What has happened to manners and being polite? A question so commonly asked today. We need to be polite! It was driven into many of us as children. Say ‘please’ ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’. It all sounds rather good and nice. The problem was we were trained to do this. That is ‘do it’ even when we don’t ‘mean it’. Worse still he had to accept others insincere politeness and act on it!
Being polite and respectful somehow drifted into social correctness and insincerity. Rather than the appropriate respectful use of the phrases, please, thank you and sorry, the deep meaning of them has been lost. Consideration of others drifted into self-denial and disrespect or worse. Little white lies, some call it. In the name of being kind!
I don’t see how disrespect and insincerity are ‘good’ or ‘nice’ or ‘kind’. Do you?
‘Please’ a respectful request, to me, has almost become a begging. Worse I have noticed often there is an element of expectation attached to it. I said ‘please’ so you have to do it. Ouch! What happened to the right to say no.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am all for requesting. Demanding is not a first choice, it too takes away a right of choice. Y et sometimes, when boundaries are broken, a demand actually becomes appropriate. I just think I don’t need to beg or expect my fulfilment from one particular source. If you say no, I can ask someone else.
‘Please’ really is about letting the ‘other’ know they have a choice. So the phrases: Could you? Would you? Often seems more fitting to me.
‘Thank you’, an automatic couple of words so often empty and lacking a sense of gratitude. Come on you know what I mean. They said ‘thank you’ but was it a genuine appreciation or just empty words?
Appreciation radiates a sense of connection and satisfaction that draws one in, so we can do it all again. That is what is it about. We want to make a difference.
Genuine appreciation and gratitude guides us to use our energy where it makes a difference.
Did you like it? Did it make a difference for you? If so, say ‘thank you’ with ‘meaning’ and draw that experience in some more. Acknowledge what you like. Say thank you with appreciation, so the source knows it wasn’t wasting its time and energy. Believe me, you will experience more pleasure this way.
‘Oh sorry’, now I can do it all again. What! No that’s not what ‘sorry’ is about! Yet isn’t that a really common practice today? ‘I said sorry, what more do you want?’
Well actually I don’t like it, so I don’t want it. I want to experience something different.
A genuine ‘sorry’ is about recognising an inappropriate action and correcting it.
The words are empty if there is no experiential difference for the ‘other’. Yet this doesn’t mean you have to change for others, to fit in with them all the time. T he trick is understanding what is important to you and being able to let go of what isn’t. Being creative enough to find ways to meet everyone’s needs when appropriate. Sometimes this means looking at our priorities and remembering to let go of ‘others’ so they can grow.
It is unfortunate that being polite, intended as respectfully considerate of others, has become a form of social correctness. This social correctness is what concerns me. That is when good manners are token empty gestures or requires us to go along with the social norms and commonplace behaviors that reinforce disconnection and lack of authenticity.
The genuine use of requests, appreciation and appropriate behavior adjustment, along with candid caring communication lead to more fulfilment and life satisfaction. Yet candid communication maybe portrayed as disrespectful, in reality, I think this claim is a means to prevent growth and maintain questionable social practices.
Learn to speak candidly with respectful kindness, and how to develop relationships where you know the other has your best interests at heart and will support you being your self! And that you will do the same for them. Let others know what you appreciate and that you are aware they have a right to say No.