Why Is Courtesy Important?

Take the time to be courteous and help others.
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Courtesy is the use of polite manners. A courteous person is respectful and considerate of others. Courteous behavior requires a selfless attitude and can give you perspective on others' situations. Kindness and consideration can build your reputation as a respectable, thoughtful person.

1 Good Manners

Chances are your parents taught you to say "thank you" and "you're welcome," but a courteous attitude is about more than the basics. Watch your behavior so that you do not embarrass yourself or others. Look for ways to help others -- open the door for someone whose hands are full. Not only do courteous behaviors show you are thinking of others first, they also make you a more pleasant person to be around, notes the article "Good Manners," on the Women's and Children's Health Network website.

2 Be Respectful

Courteous behavior is directly related to showing respect. Avoid telling others what to do, interrupting and criticizing. Instead, make a habit of asking, listening, complimenting and thanking to show respect, says psychologist Carl Pickhardt in his article "Adolescence and the Power of Parental Courtesy" on PsychologyToday.com. Respect others' property and time. This shows that you recognize the value of both. Learning how to respect others early in life can benefit you in both personal and business relationships.

3 Lacking Courtesy

People who lack courtesy may have trouble with their family relationships, friendships and in their occupation. Showing unconcern for others' feelings, a critical attitude and inconsiderate behaviors creates an atmosphere of tension and frustration, notes Pickhardt. Commonly, offenses pass without confrontation and emotions are suppressed. This may lead to an argument down the line. Rude behavior can send a message to others that you don't accept, appreciate or approve of them.

4 Be More Courteous

Identify areas where you are lacking in courtesy to pinpoint how you need to improve your courteous behaviors and attitudes. Notice what is happening around you and take the time to think about how someone is feeling. Evaluate how technology may interfere with courteousness. Those who text more than 200 times each day show a decrease in reflective thought, which can be related to the ability to be courteous, according to the research, "Texting Frequency and The Moral Shallowing Hypothesis," by Paul Trapnell and Lisa Sinclair of the Department of Psychology, University of Winnipeg, Canada.

Sharon Bolling holds a master's in counseling and human development with a concentration in school counseling from Radford University. She is an experienced instructor of both high school and college students. She has been writing for Demand Media online since April 2013.