Common Courtesy Tricks You Forgot

Can we agree that society as a whole seems to have grown … let’s say rougher in the last decade or so? In an era where we – and our interactions – are increasingly digitalized, anonymous, and distant (heck, during the pandemic, some of us worked, slept and ate in our bedrooms for 18 straight months), the trend to get even more preoccupied as we took off to heaven. We could all use a self-test to see if we remember how to show general courtesy in these basic ways.

Be. On the. Time.

Look, we all get unexpectedly late from time to time. It could be a huge traffic jam or an unexpected phone call from your child’s school. But is there more to you than chronically showing late meetings, social functions and restaurant reservations? When we usually make others wait for us, we say: My time is more valuable than yours. Period.

Being polite about time includes not only punctuality, but also proactively reporting any delays (that is, before you have to be there). In a work setting, this means people don’t have to spend more time than they need to (ie. Resist the urge to ask long questions in that Friday afternoon meeting. Speaking of appointments, could it be just an email?)

Don’t groom yourself in public

We’re not talking about sitting on a secluded bench and applying eyeshadow (although please stop doing this while driving. It makes us nervous). We mean things like trimming goddamn nails on public transport . (We saw it with our own eyes.)

There is nothing better than trying to read, and you are constantly shaken by the sound of metal breaking hard keratin in half every five seconds. The same decree applies to plucking eyebrows, willy-nilly spitting out burrs on the ground, applying nail polish and, let’s say, deodorant . You are welcome. Don’t scare us like that.

Let people finish their sentences

We know it’s hard to bite your tongue and wait to react when people say exciting, unpleasant, or boring things. But we have to . We cannot simply help ourselves to be at the forefront of the conversation line by interrupting others in mid-sentence. All this does not convey so subtly: what I say is more important. Shut up . Aggressive domination is not the best option.

At the meeting, write it down. Honestly, in a social setting, you might forget what you wanted to say. And this is annoying. But would you rather get angry for a moment or look like you don’t like what other people are saying?


Ah, the lost art of timely response. How we miss you. If you’ve ever thrown an invitation-only party or a wedding that people didn’t respond to but still came (with a plus!), You know how painful it is not to respond. Getting the host to ask guests to see if they can come is a headache they don’t need. They’ve got food to order, booze to get hold of, help building. They need to know how much of this . Help them. RSVP. By the date they ask – or your relationship might be canceled.

Don’t park like a moron

Do we all spend a little more time parking to make sure we are between the conveniently located white lines of our unique location? Great! Because we have some suitable words for those who quickly fold and jump out when their car takes two places or stands diagonally above the line, which makes it almost impossible to squeeze themselves, and even more so our children, out the door. And we all put our carts back in the basket, right ? Because if you don’t rush to the ER, there is no reason to leave it in the parking spot, messing things up for everyone else.

Demonstrate minimal table manners

We don’t need to know how to set the table for the Queen of England, but we must all be able to chew silently – with our mouths closed – so that innocent passers-by cannot hear the internal machinations of our food-splitting saliva. … (This also applies to other noises in the mouth, such as sucking and picking teeth in a mixed company.) You cannot “reach for food”; like the elbows on the table. (If anyone in your life needs help learning this lesson, feel free to borrow my mother’s method of poking her abuser in the elbows with a fork.)

Put down the phone

Let’s face it: most of us are addicted to our smartphones. If we don’t hold them, we think about when we can hold them next time. And if we check them, do you know that we do not register? Everything that a real living, breathing person says in front of us. Together, we must learn how to put our phone away on social media, not just lay it face down on the table. This is a lie. Place it where no one can see it and feel threatened because we value our phones more than their presence.

Change your toilet paper roll (and other things that live together)

Ah, live with others. Fun, isn’t it? While we are social beings who thrive in a community, that prosperity works best when the people you live with are polite. This means taking responsibility for doing the little things when they need to be done – without being asked to . Things like replacing empty toilet paper rolls, lowering the toilet seat, unloading the dishwasher, picking up towels from the floor, rather than just leaving the pans to soak indefinitely.

Talk silently in common areas

Nobody likes yelling at the phone, hearing about Timmy’s math tutoring, or the problems you face with Janet in HR. Nobody needs to listen to whole conversations about your love life when they try to get some sleep or just forgot their headphones. And what about the speakerphone? It’s hard to tell if you’re not at home or in your car. We fear that no loudspeaker will see this or realize that it actually speaks fluently with annoying decibels, but alas, it has to be said. Shshsh . Calm down, Bradley.

Respect the privacy of others

Do you talk a lot? What about a close waiter? It has always been a good idea to leave space for people to exist so that no outsider breathes down their necks. In times of COVID, even more so. If a stranger hears that you need to blow your nose, then you are too close. Back up and decompose, everyone.

Say thank you

Do you know this feeling when you hold the door open, make way for someone when it really is yours, or say “bless you” to a stranger and are silent in response? No one likes to feel that their kindness, even the smallest, has gone unnoticed. It’s a small thing, but it can’t be said enough: Expressing gratitude will never go out of style. (None of them will keep the doors open to others, regardless of gender. Let’s keep doing that.)

Don’t be an asshole on the net

Online behavior is usually not discussed but needs to be included. In an era when everything is more acceptable, even encouraged, to criticize, ridicule, shame and otherwise mock almost everything that is posted on the Internet (even babies, I tell you, literally babies ), it is important to take a step back and ask: what should I do to get. posting this? If I met this person in real life, would I say it to his face?

If the answers are (self-righteous superiority) and (no), consider before posting. We cannot address the issue of world peace or low COVID vaccinations, but we can be a little more polite, one less troll comment at a time.


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