Courtesy is treating others with kindness and tact. We take the time to speak and act graciously, showing people that we value and respect them. We make requests, not demands. We remember our manners, greet others warmly, and listen closely when they speak. Courtesy is a way to honor others, showing them how much they matter to us by how we treat them. Those closest to us need our courtesy most of all. Courtesy is the mirror of their value.

In Family Life

In a family, courtesy manifests as a genuine and respectful consideration for one another’s feelings and needs. It is demonstrated through simple yet impactful actions such as active listening when a family member speaks, using polite language, and showing appreciation for each other’s contributions.

Courtesy within a family means being patient and understanding during disagreements, offering help when needed, and acknowledging each individual’s worth. It’s about creating an atmosphere of kindness and empathy that fosters healthy relationships, making every family member feel valued and cherished. Ultimately, courtesy in a family is the foundation upon which trust, love, and lasting bonds are built.


See ye not, Courtesy is the true Alchemy, turning to gold all that it touches and tries.

— George Meredith “The Song of Courtesy”

 The Practice of Courtesy

  • I remember by manners.
  • I show others that I value and respect them.
  • I treat others graciously.
  • I make requests, not demands.
  • I listen attentively.
  • I treat my intimates with special care.

Balancing Courtesy

Finding the right balance is respectful of all individuals

Assertiveness: To maintain balance, one should practice assertiveness. Assertiveness is expressing one’s needs, opinions, and boundaries while respecting others. It prevents courtesy from being overdeveloped, ensuring individuals can voice their concerns and stand up for themselves when necessary.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It complements courtesy by helping individuals genuinely connect with and understand the emotions and needs of those around them. It prevents courtesy from being underdeveloped, encouraging consideration and respect for other’s feelings and perspectives.

Respect: Respect is fundamental to courtesy. It goes hand in hand with courtesy and ensures that kindness and tact are genuine rather than superficial. By practicing respect, individuals can avoid the pitfalls of both overdeveloped and underdeveloped courtesy, as they will treat others with genuine regard and consideration.

Balancing courtesy helps individuals find the right level of courtesy in each situation, ensuring that it neither stifles their own needs nor disregards the needs and feelings of others. It can help individuals cultivate a healthy and harmonious approach to interacting with others, allowing them to truly honor and value those they encounter.