Since Mother’s Day was just upon us, I feel entitled to get on my motherly high horse and rant about how dismal people’s manners have become. I don’t care to delve into a lengthy discussion about WHY everyone’s lost any sense of politesse – it could be that we’re spending too much time in a digital world and not enough time in the real world; it could be that we’re all stressed out, insecure, overworked and underpaid. Whatever the case, we need to relate to each other better. There really is no excuse for bad manners, so here are some reminders and simple things we can do to make everyone’s day a little brighter:
1) Smile. At anyone and everyone. Make a point to smile each and every day, no matter what is going on in your life. If you smile at one person, it spreads a little love.
2) Speak when spoken to. Don’t ignore the cashier who asks you how you are, answer and return the query. Say hello to the homeless person who asks you for money, even if you have none. Acknowledge everyone.
3) Compliment people. Say something genuinely nice to your husband, your children, your friends and someone you don’t know. Compliment especially is you’re envious of something and make it sincere. Don’t make people feel bad about what they have going on for there’s probably something about you someone is envious of too and wouldn’t you want them to be nice.
4) Wave when someone lets you in their lane of traffic. Many people have lost this art and it’s so simple, so just do it.
5) Hold the door open for those behind you when entering a building.
6) Say please and thank you. You no doubt have many people to thank for many things, so it openly and often. It makes others feel good, you feel good and sets a good example for your children.
7) Ask questions. My husband and I are always amazed at people’s cocktail party/BBQ/birthday party/etc. etiquette, or lack thereof. We’ll toss all kinds of questions at people – how their work is, where they work, what they’ve read lately, what they think of the protects in Russia, etc., etc. – and are always amazed because no one is asking us questions in return. Learn the art of social chatter and learn the art of asking those who are near and dear to you questions about their day, their dreams and their dalliances.
8) Write thank you notes. On real paper. This goes one step beyond just saying it and it means so much to people. Just do it.
We’d love to hear what manners matters seem lost to you. Let us know via email or in the comments section below. Together we can bring the world back to it’s happy place.