Chapter One The Importance of Good Etiquette in Social Situations

M ake no mistake about it, humans are social by nature. In fact, our species is hardwired to connect with other people thanks to millions of years of evolution .

Why We’re Social

Our ancient ancestors lived in small groups and relied heavily on each other for shelter, food, and protection from things like wildlife, inclement weather, and enemy tribes. Being ostracized or separated from the group could lead to personal harm, illness, or even death. So the young were taught from a very early age that respect for authority, cooperation with others, and trust in the tribe were critical for survival. This understanding and respect for the group has been passed down from generation to generation. Most people accept these social rules. People who don’t are often labeled “antisocial” and may be excluded from the

group because of their unpleasant behavior. Over time, the small nomadic tribes of our ancestors developed into larger and larger communities, until eventually we reached the modern world, complete with advanced societal structures such as organized government and laws. Today, different cultures all around the world have unique rules, traditions, and shared beliefs that are reflective not only of societal customs but also of family and religious customs as well. These customs have a deep influence on the way we interact with others and help determine acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, which can vary slightly from culture to culture.


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