Don’t Be Rude When You Can Be Kind!

What happened to common courtesy and dood manners?

They used to be the norm – but, are now practically non-existent.

When I observe simple acts of kindness and respectful behavior it is almost startling because it is such a rare experience.

The anonymity of social media seems to have created a breeding pool for poor behavior that is spilling over into daily actions for the majority.

Being on the receiving end of rude behavior is extremely unpleasant – so, let’s not be guilty of the ones who are being rude.

It’s Time to Dust Off Your Manners

Don't be rude - Good manners show respect

There is no excuse for being rude and disrespectful. It is selfish and immature behavior that reflects a complete lack of concern for anyone except yourself.

My theory is that rude behavior begins at home. When children are allowed to be rude and disrespectful to family members (including their parents), it becomes a way of life when dealing with people in any situation. It’s the only behavior they know.

It’s time to change!

Unfortunately, we cannot control others’ behavior, but we can control our own.

You and I can choose to be kind and courteous to others – family, friends, associates, colleagues, clerks, service agents, and strangers. YES, I’m talking about EVERYONE.

Being polite and showing respect for others will never go out of style (maybe buried under a pile of “you know what”) – but never lost unless people accept perpetual rudeness as a way of life.

Respectful behavior that is fueled by kindness is the foundation of a good life and a joyful society.

. . . and it starts with you and me dusting off our manners and displaying common courtesy even single day.

To pique your memory, I have compiled a list of common courteous behaviors from years past. They are not difficult to perform, but if they are not currently part of your behavioral patterns, it may take time and practice for them to become automatic, as they should be.

  • Get in the habit of saying please and thank you!
  • Say hello and goodbye when entering and leaving a room or group of people.
  • Stop swearing in public.
  • Say, “I’m sorry” when you bump into someone.
  • When meeting someone for the first time, smile and introduce yourself.
  • Give an elderly or handicapped person, or pregnant lady your seat on the bus or subway.
  • Cover your mouth when you yawn, sneeze, cough, burp, etc. and say, “Excuse me.”
  • Put your phone away in public! Don’t text or scroll through messages while walking, driving, or during a face-to-face conversation with someone. Phones should be used when you are sitting/standing alone and you will not disturb anyone else.
  • Hold the door open for those behind you or for anyone who may need help.

Let the other person enter the building, the room or the elevator first.

  • Promptly R.S.V.P to any invitation.
  • Send thank-you notes (preferably handwritten) for dinner parties, gifts, etc.
  • Acknowledge and accept differences of opinions (even on social media) – acknowledgment is not agreement.

Introductions

Don't be rude - say hello politely
Credit-phototechno-iStock
  • Always introduce people to each other.
  • Make introductions immediately
  • When you are being introduced, listen carefully and remember names.
  • Respond – “It’s nice to meet you.”
  • Ask a question to let them know you are interested in who they are.
  • When leaving, say, “It’s nice to have met you.”

Polite Conversation

  • When someone says hello – smile and say hello back (or be the first to say it)
  • Listen attentively without interrupting – let the other person finish before you speak.
  • Be kind and respectful in your response to others.
  • Consider all opinions – you don’t have to agree, but be willing to listen.
  • Respond to questions with kindness and respect.

These are only a sampling of good manners. There is so much more but these are a good place to start.

Model the behavior you would like to see in your children and would enjoy when in the company of others.

We usually get back what we put out into the world. Let’s start putting out kindness and respect! That is today’s challenge! 

Are you up for it? I hope so.

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From the Reader’s Digest –  50 Little Etiquette Rules You Should Always Practice