T Nation

Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

Respect. All men wish to have the respect of those around them. One man who earned respect from his comrades and his enemies alike was Americaâ??s first president, George Washington. Washington was known for his gentlemanly comportment. Some might argue that his formality bordered on being frigid. But his formality helped earn him respect wherever he went.

When Washington was just 16 years old, he copied by hand a list of 110 rules on civility that were compiled by 16th Century Jesuit priests. Iâ??m sure the time Washington spent as a boy writing out these rules helped shape the magnanimous statesman he would become as an adult.

While some of the rules on the list are a little too stuffy, formal, and school marmy-ish for our modern taste, many of them are still just as applicable today. A man who practices these rules will definitely distinguish himself from the other cads out there.

George Washingtonâ??s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation

(Note: The original spelling and punctuation was retained)

  1. Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.

  2. When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered.

  3. Show Nothing to your Friend that may affright him.

  4. In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.

  5. If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkerchief or Hand before your face and turn aside.

  6. Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.

  7. Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.

  8. At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.

  9. Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it.

  10. When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them.

  11. Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.

  12. Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs roll not the Eyes lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.

  13. Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexterously upon it if it be upon the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if it be upon your own Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off.
    
  14. Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking, Jog not the Table or Desk on which Another reads or writes, lean not upon any one.

  15. Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean yet without Showing any great Concern for them.

  16. Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.

  17. Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be Playâ??d Withal.

  18. Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unasked also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter.

  19. Let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat grave.

  20. The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are upon.

  21. Reproach none for the Infirmities of Nature, nor Delight to Put them that have in mind thereof.

  22. Show not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.

  23. When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always show Pity to the Suffering Offender.
    Donâ??t draw attention to yourself.

  24. Do not laugh too loud or too much at any Public Spectacle.

  25. Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremony are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected.

  26. In Pulling off your Hat to Persons of Distinction, as Noblemen, Justices, Churchmen & make a Reverence, bowing more or less according to the Custom of the Better Bred, and Quality of the Person. Amongst your equals expect not always that they Should begin with you first, but to Pull off the Hat when there is no need is Affectation, in the Manner of Saluting and resaluting in words keep to the most usual Custom.

  27. Tis ill manners to bid one more eminent than yourself be covered as well as not to do it to whom itâ??s due Likewise he that makes too much haste to Put on his hat does not well, yet he ought to Put it on at the first, or at most the Second time of being asked; now what is herein Spoken, of Qualification in behavior in Saluting, ought also to be observed in taking of Place, and Sitting down for ceremonies without Bounds is troublesome.

  28. If any one come to Speak to you while you are are Sitting Stand up though he be your Inferior, and when you Present Seats let it be to every one according to his Degree.

For all 110: http://artofmanliness.com/2009/06/14/manvotional-george-washingtons-rules-of-civility-and-decent-behavior-in-company-and-converation/

Friedrich Nietzsche was really onto something with that whole “God is dead” thing.

Cool to read. While some are certainly culturally outdated (most people don’t have fireplaces these days, etc), the simple premises behind them are quite clear and admirable. Almost wanna print these out and put’em on the fridge.

Reminds me of something I heard in a commercial on the NFL network for a show about Ed Sabol (the father of NFL Films). Paraphrasing and probably butchering it, but his son said something to the effect of:

“My father always used to say you don’t treat a man as a gentleman because he is; you do it because you are.”

I like that.

what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]

There is a lot of truth in this. It’s the people who seem to be friendly or cool upon first impressions who usually turn out to be fake dickheads. And it’s the people who seem to be like assholes on first impressions who turn out to be genuine good natured people.

[quote]Waylander wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]

There is a lot of truth in this. It’s the people who seem to be friendly or cool upon first impressions who usually turn out to be fake dickheads. And it’s the people who seem to be like assholes on first impressions who turn out to be genuine good natured people.
[/quote]

please elaborate because from my experience this hardly holds any truth. It would be a sad, sad day in society where the nice people are actually the dickheads. Although I’m sure there are exceptions to this.

[quote]Rico Suave wrote:

[quote]Waylander wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]

There is a lot of truth in this. It’s the people who seem to be friendly or cool upon first impressions who usually turn out to be fake dickheads. And it’s the people who seem to be like assholes on first impressions who turn out to be genuine good natured people.
[/quote]

please elaborate because from my experience this hardly holds any truth. It would be a sad, sad day in society where the nice people are actually the dickheads. Although I’m sure there are exceptions to this.[/quote]

I’m talking about first impressions. I have often found that when someone has made a first impression, further insight into their personality usually reveals a certain amount of lacking of the characteristics offered in the first impression. For example, people who appear to be interesting, cultured and intellectual upon first glance, tend to be revealed as uninteresting, narrow minded and pretentious upon further examination.

People who tend to be really charismatic, friendly and seemingly worthy of respect, tend to actually be game players, shallow or just assholes, and not worthy of forming a deeper bond of friendship with, as you know you would not be able to rely upon them. They are consciously processing this facade in order to get people to like them and hide their insecurities and shortcomings. Likewise, people who I think are arrogant assholes on first impression, often tend to be merely just showing a genuine side of their personality and not hiding it, and it’s this lack of subtlety that makes me think they are assholes at first.

It’s a general rule of thumb for me that if someone gives an excessive first impression, be it as interesting, authoritative, friendly, intelligent etc. then they will tend to be the opposite of their promised characteristics, as they are projecting a false personality in order to obscure their insecurities and limitations. People who don’t try and project an insincere personality will appear to be vulgar and uncultured to our eyes, yet this is merely an illusion created by our expectations on what an intelligent, interesting, or friendly person should act like.

Rico, every serial killer that has ever been documented is the nice guy. We can start there if you’d like.

Or watch any single woman get worked hard in an auto shop or car dealership by “a guy who just trying to help.”

Check the bodies of children who live with socially upsatnding adults for bruising…

you’ve been shown the wrongs of priests…teachers…doctors

watch the GSA video footage that has been released that shows nice people wasting tax payer money at a party during the day

ltype penn state university into google

the dude behind the kony2012 scam

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:

[/quote]

Sometimes you seem older than you are, Rock… like when you post old classics like this.
This is from MY generation!

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:

[/quote]

Sometimes you seem older than you are, Rock… like when you post old classics like this.
This is from MY generation!
[/quote]

I cant see video at work is it a silent movie.

:slight_smile:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]
Try not to confuse cynicism with wisdom.

[quote]MartyMonster wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]
Try not to confuse cynicism with wisdom.
[/quote]

I DONT TRUST YOU EITHER!!!

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:

[/quote]

Sometimes you seem older than you are, Rock… like when you post old classics like this.
This is from MY generation!
[/quote]

Brotha, if you only knew…

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:

[quote]MartyMonster wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]
Try not to confuse cynicism with wisdom.
[/quote]

I DONT TRUST YOU EITHER!!![/quote]

Where did you learn to debate? The internet?

[quote]MartyMonster wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:

[quote]MartyMonster wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]
Try not to confuse cynicism with wisdom.
[/quote]

I DONT TRUST YOU EITHER!!![/quote]

Where did you learn to debate? The internet?[/quote]

Oh yeah? Well where did you get your suit? The toilet shop?

[quote]MartyMonster wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]
Try not to confuse cynicism with wisdom.
[/quote]

My wife and I were visiting this old Virginia plantation a couple years ago,

http://www.berkeleyplantation.com/

We got to the servants quarters and the tour guide asked:

“Who can tell me the difference between a farm and a plantation??”

My wife and I replied simultaneously:

“Slaves???”

Nobody in the group laughed. You speak a some truth here Rock, and I dig that.

[quote]Waylander wrote:

[quote]Rico Suave wrote:

[quote]Waylander wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]

There is a lot of truth in this. It’s the people who seem to be friendly or cool upon first impressions who usually turn out to be fake dickheads. And it’s the people who seem to be like assholes on first impressions who turn out to be genuine good natured people.
[/quote]

please elaborate because from my experience this hardly holds any truth. It would be a sad, sad day in society where the nice people are actually the dickheads. Although I’m sure there are exceptions to this.[/quote]

I’m talking about first impressions. I have often found that when someone has made a first impression, further insight into their personality usually reveals a certain amount of lacking of the characteristics offered in the first impression. For example, people who appear to be interesting, cultured and intellectual upon first glance, tend to be revealed as uninteresting, narrow minded and pretentious upon further examination.

People who tend to be really charismatic, friendly and seemingly worthy of respect, tend to actually be game players, shallow or just assholes, and not worthy of forming a deeper bond of friendship with, as you know you would not be able to rely upon them. They are consciously processing this facade in order to get people to like them and hide their insecurities and shortcomings. Likewise, people who I think are arrogant assholes on first impression, often tend to be merely just showing a genuine side of their personality and not hiding it, and it’s this lack of subtlety that makes me think they are assholes at first.

It’s a general rule of thumb for me that if someone gives an excessive first impression, be it as interesting, authoritative, friendly, intelligent etc. then they will tend to be the opposite of their promised characteristics, as they are projecting a false personality in order to obscure their insecurities and limitations. People who don’t try and project an insincere personality will appear to be vulgar and uncultured to our eyes, yet this is merely an illusion created by our expectations on what an intelligent, interesting, or friendly person should act like.[/quote]

I agree with this.

The loudmouth is trying to hide something about himself. Insecurity, a little dick, sometimes even agoraphobia is handled by the individual in this manner.

You can hide a turd in your hand but if you squeeze it too hard it’ll pop out somewhere…

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
what does he say aboutbuying humans and forcing them to work from birth to death?

probably something like

“fuckin n*ggers” I bet

or about opium?

“take it to the face, bro!!!”

or trying to make himself king of america?

“yall mafacas bout to bow down n shit yo”

I will never trust a person that tres to be good all the time. They’re usually hiding some dark shit…

give me a man that lives as an animal any day, at least he’s honest and you know what to expect or how to deal with him…these sly and “do the right thing” fuckers will poison you slowly [/quote]

So, you’re saying that because some nice people act badly and some bad people act nicely that we shouldn’t act civil and decent?