I am stepping onto my soapbox. Where is common courtesy? When did it become ok, not to be polite? We want people to be polite to us but we are unwilling to give it first. There is something wrong with this picture.
My folks taught us to say please, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry and can I help you, when we see someone struggling. My folks taught us to be polite and courteous to others by being on time or holding a door for someone. If we did not do/say any of these things, we were scolded and reminded to do better.
I have taught these simple rules to my own son. He’s 24, and I am told he is one of the most polite people they have met. He says: please, thank you, I’m sorry. He holds the door for people. These were not hard rules to teach him and it didn’t take a lot of energy either.
I realize we live in a much faster paced world than we did 20 years ago and we seem to be busier too, but that is no excuse. I believe it is necessary to be polite. It doesn’t take any more of your time to be polite and say thank you.
When was the last time you said ‘Thank You’ to some one that was kind to you? When you went out to eat last night and your wait staff did a good job, did you say thank you or just leave a tip? Sometimes the words are better than the tip. I know, you are thinking my waiter didn’t do a good job. Did you stop to think that maybe, just maybe the waiter was having a bad day because they had a death in the family or their car broke down or maybe they were just having a bad day? We’ve all been there, so instead of making things worse for the waiter, ask them if they are ok? Be polite, it goes a long way.
Why do we think saying ‘please’ is a sign of weakness or begging? Saying ‘please’ is just a polite way for asking what you want. If we don’t say ‘please’ then, whatever you are asking for it comes across as a demand. Hand me the remote….. Is a command. Hand me the remote, please……is a thoughtful way of asking for something. It comes across less demanding and the person you are asking is more apt to honor your request.
When you are at the grocery store and the clerk asks, paper or plastic, simply say “paper please”. I bet the clerk hadn’t heard a ‘please’ all day. If you add a ‘Thank You’, your customer service experience will go up a few notches. Being polite has it perks.
I’m sorry: These two words have gotten lost in our vocabulary. I know, we never want to admit we are ever wrong. It’s a pride thing. Saying I’m sorry is not about your pride, it’s about being polite when we screw up and acknowledging that we made a mistake.
It’s simple, if you mess up, fess up. Say I’m sorry and be a big boy/girl and take your punishment. If you did wrong there is always some sort of punishment. Suck it up and take it on the chin.
Saying I’m sorry is also empathy for another person’s suffering. When we have a friend that is going through a tough time, we need to say, I’m sorry you are having to struggle or I’m sorry that you are so sad. With this type of “I’m sorry” you should ALWAYS follow up with…..is there anything I can do to help. You have to mean those words too and be willing to follow through.
Why is being on time so hard for some people? Being on time shows respect. It’s also being polite. Being late is rude and lazy, especially if you do not call to say you will be late. To me, it tells me I am not worth your time, or that you don’t care enough about me.
Have you ever showed for a job interview and you were late? Did you get the job? I really doubt it. Before you even got your foot in the door, the employer already knew what type of employee you would be.
I have a friend that is in Human Resources. He said it doesn’t matter how qualified that person is, if they can’t be on time for the interview, he will not hire them. The reason is, you were late. If you are late for the interview, then you will be late to work. Being late shows my friend that you really don’t care about the job or you do not have any respect for the company you are interviewing for.
So, the next time you are going to be late, please call. It’s the polite and respectful thing to do.
No one asks anymore: Can I help you, may I help or do you need some help? When did this courtesy go away?
When we see someone struggle, we walk away. Saying, I don’t have the time or someone will help them or I really don’t want to get involved. I say, “Shame on you”. We all need help. Whether it be for a moment or longer, we can all use some help.
I know you have had someone ask you, if you needed help. I’m pretty sure you accepted their offer for help. When you did accept the offer, things were better because that person offered their time, energy and maybe money. I hope you at least said ‘thank you’.
If you see a short person (like me) struggling to reach for something, Please ask if they need help. I know I appreciate it. You will feel good about it too.
You see your neighbor using a hand shovel to remove the snow, offer to help, especially if you have a snow blower.
Hold the door for someone: A mother with a newborn/kids, a person on crutches or in a wheelchair, an elderly person, or just for the person behind you. Now don’t be surprised if no one says thank you. Remember that’s the world we live in now. By you showing some kindness and courtesy, you are showing that person they have value and you respect that.
Maybe your act of common courtesy will show others how easy it is and they will start doing the same. We all need common courtesy and we all need to show it too.
Remember what we you taught in kindergarten or by our parents: GOLDEN RULE: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.
Leave me your comments about this post. I would love to hear your view point on this topic.