to my grandchildren. I always have to ask if they received their Christmas and/or birthday presents. Then I get the response of yes. Then I follow up with did they like what they got? Response: Yes. Not that I’m denigrating my daughters-in-law, but I do know if my sons would respond instead of making their wives do it, I would have gotten a thank you one way or the other.

      I never made my children write thank you notes, they always said thank you in person and why they were thankful for what they got. That’s impossible for my grandchildren now as they all live far away, but a simple phone call would be acceptable. Are we so busy that the giver has to be the one to constantly contact to find out if they even received their gifts?

      My grandchildren are mostly in their teens and I have decided that if they can’t contact me via facebook, email, instagram, letter and/or phone call, they no longer deserve gifts. Granted it’s the way they are raised that has a lot to do with it, but I’ve had enough.

  • Ann

    This is really a shameful reaction to such an interesting article. Everything you say and do boils down to racism these days. So my response to these people, get a life and read your Bible. Thank you and have a nice day.

  • MJ

    It doesn’t matter what your political beliefs are. All people should be treated with respect. We all need to live by the golden rule. Unfortunately, with the world we live in today, respect for others and their beliefs, being kind and working hard are no longer valued. Instead, many people live with a sense of entitlement and actually condemn those who have succeeded. Whether you agree or not, socialism is nothing more than rewarding those who feel entitled to what others have earned. Quite frankly, why would anyone continue to work, be polite and try to help others? Furthermore, why are socialists and liberals allowed to openly condemn my beliefs but I am not allowed to express mine?

  • Anne

    I was taught by my mother, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I am appalled by some of these comments about Socialism and the vitriol in these comments.

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