I’m no Emily Post. You know who that is, right? Miss Manners? Wait. Let me start over. Do you know what etiquette is?
I’m thinking that a lot of people don’t. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing or cultural thing. Were people not raised right? I don’t know but it’s time to set things straight. Let’s make some changes for 2011. My changes. Let’s call them my suggested rules of etiquette.
1. Upon entering or exiting a store, please hold the door for someone if they are within 10 feet of the door.
What’s with people? Do you know how many times I have had a door slammed in my face when I was right behind someone? I don’t know how people do that. It’s habit for me to look over my shoulder and hold it open.
2. If someone has their hands full, help them.
This can mean pressing the elevator button or getting the door for them. Just do it. It’s nice.
3. When driving, if someone allows you to merge or enter traffic, especially with a wave, you should give a wave in return.
A wave from a driver is usually universally accepted to mean “Go ahead” to which a wave back means “Gee, thanks.” If you have darkly tinted windows or a long vehicle, you may even want to put your window down and give a little wave out the window.
4. If someone you know looks nice or does something impressive, tell them so.
Too often, people are afraid to give compliments. I don’t understand why. A few words can go a long way. However, if you compliment how someone looks and you don’t know them, they might feel a little weirded out.
5. Tip service workers 15-20%. Even if they’re not that great.
I like good service as much as the next Joe but everybody has an off day. Or maybe their grandmother died and they were told they still had to come to work. You never know what’s going on with someone and your small gesture can make a big difference. Unless they’re downright rude. Then just forget it.
6. Don’t say anything to anyone electronically that you wouldn’t be comfortable saying to their face.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave on this Internet thing. It’s easy to hide behind emails, tweets, anonymous comments. But at the end of the day, there are people sitting behind those computers and words can hurt.
7. Remember the lost art of handwriting.
Handwritten notes, cards, letters, and even envelopes have become a novelty. But it still means something when you write, actually write, a personal note to someone.
8. Watch your children at restaurants.
Whatever behavior you may allow at home probably doesn’t make sense in a restaurant. It’s never too early to teach proper restaurant manners. It’s really not that cute when your kid stands up in a booth, turns around, and stares at me the entire time. Also, try to keep the ensuing food disaster to less than an F-9. Nobody likes Cheerios all over the floor.
9. If you have a screaming child, it might be time to leave the store.
Sometimes you may be trying to prove a point. Sometimes it’s out of necessity. But sometimes it makes the other shoppers absolutely insane. Also, remember that children in stores often get tired/hungry/thirsty/bored. While you may enjoy trying on every pair of shoes in the store, it’s not terribly thrilling to your child.
10. Disagree with grace. Don’t make thinly veiled insults.
Thinly veiled insults may make us feel better because we can say what we want to say without really saying it so we can’t really be held accountable, right? Wrong. Most people know when you are talking about them so you’re not fooling anyone. It’s really just better to be graceful.
11. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
It’s the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Always. And if you think you’re already do a good job, look at your spouse, your kids, your co-workers. How do they treat you? Maybe it’s not them. Maybe it’s you. Or maybe it is them. It happens.
12. Teach your children, please.
It’s hard to remember that those babes come out of the womb knowing nothing. I mean, nothing. Everything is learned either by teaching or observation. Set a good example. Say please and thank you. Be pleasant and polite. Tell them how to behave in certain places. Then watch them and help them with social cues when they don’t understand. They’ll never learn if you don’t teach them.
13. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.
I just had to throw that in there. It’s one of my favorite lines from the movie “The Shawshank Redemption.” It’s not etiquette. It’s a credo. Life is short so make it count.
That’s all I got. Just those 13 things. Simple rules but wouldn’t the world be a better place if we followed them?
Yes Fadra Yes! I wrote about commenting with class in this spirit and you nailed it. People don;t even hold the door for kids anymore. It is crazy. Thans for these reminders…now to get those missing their manners to read it 🙂
Someone suggested a billboard. Do you think we can do that?
#6 and #10. Hand in hand on the Internets, yo. Sooooooo tired of trolls and Judgy McJudgersons.
Bunch of cowards, they are. But I say, instead of being direct with people instead of hiding behind a computer, how about just be nicer?
Oh, I think this should be required reading. For everyone. Although I have been guilty of making my screaming child stay in a store with me…to prove a point. Always with a scarlet face though.
Well, yes, there’s a fine line. You can’t give in to every whim or cry. But I see the same people in the same stores completely ignoring their children. And it makes mee a wee bit insane.
Love this list Fadra! It’s all about respect. Recently on a couple of occasions an elderly person in line at the store asked me to get in front of them because I had a toddler and only one or two items. I was so blessed that I plan to return the favor. Especially if I have a full cart and they have like a box of macaroni. It’s just the right thing to do!
Exactly. When people do nice things for you, you want to do nice things for them. There was a woman in line at the Gap Outlet. Her daughter had a broken leg and was hobbling to get something to the register in time for her mom to check out. I stepped forward and just helped pass the item along and she thanked me profusely. TWICE! It was nothing to me but apparently made a huge impact on her.
You mean I can’t be mean just for the heck of it? *sigh* But really, even pregnant I don’t get doors held open for me or people giving up seats. It’s sad.
I am guilty of letting my kid stare..which is why he will probably be in a high chair until he is in college!
I have to tell you that pregnancy was like magic for me. People went out of their way to help you. However, once I struggled with that infant carrier, people could care less. That’s probably when we need more help!
I think you need to study my list and I’m going to give you a quiz next week 🙂
Great list! What seems to be a no-brainer to many of us, sadly is lost on many. We can use your tips to set a good example, starting at home.
I think you hit the nail on the head “No Brains.” Really, if we just followed #11, we wouldn’t have to worry about the rest.
Everyone… EVERYONE should follow all of these. And say please and thank you.
Please and thank you is assumed in my world (that you say it, I mean)
Oh my goodness… where have you been all my life?! LOL. This is something that irritates me so much! The problem is that some online folks don’t think manners are applicable! So wrong! Your last one #13, it took me until I found out I had cancer to realize how much I was losing out in life… that’s a whole other story! But you are right that you need to live your life! I knew I liked you but now I know why! ha! 🙂
I’ve actually read some of your cancer posts. (See – you never know who stops by your blog!) You have to try to get perspective before you get a rude awakening. Or before it’s too late. And bottom line is it feels good to be good!
Very good reminder that you never know who is reading! lol. Yes the rude awakening is not fun! I’d rather not have that happen again… thanks Fadra!
Great list! I’d add one thing – in the age of evites and facebook events, have the decency to rsvp. It’s not that hard!
OMG. How could I forget that one? That is a TOTAL pet peeve of mine. I once had someone tell me that that that RSVP just meant respond if you’re coming. NO. Répondez s’il vous plaît! Learn your French!!!
And actually reply to an invitation that asks for RSVP. Why don’t people do this?
Did you happen to see the comment right before yours? Yes, we are all on the same wavelength here. TOTALLY.
Clearly, my sleep deprivation has caused my had to go further up my ass. Otherwise, I don’t know how I could have missed that.
Can we put this on a billboard? Love this list. I especially love #6. “Don’t say anything to anyone electronically that you wouldn’t be comfortable saying to their face.” Why don’t people get that? I’ve even found myself clarifying what I said online to avoid any misunderstanding, since context and tone can be iffy online.
One thing that I admire about by husband is that he doesn’t let people off the hook. If they make veiled comments, he’ll ask them exactly what they mean by that. If they send him a terse email, he’ll pick up the phone and call them. You’ve never seen so much backpedaling in all your life. Until we have the funds for a billboard, we’ve got my husband.
Perfection! These are lovely. And I say that as someone who’s broken a few here and there.
Haven’t we all? But that’s how we learn.
Rules to live by! I get so frustrated when people don’t hold doors open! Although I can say people have been pretty nice when I’m pushing my massive stroller around. Funny about the wave… in Arizona, people don’t wave back. Hardly ever. I think it’s a Southern thing, although I’d argue it’s just the nice thing to do.
How can you not acknowledge when someone does you a favor on the road? I think the wave should be a universal law or something.
Ah, the old courtesy wave. I always try and be a courteous driver, going out of my way to let people merge etc. But, let me tell you, if I don’t get that courtesy thank-you wave you can be damn sure I am cursing you in my car for being an ungrateful driver.
Two weeks ago I was in Petsmart carrying a HEAVY bag of dog food to the checkout. I was precariously balancing the big bag on my hip, when the gentlemen in front of me said I could go ahead of him as he was buying a small item. I was SO grateful and said thank you SO much. He then ruined his good Samaritan moment by telling me he had to let me go in front of him, otherwise he would have felt guilty & had to carry the bag to my car. I ask you this Fadra, why didn’t he offer to do that anyways? Circumstances like this baffle me.
Great post as always!
Oh yes. Nothing brings out road rage in me than someone that takes my driving courtesy for granted.
Sometimes, in my boldest moments, I’ll say something to someone. Exactly what I feel. I remember my officemate telling me she didn’t like my new haircut. I looked at her and said “That’s not very nice. Why would you say that to me?” She was floored and then silent. Maybe we need to stop letting people off the hook?
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You know what is hard? Trying to teach your child manners in a world where no one uses them anymore! I would add RSVPing – a major pet peeve of mine. And the art of the thank you note. I am so tired of buying gifts for my daughter’s friends never to have either of us receive so much as a verbal thank you, let alone a note. We write thank you notes and our 2 yo colors on them to add her personal touch. It’s fun, easy and take only a few minutes.