‘Essential Manners for Men, Second Edition’ by Peter Post
Thanks to Matt Haughey, I discovered the Awesome Etiquette podcast, wherein Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning of the Emily Post Institute take questions from listeners on etiquette in the modern world. It’s a surprisingly delightful show, though they and their listeners do sometimes comically overanalyze social situations I would consider minor.
While doing some idle reading about the Emily Post Institute (I hadn’t heard of it before and was curious), I found out they have a long history of publishing a variety of books on etiquette. The one that grabbed my attention was Essential Manners for Men, Second Edition by Peter Post.
In this book, Mr. Post covers issues commonly overlooked by so many men. Topics include hygiene, bad habits, lack of courtesy, sharing responsibility with one’s spouse, dressing well and smelling nice, tipping etiquette, communication (in person and otherwise), life changes, weddings, and more. In this updated second edition, Post also covers modern problems concerning social media, online dating, texting and emailing, smartphone usage, etc.
A lot of it comes across as quaint and old-fashioned, of course, but after reading it you may attain a much higher baseline of courtesy and respect in your everyday behaviors. This excerpt from the book sums up why it all matters:
Here’s the bottom line: Men get it right some of the time, but they generally don’t spend enough effort really thinking through how their actions will affect the people around them. And that’s what good etiquette really is: thinking about what the considerate, respectful thing to do would be, and then doing it. By thinking about our behavior, we turn each action into a conscious choice. The more we practice making those choices, the more often we’ll make good choices—and the better our lives and the lives of our loved ones will be.
And that’s what makes etiquette worth the effort.
I just came back from a trip to Disneyland/California Adventure, and after dealing with a constant onslaught of rude people in the parks for several days — most of whom were men, if I’m being honest — I can’t think of a better book to share on T&T this weekend than Essential Manners for Men.