What does good behavior mean

Etiquette: What good behavior means today

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by Susanne Ebner

Salad is not cut and one does not talk about money: Many people long for clear rules that dictate how they should behave in individual cases. Because these conventions are like guard rails that provide support in everyday life. An indication of this longing: The demand for advice literature is unbroken.

But Adolph Freiherr von Knigge already knew over 200 years ago that there are no simple answers in everyday interaction. How one should behave is often decided on a case-by-case basis and depends on situations, people and circumstances. Nothing is just black or white.

Much more important than rules of behavior is therefore the question of how we generally want to deal with one another. Because friendliness is contagious. Or as the Chinese philosopher Confucius said: every smile comes back twice. Therefore, respectful interaction never goes out of fashion - so much etiquette has to be.

Published in the Panorama section