Courtesy vs Chivalry: What's the Difference?

Tue, 07/09/2024

By Jeffrey Garris -
Administrative Assistant and Staff Photographer

We often hear about courtesy and chivalry when it comes to good manners and treating others with respect. These two concepts both focus on showing consideration for others, but they have different origins and ways of being put into practice.

Courtesy is all about using good manners, being polite, and showing respect in our everyday interactions. It includes simple acts like saying please and thank you, holding the door for someone, offering your seat to someone in need, and being mindful of other people’s feelings and needs. Courtesy is important for creating positive social interactions and promoting mutual respect in our communities.

Chivalry, on the other hand, has its roots in the medieval code of conduct for knights. It was used in yesteryears to emphasize qualities like bravery, honor, loyalty, and gallantry, especially towards women. While the meaning of chivalry has changed over time, it still carries an idea of nobility, selflessness, and respectful treatment.

One big difference between courtesy and chivalry is where they come from and their associations with gender. Courtesy is all about being polite and respectful to everyone, while as previously mentioned chivalry historically focused more on how to treat women. In today's world, this has sparked discussions about whether chivalry is still relevant in a society striving for gender equality. However, both courtesy and chivalry share the same core values of kindness, respect, and consideration for others.

Whether we emphasize courtesy, chivalry, or both in our interactions, the main goal is to create a culture and community of respect, empathy, and kindness toward others. These concepts remind us of the importance of treating others with consideration and contribute to creating a more harmonious and respectful society.

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit to read the original article.