The Burden Of Manners

Here’s the one tip I can give and the one thing I have found works for me: Train yourself not to do anything and, if it is too hard for your body language to face this notion, make sure your mouth does not betray you.

Teach yourself to say nothing. It makes a strong statement.

If you apply that tactic to any of the situations I detailed above, the rants of the other party become a stark contrast to your controlled, almost amused silenced. What winds up happening is the rude one makes a conspicuous fool of himself and eventually controls his rant out of embarrassment.

Also, the whole argument dies down if you give people nothing to argue over.

But most importantly, you don’t become your own worst enemy by giving everything away simply for the sake of being polite.

Your silence creates a tension that people respond to. Just ask John Wayne, John Rambo, Gary Cooper and Clint Eastwood; silence has power.

We need to remember the fine line between being polite and being a doormat: A skill to master at any age.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at










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3 comments on “The Burden Of Manners

  1. Dan Downey on said:

    Thanks, Ron, for your insightful story and advice. This is an article that I plan to share with my four sons, each entering into the early stages in their working lives. I know that this information will come in handy for them as they will be faced with situations at times in the workplace that silence could prove to be a powerful tool. Thank you very much.

  2. It’s very tough – manners and modesty appear to be a disadvantage in business. Also honesty & kindness…all the things your mother taught you that ought to be helpful aren’t.

  3. Dave Ochs on said:

    Well done, Ron. It’s about more than ethics, more than getting what you want. It’s about being the person you want to be. That’s a choice that has impact far beyond one argument that’s won or lost.

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