04/28/2016 07:52 EDT | Updated 04/29/2017 05:12 EDT

Saying Please And Thank You Is Always Necessary

'In the process of writing a thank you card. Green backdrop imparting a light feel to the image -- eg, spring, life, rebirth. I also have a few similar alternatives:'

I've heard it said that successful people do what the unsuccessful are unwilling to do. I didn't realize until recently how simple, and how incredibly true, that is.

"Please" and "thank you" are simple words, and yet it seems that most people don't use them enough. Basic etiquette is often missing in society, in both our personal lives as well as our professional ones. You can make yourself stand out in a rude society by remembering your manners, treating people as respected individuals, and doing what others are unwilling to do.

So why are manners such a thing of the past? People today don't really intend to be rude, but they often come across that way. Many people are unaware of how rude their lackadaisical and self-involved attitude appears. You can't force them to be aware, but you can show them what to do. Actions speak louder than words.

Successful people make a habit of doing what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.

Do you have a sign at your office that says, "Your mother doesn't work here, clean up after yourself"? Why do we even need signs like that? What makes some people think that leaving their used coffee mug on the counter is OK? If you leave the coffee pot empty or the photocopier without paper, you're displaying poor manners and you need to start being aware of the impact your actions have on others.

I recently attended a baby shower and actually received a thank-you card afterward. I was thrilled because it was the first thank-you card I had received in years.

I posted a comment about it on Facebook and several people said they think the practice of sending thank-you cards is passé. It was something that used to happen, but doesn't happen anymore. If that's the case, then it's easy to stand out as special, just by sending thank-you cards. So I make a point to send handwritten thank-you cards to my clients. It makes me stand out, and it makes my mother proud. It makes me feel good, too.

Successful people make a habit of doing what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do. Are you willing to send a simple thank-you card? I am, I do, and I certainly remember and appreciate it when people do it for me.

A few years ago I had a birthday party for my husband, Warren. Since it was a milestone birthday, we thought we'd have a milestone party, and we invited a ton of people. Fewer than 20 showed up. While that in itself was disappointing, what was far more disappointing was that people didn't even respond to the invitation to let me know they weren't coming.

Was it so difficult for them to fire off an email, especially when all they had to do was reply to the one they received from me? We had a great time with the small group of real friends that showed up, and I don't regret not having had a lot of people there. I do regret that I hadn't known how to prepare for the party, though, since I hadn't known how many people would be coming.

I don't think people intend to be rude; they are just unaware of how their actions (or lack thereof) affect other people.

At the doctor's office recently, an older woman with a walker was entering the building. I was surprised at how many people walked by her without holding the door open. They weren't trying to be rude, but they were so caught up in their cell phones, their iPods, or their own lives that they didn't see what was around them. (Yes, I did hold the door open for her.)

Our friends have been hosting a summer barbecue at their house every year for more than 10 years. They provide all the food, all the drinks, everything. More than 50 people attend each year. Yet, throughout the year fewer than 10 people ever reciprocate and invite our friends back to their house.

This year they decided not to hold the party. Several people called to find out when the party was and when they were told there would be no party this year, they expressed disappointment, but they didn't issue their own invitation to get together. I realize my friends don't have the party for the reciprocal invitations, but doesn't it make sense that people would want to reciprocate? Not only do we invite the hosts back for a dinner at our house, but I also show up at their party with flowers and wine, and I send a thank-you note after the event. Someone invites you to his or her house year after year and you attend, but you can never find time to invite him or her back to your house? Rude.

I don't think people intend to be rude; they are just unaware of how their actions (or lack thereof) affect other people.

How hard is it to send follow-up emails to people who make our day special? When a company has an employee who makes you feel important and special, do you let that organization know? We are good at complaining, but are we good at complimenting?

If all it takes are basic manners to get ahead in life, I am well equipped to do that. I am aware of the impact that I have on others around me. I appreciate what I have, and how others benefit to my life, and I say thank you to them for doing so.

Let's spread the word on the importance of manners.

Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook


Everyday Etiquette Lessons