Friday, June 9, 2017

Etiquette, Naturally

"No ripple mast be permitted to ruffle the smooth equilibrium and indifference of your feelings. You must greet him politely, but without emotion. So the false etiquette of which we speak teaches..."

Be Natural — Act Naturally 


One of the fashionable follies of the day is the affectation of great coolness. It is considered vulgar to be demonstrative. You meet an old friend; it is a blessing to your eyes to behold him once more. Your heart leaps up at sight of him—your impulse is to grasp him warmly by the hand. You feel almost like embracing him. You must do nothing of the kind. No ripple mast be permitted to ruffle the smooth equilibrium and indifference of your feelings. You must greet him politely, but without emotion. So the false etiquette of which we speak teaches. 

Self-possession is a strong quality, but we do not believe in this kind of self-possession. And people who school themselves in this are not apt to have the other and better kind. They are not apt to manifest self-possession on such as really call for it—occasions of difficulty and danger, and of great trials. Touch their self-love, make an unusual demand upon them for self-denial, and their assumed and superficial self-possession vanishes in an instant. For ourselves, we like naturalness of manner. Seem as you feel. Let the heart speak out, or what is the use in having a heart? There are crops which grow only on light soils, and the school of philosophy —miscalled philosophy—of which we speak must have originated in shallow brains. — Red Bluff Independent, 1874


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia