Sharing my faith and my life one day at a time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Last of Two Parts: Good Manners Will Never Go Out of Style

In this blog entry, I will continue to discuss certain situations that call for our good manners. If you want to read the first of part of this series, please click here.

Here are some more opportunities for all of us to show consideration, respect and kindness for other people.

8) Avoiding excessive PDA and arguments in public
I am not repulsed by affection. In fact, I am expressive with how I show my love for Robert. The key word is "excessive."

While the word "too much" is totally subjective, it is best to keep the physical touch and baby talk to a minimum. There is a place and time in showing intimacy with your husband (or any type of romantic relationship); and usually it's best done in private.

If you are part of a romantic couple and find yourselves participating frequently in social gatherings, please try to avoid being caught up in your own lovey-dovey world that makes you oblivious to the conversations and activities around you. Here's the thing -- it can get so intense as to be deeply uncomfortable to those around you. I personally don't know where to look and it feels too awkward to be witnessing so personal an act.

Good manners dictate that you be very considerate of those around you and try to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Remember, people want to spend time with you and are actually happy that you're in love. You do not need to try too hard to let people know how cute you are together.

However, PDA is actually more tolerable than arguing in public. It is just too awkward for the people witnessing it.

Bottom line: Holding hands, an occasional hug, and saying "I love you" once in a while are generally okay. Arguing is never acceptable at any time in public.

9) Giving advice only when asked.
I know I am not an expert on a lot of things. And because I don't know a lot of things and I am surrounded with people who do, I am not afraid to seek advice.

However, what happens when someone offers us advice when we aren't really looking for one? Future brides, expectant/new mothers, people with illnesses, and public servants are more prone to getting a variety of "two cents" from different self-proclaimed experts.

Most advice given come from a place of love and concern. The intentions are often good and the quality of advice is actually valuable.

However, we all must endeavor to be good listeners above everything else. People need someone who encourages them rather than someone telling them what to do. Chances are, they will eventually realize that you are someone they can run to for wisdom.

10) Staring
Really, if someone stares at you -- is it ever a pleasant experience? It's really a simple reminder for all of us: it is rude to stare at any time and any place.

Yes we all can admit that people-watching can be a really fun way to pass some idle time. If you can't help but admire the person across you, just glance quickly and start looking elsewhere. Feel free to look up and take it all in, but keep your eyes moving and never pause to lock in on any one individual.

11) Acknowledging text messages
I am certain that most of us have had the experience of sending an SMS and wondered if the message was ever received or not. In the most recent times, it seems like a lot of cell phone users who use text messaging cannot just be bothered to respond; or they don't know how to reply; or simply don't want to incur an extra cost by responding to a text message.

However, it is most polite if we respond to all text messages as soon as we can even if the message contains to reply that is declining a request. It is much better to decline a someone's request than to deliberately avoid or keep someone guessing what your reply is. If you have not made up your mind as to what to answer, please send an initial response stating you are still figuring out what to do.

12) Returning borrowed items promptly
Have you ever been in a scenario where a person made all these efforts to see you because they needed to borrow something from you? However, months pass and you don't see the exact same effort being exerted in to returning the item?

I believe we are all somewhat guilty of being on both sides. It is never too late to change the "borrower's habit."

It's best to subscribe to this simple rule: return as soon as we are done with the item. Inserting a short thank you note with the item is a plus.

13) Remaining positive in social network updates
Today, Facebook and Twitter have become everyone's favorite web destination on a daily basis. I personally find it amazing how easy it has become to connect with friends from way, way back and see how they are doing.

While it is great to see good news and positive updates, we also get the "pleasure" of seeing people who use status updates to frequently vent, point out someone's failure and spell out expletives that are better left unwritten.

We already know the traditional rule of not airing one's dirty linen in public. Please be reminded that it is never okay to discuss private or embarrassing matters in public, especially relationship conflicts.

I really hope we can all learn from each other as we conduct our lives that is pleasing to both God and to our brothers & sisters. Please share your experiences or other etiquette issues that I may have missed.

One last thing. If you find yourself  being a "victim" of other people's bad manners, we have also have a choice of being gracious about it. I do hope we decide to be forgiving and if the matter needs to be addressed, I hope that it will be done in the spirit of love.

"A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)

I have a couple of excellent resources on good manners. One is, of course, from The Emily Post Institute. Another is a blog on etiquette "horror stories" guaranteed to make you laugh: Etiquette Hell.

Enjoy and love life!


Liz said...

I loved the entire thing, but I especially like what you wrote for #13. I think people are a little more conscious about ranting when in a group because they don't want to be perceived as whiners or downers, but shouldn't the same principle apply on the internet? I guess it's easy to forget that dozens, hundreds, or thousands view what we write. I always have to keep in mind that I have students that follow me on Twitter and FB, so I really have to watch what I post!

What a great series Sam! I love the effort you put into it, and it was really well written :)

Samantha Johnson said...

Thank you Liz! And what an excellent analogy!

Had a great time with you, Rica and Karen last night :-)

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