Bad manners irk me. There is nothing worse than a rotten day being made worse by a philistine pushing past you, or talking loudly and generally making themselves the most important person in the room. Do you have bad manners?
Bad manners can be the difference between having a bad day and a good day, or between having a nice life or a lousy life. That may sound melodramatic – but I believe this to be true.
I have had the most atrocious manners lately. Due to a bit of a personal crisis, for the last month or so I have been an emotional mess. I have been eating poorly, sleeping badly and not looking after myself. This has led me to be in a very bad mood for what seems like an eternity. I have been having trouble even caring for myself, let alone others.
I have been teary, pushy, weepy, grumpy, sad, tearful and selfish. I am the seven dwarfs of rude emotions! I feel sorry for all my family and friends who have (yet again) had to nurse me though a tough time but I feel even sorrier for the strangers on the street who have had to put up with my bad manners lately.
“Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.” Clarence Thomas
I’m on the mend, so it’s time to rejoin the land of the living and start to respect myself and others more. Here are the seven biggest mistakes I have been making lately. Don’t do as I do. If this is you – hang your head in shame and make the rest of this week a time to display perfect manners.
1. Pushing in front of people
This indicates that you think your time is more important than other people. This also counts on the road, on pavements, at the supermarket and in lines at the checkout. Letting others go ahead of you makes them feel special and that you are a person who cares. It’s such a little courtesy to extend to someone, and yet in today’s’ culture we are often made to feel that if we don’t trample over others, we’ll never get ahead. This is simply not true. Letting someone go ahead of you is a free way to make yourself feel great. Give it a try. Your heart will glow.
2. Being impatient is bad manners
When things take longer than I expect, I get angry. Sometimes we just have to wait for things to go our way, and sometimes the things we are waiting for never arrive. I am terrible at being patient. I find this very hard to do, but when you are getting impatient, it pays to breathe deeply, relax your shoulders and concentrate on the internal emotions you are feeling inside, and try to let them wash over you like a wave, without reacting to your emotions in a negative way. I know the theory – but jeez I find this hard to do.
3. Talking too loudly
Yup – this is me all over. I do it on public transport, I do it at cafes. I do it in the office and I can tell it drives people nuts. I have a loud, clear voice that can be heard even when I am not yelling. I need to make more of an effort to respect the space of those in my general vicinity. No one wants to hear everything I have to say, despite the fact that I find myself so interesting.
4. Forgetting to say please and thank you
I am normally OK with this piece of etiquette advice, but every now and then (especially when I am in a bad mood) I forget to say please and thank you. It’s one of the first things we are ever taught as kids. I only ever forget when I am in an extremely bad mood and because of the events of the last month; I have been in a bad mood a lot more often than usual.
5. Talking endlessly about yourself is bad manners
Again, I have been a culprit lately. Yes, we all need to share sometimes, but there comes a point where we have to say ‘enough is enough’. I like to talk about myself, in fact, we all do. However, it should be the other people in the room that you are trying to get to know. So shut up for once.
6. Not listening to other people
You know the friend whose eyes glaze over whenever the conversation drifts off them? These are the worst types of people to know. One of the most valuable things you can do for people is to buy them expensive jewellery. No! I’m kidding! One of the most valuable things you can do for others is to LISTEN to them! This is more valuable than anything else, don’t you think?
7. Interrupting is also considered bad manners
What was that you just said? Oh doesn’t matter – I’m already on to the next thing. I am a terrible interrupter. Sometimes I just can’t seem to wait to get my point across – I just have to interrupt what you are saying to talk over the top of you. This is simply rude and can be avoided – but I find it harder than I think. Like with being patient – I try to breathe deeply and relax my shoulders. Then I try to really concentrate on what the other person is trying to say.
Like I said – I am trying. Or as my ex used to say: “You’re very trying!”
I am going to try to be a bit more polite, a bit more quiet. A bit more helpful, a bit more respectful. I am going to move a little slower and speak a little more quietly. And most of all – I am going to try to love my fellow man more.
“Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go.” Margaret Walker
Manners and Customs of ye Englysne / Mr Pips hys Diary [Leather Bound] One of the original books on etiquette. And you can still buy the thing! Here’s a link to Amazon for all old-skool manners enthusiasts.
Please comment: What have you had to deal with in terms of bad manners? What irritates you the most? Have I left anything out?