The Meaning Of Southern Hospitality

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If you’ve ever taken a trip down South, you’ve probably encountered an instance of Southern hospitality. Southerners – for the most part – are warm and welcoming. In short, Southern hospitality is a state of mind. For us Southerners, it means putting others before ourselves.

Let’s talk about the true meaning of Southern hospitality in today’s modern age.

The Essence of Southern Hospitality

There’s a difference between good manners and manners reserved for special occasions such as church, weddings or funerals. Manners are the epitome of Southern hospitality because they are practiced every day and everywhere you go. And every person wants to be treated with kindness, courtesy and respect – that’s why manners are important.

Things such as greeting a guest face to face with something as simple as a smile can go a long way. While a smile is a small gesture, it can certainly put your guest at ease. Another small gesture is eye contact; when balanced, eye contact can demonstrate your interests to guests.

We love courtesy words here in the South. Some common words or phrases you might hear while visiting the South include:

  • “Yes sir” or “No sir”
  • “Yes ma’am” or “No ma’am”
  • “Please,” “May I,” “Thank you,” “You’re welcome,” “Excuse me,” and “Pardon me”

Not to say that Northerners aren’t hospitable, but they are known for delivering their irritation up front, and they don’t do much to disguise it. People get on each other’s nerves especially when it comes to serving one another. Some Southerners will deliver irritation in the same way, but most Southerners know how to behave even when they’re feeling put out.