Good Manners: Where Are They Now?


How many of you have been cut off while driving this week? What about had someone let a door close on you? Or received a response just as ‘yeah’ or been ignored completely?

If you answered yes to any of these, just know you are part of a large group of people who suffer from people with bad manners (I’m guessing 75 percent of the population). Normally, I would blame the holiday season because people behave at their worst this time of year, but the lack of good manners is just how society has evolved.

I wasn’t raised in a strict household and forced to say yes ma’am, no sir, etc. I remember my dad trying to instill this in me, but most times I refused because I didn’t respect him. As I grew up, I learned you should use these responses with elders, bosses, parents, and pretty much anyone – especially if you respect them. But most people don’t say please and thank you, so should we expect them to go a little further? Yes.

And here’s why: good manners are dying off. I remember saying yes ma’am to a manager several years ago, and she said, “Don’t call me ma’am, it makes me sound old.” Really? Having someone show respect makes people feel old? I never quite broke the habit, and still answer my desk phone yes ma’am or yes sir whenever possible. Of course, I didn’t want this woman – who was the same age as me – to feel old, but I would always show respect because I had no reason not to. People don’t do this anymore because they simply don’t care. ‘Yeah’ seems acceptable. People seem too busy to have good manners, and I have two words for that: bull stuffings.

What to Do

When I’m at work or a store and hold the door for someone, most times they look shocked. And I’m shocked at their response. I expect people to hold the door, and they should too. If you get to a door first and someone is right behind you, hold it. If someone is coming out and you are going in, open it. It’s probably the easiest thing to do in a day and can make someone smile or feel respected. And this doesn’t apply to just women. Men seem just as shocked and appreciated, and at the end of the day, we’re all the same. We’re just people.

Driving is probably the worst example of bad manners. The Nashville area is notorious for having bad drivers, and one reason is because people feel where they have to go is more important than everyone else. Tail-gating, honking, cut-offs, taking someone’s turn at a stop sign are things I experience every day. We all need to just take a deep breath and relax. Cutting someone off will save you a whopping three seconds and could cause a wreck, so it’s not worth it. And you may find someone who has good manners and will let you into traffic because they know what it feels like to wait. No matter how hard we try, we’re always going to have to wait.

Let’s not allow good manners to die. One person can make a huge difference, and maybe we can get back to a point where it’s not so rare. Good manners have been lost in older generations for so long, so if you’re younger than 50 and reading this, think about it. With a little change in our day-to-day, we can make the world a little easier to live in.

Top 10 Christmas Pet Peeves


Before everyone thinks I’m a Scrooge, I’m going to try to do a two-part series for the holidays. The first is this post, and the second will be what I like about the holidays. Admittedly, the second will probably be shorter, but I’ll do my best to be fair. So, for all those people who don’t love the holiday, here’s my list:

1. Presents over good deeds – Christmas is supposed to be about giving, not getting. It’s not about getting upset because you didn’t get the perfect gift. How many people are donating time to shelters? How many people are adopting angels or giving money to charity. That is what the season is supposed to be about. It’s not about materialism – it’s a about giving all of yourself to make someone’s life better, even if only for a few weeks.

2. Traffic/driving – As soon as time changes, the city loses its mind. Nashvillians can’t drive on sunny days, much less when it’s dark. When the city goes out every night to a party or for shopping, traffic gets worse. People are rude too because where they need to be is more important. Right?

3. Shopping – We need to fight over a TV? A tablet? A PS4? No. Stores open on Thanksgiving day should be ashamed of themselves. Let employees be with their loved ones. People will shop no matter what, and we don’t have to do it in one day! We don’t have to fight or disrespect each other over gifts.

4. Facebook/Christmas Tree pics – This year has been especially bad with Christmas tree pics. As I scroll through my feed every day, I can’t help but think “Would you like a medal because you put up your tree? Congrats. You joined millions of people. They all look the same. No one cares.”

5. Buying for everyone – Yes, this is my fault. I feel obligated to buy for people I care about or appreciate. It’s the people who never talk to me and who don’t care about me who I have a problem with. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s that I don’t feel I should have to spend my money on them because of tradition or obligation. If I opted out, I know what would happen…

6. Winter weather – This week, it was 75 degrees and two days later 32 with the threat of ice. Cold weather and dreariness makes people grumpy. People have to get out but don’t want to, so they are especially nasty and crazy if it rains/ices/sleets/snows.

7. Attitudes – I don’t care what people say, people are not nicer during Christmas. If anything, they’re more rude and impatient. I had a person ride my bumper and honk at me in a school zone Friday morning. I responded with slowing down and holding the bird out the window. That’s my response to your schedule; we all have things to do.

8. Putting up Christmas stuff before Halloween – If you walked into a store in October, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Halloween has two weeks of love, whereas Christmas had two months. I realize people buy more at Christmas, but if you read No. 1 you know that’s not the point of the holiday.

9. Christmas music – I worked in a grocery store for 10 years. I’ve heard enough Christmas music to last a lifetime. Unless it’s U2’s It’s Christmas Baby, Please Come Home, I’ll pass.

10. Perkiness – I get so much crap for not being perky during the holidays. Yes, I put in Mudvayne and Marilyn Manson to drown out Christmas music. No, I’m no more peppy than usual; I don’t need a holiday to be in a good mood. I don’t criticize people for being joyful and happy, so leave me alone and let me be me.

Remember to be a little nicer this week, and maybe we can stop the madness!