I could start this blog with a great Grrr but I won’t. See how I slipped in my Grrr in a non-offensive manner. Being non-offensive is the key to good manners. What are good manners? Being able to move around a society that is chock full of people causing the least offence. Being non-offensive leaves individuals with a positive impression of you, it makes the other person feel good and is good for your spirit. There is a tension between modern manners and self-importance.
I think good manners are more than just important they are essential. Manners have helped our species to survive because we had to work as a group. They help us to live together peacefully. I can forgive most things but struggle when I encounter bad manners.
Manners constantly change, as our society changes. You can put your elbows on the table because we no longer eat on long boards resting on a stump that would tilt if you did. However, the reason for practising good manners remains. It makes other people feel valued and respected.
7 everyday situations when ‘me’ comes before modern manners
1. Use The Tongs At The Bakery
I have little enough faith in men washing their hands when they finish in the bathroom. Between the ATM and zoos, our hands collect more bacteria than any other part of the body. It doesn’t matter if one is going to purchase ‘the bun,’ that’s not a good reason to pick it up with hands. So whether it’s the bakery in Asda or Waitrose, please, use the tongs. I am not that social that I wish to share your germs.
2. Don’t Eat What You Didn’t Buy
If you didn’t purchase the milk, sugar, coffee, butter or yoghurt in the office ‘fridge or cupboard; you shouldn’t be eating it without permission. If you are asking for permission regularly, stop asking and buy your own. It’s not the responsibility of our colleagues to supplement our lunches.
3. Allow For Personal Space
Give a person space. I know we can be nearby, but we don’t have to be in kissing proximity. Queuing at the hospital, the chap behind me was so close it was the fabric on my jeans separating us from intimacy. I stepped forward, he followed. I politely asked him to step back, but I shouldn’t have had to. Oh, Gentlemen, your luggage is not excessive. Please don’t manspread (see photo above).
4. Don’t Reach Over Somebody
Just say excuse me.
5. Don’t Take Photos To Post & Shame
We all have bad days, and some people have a sorry life.
6. Don’t Text Bad News
It could be a bereavement or a breakup. These things are better said than read.
7. Don’t Use Your ‘Phone In Company
The world of ‘I’m cool I have millions of friends on social media’ is not real but the person with you is. Live in the moment at a dinner party, or while you pay for your groceries. Those around you will see you in a better light, and you can enjoy the moment. Those in cyberspace are too busy sending their next text to appreciate you.
Modern manners, let’s have regard for the people around us.