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Manners and Mannerisms Around the Globe

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Being polite and having good manners might seem easy. When someone does something nice, you say: ‘Thank you,’ right? All the good manners, etiquettes, and what it means to be polite, are different all over the world. And doing business in a world brought closer by technology can be a daunting task when the manners of other countries are unknown. For example, hugging etiquette in America is considered an uncommon manner in China. Studies reveal that nearly 70% of the communication between humans is non-verbal and only through gestures and facial expressions and hardly a small percentage contribute a wordy communication.

Certain rules must be followed and will go a long way to help one succeed, thus being confident with a happy positive attitude. Manners, global behaviours, and social etiquette should be navigated carefully to treat people with respect. But warning signals of the variations in many countries still prevail from area to area, neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Otherwise, it would have been easy to be familiar with someone with bad manners or behaviour.

Etiquette rules and customs vary throughout the world. Let me portray my views of putting oneself in front of others, be it in an interview or a social gathering, or a party, or at a workplace or in a country, culture, rules, place or customs one is not acquainted with. 

The standpoint – posture

Posture is the vital edge of the display of one’s behaviour, attitude, and nervousness. One must allow personal space while in a gathering of any meeting addressed by any leader or a dignitary personality. Carelessness is depicted while one sits cross-legged or with one foot jutting out. Slouching with hunched shoulders is indicative of low confidence and indifference. Well-disciplined army personnel posture too reflects the hostility, although it is a positive body posture when one is highly interested and involved, with an eye focusing on the speaker and attentive to his words.

Pleasant amenity – gestures

While at the desk in a workplace or a round table conference with colleagues, thumping or wagging fingers at the fellow beside you are absolutely unpleasant or aggressive. Biting the nails or playing with a pen or anything in your hand that distracts your attention shows the anxiousness in you. Too much shrugging of your shoulders is suggestive of how much you care or you don’t care to listen or be a part of the meeting.

Articulate cast – expressions

Raising eyebrows in a mocking way, or nodding your head with or without agreement, a narrow blink of an eye to threaten or warn, anger or pleasure of wrinkling your lips or nose depicts disgust or dislike – are a few extreme expressions one must avoid. Furthermore, yawning might be indicative of disinterest and lack of open-mindedness.

Timbre – tone of voice

Eye contact with peers, averted eyes with lack of interest, looking around here and there while speaking or listening, shouting or raising your voice, dismissal of other’s opinion in an insulting or jeering voice, not maintaining a balanced tone – are a few expressions that help us decipher the personality.

Jashan Jot Kaur is a researcher at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

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