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Unformatted text preview: siness. Manners, courtesy and certain of the abilities, such as musical talent, story telling and humor are
cultivated largely, though not wholly, out of the desire to please.
Manners and courtesy are really standardized methods of behavior, which are to adjust us in a pleasing way to
our superiors, equals and inferiors, and to the various conventional situations of life. Naturally these will vary
greatly in different ages and different countries. A democracy acknowledging in theory no superiors will insist
that every man be called "sir" and every woman "madam," whereas an aristocracy laughs at that. In reality
there is no democracy anywhere, and so we address differently the woman of the mansion and the woman of
the hovel, The mistress of the house calls her maid by her first name but would wonder what the world is
coming to if the maid became as familiar. In a limited sense, manners and courtesy are conventional ways of
doing things, as the way of living, the tipping of the hat, the form of greetings, the way of eating, but these
conventions have great value to the majority of people as evidencing breeding and training or the lack
(superiority or inferiority), and also as removing doubt and choice, so that things run smoothly and without
contradiction. In a more noble sense, manners and courtesy prescribe conduct in order to proscribe offense to
the self-valuation of others. Convention says, "Address people as if they were your equals at least; don't
contradict brusquely because that implies their inferiority or stupidity; avoid too controversial topics since
bitterness and humiliation may thus arise; do not notice defects or disabilities for the same reason; do not brag
or be too conspicuous, since to boast of superiority is to imply the inferiority of others, and they will dislike
you," etc. We tend to dislike and hate those who make us feel inferior, except under those special
circumstances where sex-love, awe and admiration enter to make a certain inferiority desirable or befitt...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11