Listen to episode 85 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Modern Manners & The Power of Courtesy (Etiquette). Edited and adapted from How to be Happy Though Civil by E.J. Hardy.
Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: The two chief rules for manners are, first: think of others; and second: do not think of yourself. And these cannot be carried out without sympathy. We must be able to go out of ourselves and realize the feelings and circumstances of another if we would confer pleasure and avoid inflicting pain.
It is want of sympathy which constitutes the hard individual---the one who (without committing anything that might be called a fault) rides roughly over the most sensitive feelings of your nature. Good manners is the art of putting our associates at ease. Whoever makes the fewest persons uncomfortable is the best-mannered person in a room, and also the most tactful.
Most of us have a notion of what tact is, but it is difficult to define it. The word is derived from the Latin for "to touch.” Tact is the (quote) “touch faculty of body and soul.” It enables its possessor to get into touch with people and to gain an influence over them. Tact, or savoir faire, is a tenth muse, more inspiring than any of the nine. As an insidious gentle sunshine makes us take off our great-coat sooner than a blustering north wind, so tact is more efficacious than other forces which seem to be stronger.
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