Saturday, June 25, 2011

Follow the Power of Your Dreams! But Please Be Nice About It

It's the motivational cry across the world (or at least the US)- "Follow your dreams! Live intentionally! Be the change in the world you want to see!"

Yes, that is just dandy. But in the meantime, please stop being a royal stinkpot that the rest of us have to put up with. I'm no
Emily Post, but there are a few things I believe we should all be cognizant of in our daily lives while we're all out following our dreams. How we act towards others is a direct reflection of our true character. However, this only applies if our true character is one that legitimately cares about how we affect other people.

You can thank Emily Post for this one- “Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them; manner is personality—the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life.”

So, a few habits that can make each & every one of us easier to be around. I’m the first to admit, I’m really not perfect, but I’m a work in progress.

  1. Clean up after yourself. Especially if you live with other people, be it your mother, significant other, or roommates. Don’t make them clean up after the mess you made.
  2. Say please & thank you. Nobody owes you anything, so don’t treat anybody like a second-class citizen who only exists to appease your every whim. Let’s be appreciative of what others do for us.
  3. Open doors for people. And it’s not just a rule for guys. Even if you are a girl, recognize when someone else is heading the same direction as you and take the opportunity to do something special. Especially if that person is pushing a stroller, a pregnant lady, an elderly person, someone with their hands full of stuff, etc. It takes being aware of your surroundings.
  4. Tip. It’s a great way to show appreciation.
  5. Don’t take out your frustrations on the little guys. The customer service representative on the other end of the phone didn’t set the policy that overcharged you $30 on your last bill, and they’re only getting paid like $7 an hour. (Exception- if you’re talking to a representative from AT&T, your health insurance company, or your local cable company, all bets are off! You can say whatever you need to in whatever tone to get the job done.)
  6. Every now & then, offer to be the designated driver. Give your “responsible” friend the night off.
  7. Stop texting at: family dinners, formal concerts, the movie theatre, church, weddings, funerals, class, any small-group hangout, poker games, etc. Do you like it when people keep interrupting you to tap away on their phones?
  8. Send thank you notes/emails. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or over the top. Just a note of appreciation for a gift or something kind someone else did.
  9. If someone is explaining a problem, don’t automatically describe their perfect solution. This one is extremely difficult for me. Most of the time though, people talk about their problems to vent & not because they actually want a solution. Conversely, don’t explain a problem to someone else unless you’re ready to hear their advice on the situation.
  10. RSVP. If invited to something, do the host the courtesy of RSVPing and try your hardest to actually follow through with what you responded. This is the most important if formally invited to official events like weddings, but also goes for most evites & Facebook events. For many events, people are trying to plan for food and beverages, so it’s best to let them know if you’re coming or not. It’s a bit rude to not reply anything & wait around for the bigger-better deal. A “maybe” is somewhat better than not replying anything.

What other general courtesy items can be added to the list?

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