This started out as a fun listing of things that your parents may not have told you, but I have a toothache so it got a little meaner. I have spent far to much time out an about among the masses in the last month and my tolerance for certain things has been stretched to a fine breaking point. I think that there are a bunch of people who have missed out on being raised with politeness and basic skills for interacting with certain situations in the world. Please do not take this as an extollation of my good qualities, I have more than enough faults to fill up pages and pages and pages of blogs, and I’m sure I have offended more people in a week than many other people have in a lifetime. These are just the things that have been building up in my little brain for awhile.
When someone is talking and something they say reminds you of something else, you don’t always have to say what you’re thinking about right then, and right there. Usually the person talking brought up a subject for a specific reason and it’s always polite to let that conversation finish before you branch off on a separate topic. For Example: Talker: Well last night we had to take the baby to the Emergency Room. Wannabee Talker: My cat had the biggest hairball the other day. He threw up all over my mother-in-laws coat. Then she got mad and yelled at the cat, so I yelled at her. Then my husband got mad and left. On his way home from the bar he stopped at the drugstore and picked up pepsi. See how W.T. didn’t really follow the flow of conversation? Probably Talker wanted to tell you about their sick/injured baby because it was a stressful time and they want to share it with you. The appropriate response would have been, “On No! I’m so sorry, I hope everything is okay?” Ending with a small questioning lilt on the end of the sentence to indicate that they wanted to hear more.
Don’t ask people for their things. People who were raised to be polite will almost always say yes even when they want to say no and if you ask them for things that other people probably wouldn’t ask for, you just make them resent you. For Example: can I have a sip of your coffee? Can I try on your shoes? Just don’t. You should almost always wait to be offered.
It’s not just about whether you clean yourself. Your clothes should also be clean and smell nice. If you keep them in a place with a bunch of foul smelling things no matter how clean they are they will stink. Aftershave & perfume are not shields of good smelling’ness. They’re just a layer on top of your own smell.
Speaking of clothes. Dress appropriately. If you’re not sure what appropriate is, pay attention for a few months to places that you go. Look at how other people are dressed. Do they seem comfortable and assured? Next time you go to that place, dress in a similar fashion.
You know how sometimes you go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and there is a big bowl of chips and a big bowl of salsa? Any chip you touch you must remove from the bowl. Period. Touching it means ownership. Big fan of dipping your chips in salsa? One dip per piece of chip! PERIOD! Nothing that has been in your mouth is allowed to go into the communal bowl. But your chips are huge and you can’t get enough salsa on it? I have two pieces of advice for you. Pick which one is appropriate. 1. Stop being so spoiled and realize that not every bite has to be exactly how you want it. 2. Break the chip in half and only dip a half at a time! – This advice of course moves to whatever communal dish there is.
If you want to be respected and thought well of, you must behave in a respectful fashion and not do anything that would make people question your honesty or motives. If you talk about how you scammed the phone company out of money you owed them by putting the next phone in your cousins name the person you are talking to has a pretty good idea of what kind of person you are and everything you do from then will be colored by that filter. I’m not saying don’t talk about the ways you “got one over” on the bastards, I’m saying don’t be that person to begin with. Pay what you owe, do what you say you’re going to do, be honest in action and words, and be kind to people without expecting adulation or reward.
When you are in a group of people it is your responsibility to make sure you talk to each person. Even if you are the shy one it is your obligation to try and make conversation with the people around you. This is called a social nicety. You try to include people, not exclude them. Even if they are not your favorite person, or if they are a stranger. If you see someone talking to the stranger in your group and obviously trying to ask them leading questions to get them talking and to try and make them more comfortable, pay attention and engage in the conversation with the new person. Do not interrupt and draw the conversation back to something the new person knows nothing about.
Say thank you, and mean it. No one has to do something nice for you.
Back to happy blogging next time. 🙂