Why Good Manners Are More Important Than A Fancy Degree

Why Good Manners Are More Important Than A Fancy Degree

We often prioritize prestigious degrees and high-powered jobs over the simple power of good manners, but saying “please” and “thank you,” treating people with kindness, and conducting ourselves with grace are the true hallmarks of success. Good manners open doors, build bridges, and create opportunities that no degree alone can match. Here’s why they’re so valuable.

1. Good manners build trust and respect.

Saying please and thank you, holding the door open for someone, and listening attentively are simple actions that demonstrate fundamental respect for other people. People are naturally drawn to those who make them feel valued. Trust is the foundation of strong relationships, whether personal or professional, and good manners pave the way for that trust. It’s simple, see?

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2. Manners show consideration for others.

Being mindful of how your behavior impacts those around you is a sign of maturity and empathy. Interrupting conversations, being dismissive of differing opinions, or neglecting basic courtesies like punctuality shows a lack of consideration. Good manners signal that you value other people’s time, feelings, and perspectives, Headspace explains.

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3. Good manners make you memorable (for the right reasons).

In a sea of resumes and qualifications, it’s often the person with impeccable manners who stands out. A genuine smile, a well-timed thank you note, or offering help without being asked leaves a lasting positive impression. These small gestures show character and create connections that can lead to unexpected opportunities.

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4. Manners create a positive and welcoming environment.

No one enjoys interacting with rude, dismissive, or entitled people. Good manners create a pleasant and inclusive atmosphere, whether in social settings, the workplace, or even online interactions. When people feel respected and comfortable, they’re more likely to collaborate, build relationships, and thrive.

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5. Good manners promote civility and bridge divides.

Our world can feel increasingly polarized. Good manners remind us of our shared humanity. Treating people with respect, even when we disagree, allows for productive dialogue and problem-solving. Courtesy and kindness can help bridge differences and build a more understanding and harmonious society.

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6. Manners are a sign of emotional intelligence.

Having good manners isn’t just about knowing which fork to use — it’s about awareness of how your behavior affects everyone around you and being able to regulate your emotions appropriately. Impatience, anger, or impulsiveness displayed through bad manners reveals a lack of self-control, a key component of emotional intelligence.

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7. Good manners open doors that qualifications alone cannot.

While a fancy degree might land you an interview, it’s your interpersonal skills that will ultimately seal the deal. Employers seek candidates who are not only competent but also pleasant to work with. Good manners demonstrate teamwork potential, the ability to manage clients gracefully, and an overall positive attitude.

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8. Manners are contagious (in the best way).

When you treat people with kindness and respect, you inspire those around you to do the same. Good manners create a ripple effect, promoting a more positive and considerate environment for everyone. Being a role model for civility doesn’t require a degree, but it can have a profound impact on the world around you.

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9. Manners reflect your values and integrity.

How you treat those you perceive as “below” you on a social or professional hierarchy says more about you than any degree could. Being kind to everyone, not just those you deem important, reveals a genuinely good character. Employers, colleagues, and potential partners value integrity, and good manners are a powerful reflection of that.

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10. Good manners are timeless.

Trends fade, technologies change, job markets shift — but the principles of basic human decency never go out of style. Good manners are not about memorizing outdated etiquette rules; they’re about embodying kindness, respect, and consideration, qualities that will always be valued across cultures and throughout time.

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11. Manners can make up for a lack of experience.

When you’re starting off in your career, you might not have an extensive resume. However, demonstrating excellent manners signals professionalism, eagerness to learn, and respect for those in more senior positions. A positive attitude and willingness to go the extra mile, coupled with good manners, can impress potential employers far more than a degree alone ever could.

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12. Manners create a sense of ease and comfort.

Awkward social interactions can be stressful for everyone. Good manners put people at ease, making conversations flow more smoothly and facilitating more meaningful connections. Whether at a networking event, a dinner party, or in a new social group, good manners give you confidence and help people feel comfortable around you.

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13. Good manners demonstrate self-awareness and self-respect.

Treating people with courtesy is also a reflection of how you see yourself. When you value yourself, you naturally extend that respect to those around you. Good manners show that you are confident in who you are and believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.

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14. Manners enhance your overall reputation.

Your reputation is built on how you consistently treat people. Those with good manners are known as reliable, considerate, and pleasant to be around. This positive reputation can precede you, opening doors, attracting positive relationships, and creating opportunities beyond what your qualifications alone can provide.

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15. Good manners are accessible to everyone.

Unlike a fancy degree that requires time, money, and specific opportunities, good manners are something everyone can cultivate. Being kind, respectful, and considerate doesn’t require a high IQ or a specific background. Manners are the ultimate equalizer, allowing anyone to present themselves with dignity and class.

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16. In the end, manners are about how you make people feel.

A fancy degree might impress on paper, but ultimately, true success in life is about the impact you make on others. Good manners make people feel valued, respected, and heard. They create connection, create a sense of community, and leave a lasting positive legacy that extends far beyond any academic achievements.

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Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.