Monday, June 18, 2012

Manners Monday: Holding Doors Open for Others

Happy Monday! Did everyone have a nice Father's Day weekend? As I mentioned here my father and I live on opposite coasts so I sent him a package early last week and we made a point of catching up twice last week via Skype so that was our visit time. :)

As promised, I'm beginning our week with a Manners Monday post. Given several run-ins I've had over the past few weeks, I thought it was about time I did a little post about the importance of holding the door for others. We began the conversation in The Classy Woman Facebook community and I decided to bring this topic to the blog. (If you haven't joined yet, be sure to like my page as I post there daily and join the conversation!)

How you treat others says a lot about you as a person. Everybody appreciates a polite act like having the door held open for them. This act of kindness is not just reserved for men. It is important that everyone know how to hold a door for another, whether they are carrying heavy bags or just passing through empty handed. Once we have mastered it, we must teach it to our children that they might lead the future generation by example.

 5 Tips on How to Properly Hold a Door for Others

1. Who to Hold a Door For- Hold the door for everyone, whenever the occasion arises. Some reserve this polite gesture only for the elderly,  a mother with a stroller/small children or in the case of men they hold they door open for ladies and not gents. Regardless of a person's age or sex it is proper and thoughtful to hold the door for someone else.

2. How Long to Wait for Someone Walking?- Generally speaking, when walking up to a door with someone behind you or coming from the other side of the door, the time spent holding the door is extremely minimal so it is one of the easiest and most thoughtful things we can do for another. Sometimes we'll notice an elderly person several 20 feet away and feel compelled to hold the door for them. Do remember that in your waiting for them, it sometimes makes someone feel as though they now must speed up to get there instead of just keep on at the pace they are comfortable with, use discretion so one doesn't view your efforts as a nuisance more than a blessing.

3. Make Door Opening Less Awkward-Sometimes we are met with someone who holds the door for us by extending their arm to push the door open as we are to squeeze past them. This type of door holding while thoughtful can be awkward. The best way to hold a door for someone upon meeting the door first is to pull it towards you and stand to the side and let the other person/people through then follow them after they have walked through. If you happen upon a door that opens away from you, walk through it and stand to the side out of the way as others walk through then let the door go once everyone has walked through.

4. Do it With a Smile- I think many times people go about things in a mannerly fashion as if it is expected of them (if they were raised that way) but it appears there is no joy in it. I think it is so important to do things with a smile whether thanking a cashier and wishing her a nice day, saying good morning or holding the door for someone. The classy woman is warm and desires to improve another person's day. She does not view manners as tedious tasks that she endures so that she won't be looked upon as rude. Rather, she regards manners as kindness granted to another just because they too are human and deserve to be treated as such.

5. Don't Expect a Thank You- I say this because if you don't expect it, you won't be disappointed if it doesn't happen. While it is nice and often rewarding to hear the words "thank you" when we have taken the time to do something nice for others, our efforts and manners are their own reward. Personally speaking, I have sometimes felt annoyed after having held a door for someone who was struggling with a stroller or heavy packages and didn't receive so much as a nod or a smile. I'm sure you can relate. I've learned that there are always going to be people that disregard polite gestures or don't respond the way you might have hoped or. Don't let it get you down!

For some who practice good manners and are not met with a thank you, it can be enough to think why bother and forget making the polite gestures altogether. But if your true motives for doing the good deed are pure and joy is in your heart to truly assist another then your reasons should outweigh any rude folks you come across. Besides, the world needs more people like you to carry on and lead by positive example in a time when basic manners seem to be at an all time low.

Have a great week ladies! Pssst....I have an awesome this week that I'm really excited about and you do not want to miss! Be sure to check in again soon. :)

*images: (1), (2)


  1. Dear Karla,
    at first forgive my bad English. You are absolutely right, but ... It happened to me some weeks ago in the theatre. I hold the door for an elderly lady. Than a younger couple passed, than some other people. I stand there like a doorman and nobody was thinking about to take the door. So I asked a man, who was going though the door if he is willing to hold it for his wife. And I got an aggressive answer. So for me holding the door is practicing good manners, but who to manage the bad manners of the others?
    Kind regards

  2. Sanne-Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. I'm so sorry that happened. The younger couple who passed should have been the next to hold the door for others. This is a prime example of how a lack of knowledge of manners can inconvenience or upset others. You should not be the doorman.

    After letting a couple people through, you can follow through yourself and the others can manage the door on their own. You're so kind and thoughtful to take care of others but they will learn that it is their turn! ;)



  3. I always get slightly annoyed when I hold the door open for someone and don't get at least an appreciative nod or smile. I mean really, is it that hard to show someone that you appreciate something he's done?


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