Today: Jul 17, 2024

Manners for dummies: common courtesy reiterated


It doesn’t take much to get wrapped up in our hectic lives; school, work, friends and relationships can easily take a toll. However, there is no excuse to go through life lacking manners. It’s not that difficult to be kind to people, and it can actually make someone’s day. By making small adjustments to your everyday life, you too can develop manners. Make your momma proud.

Please and Thank You

A few manners go a long way. I grew up with the habit of saying “please” and “thank you,” and I honestly don’t think twice before I say it. For instance, if I’m at Dunkin and I order a tea, I say, “Can I please have a medium green tea?” When the employee hands it to me, I smile and say “Thank you.” See, it’s simple. Having worked in retail, I know that using manners means a lot. As a customer, it may not seem like a big deal, but when you use manners you’re being respectful. Having dealt with both rude and kind customers, I certainly prefer the latter.

Cursing like a Trucker

Realistically, a good portion of us curse at some point; many of us don’t realize we curse because it just slips out. A couple of weeks ago, I decided I was going to count every time I swore (whether it was out loud or in a text message) for 24 hours. However, it was too much work for me to keep track, so I gave up after a few hours. I’m not implying you ought to censor yourself every second, but it doesn’t hurt to try and catch yourself when you do.

When you’re in public, at a store for instance, be aware of your surroundings. If there are small children in the area, try to be on your best behavior. You wouldn’t want to be the reason the small child heard and started using the f-bomb. Additionally, when you’re out talking in public and every other word is a curse, it makes you look trashy and uneducated.


One of my many pet peeves is when people spit. Unless a fly just flew in your mouth, in my opinion there is no reason to be spitting. I have seen people finish a cigarette then feel the need to spit—others think they just look cool as their germs are now contaminating the sidewalk. There’s nothing cute about spitting, and I say avoid it at all costs (even if someone challenges you to a spitting contest).

As I’m thinking of spitting, for some reason “Titanic” is now coming to mind, when Jack (Leo DiCaprio) is teaching Rose (Kate Winslet) how to spit. I love this movie as much as the next girl, but having a guy show you how to spit properly is far from romantic in my book. Spitting should stay in the movie and should not be tried at home.

The Doors

Doors come in all sorts of sizes and colors, and unfortunately many people seem to have forgotten about having manners when it comes to them. If someone is walking right behind you, be courteous and keep the door open for that person. Or if you see someone carrying several bags, offer to hold the door for them. Realistically, it’s not a huge inconvenience for you and it will greatly help that person out.

Now I know it seems as though chivalry is dead, but why not open the car door for your date or girlfriend? I personally think it’s a little strange since I’m used to being independent, but many girls would see this as a nice and incredibly thoughtful gesture, especially since many guys don’t bother these days.

Here in my Car

Driving can be stressful, especially if you’re late or absolutely have to pee. However, that’s never an excuse to be rude. I think my biggest issue is the horn—it’s so convenient, and I know my point will get across (if a person has been sitting at a green light for 20 seconds, etc.). Then there is the ever-popular one-fingered salute. I don’t recommend flipping someone off, as this may infuriate the person even more. Besides, you don’t really feel better afterwards. Instead of flipping a person off, one of my mom’s friends will make a sign of the cross and say “bless you.” Not only is it funny, but he surprises the driver who is expecting to see a middle finger.

Now, let’s not forget tailgating someone. Honestly, it’s annoying, especially if I’m going over the speed limit and you’re still on my rear. Is that necessary? I don’t think so. I’ve learned a trick from my mom: if someone is practically on your bumper, reduce your speed and they may back off. Also consider the fact that driving behind someone incredibly close could easily cause an accident, and that just puts a damper on everybody’s day.

A word to the wise: if it’s super obvious someone let you go when they didn’t have to, wave. It’s not that difficult to do, just a common courtesy. If more people let someone go and if more people waved, just think of how much road rage could be eliminated. That leads me to my final driving point: don’t cut me off. This is incredibly annoying—I’m not driving an invisible car! Even worse than cutting me off is when someone cuts in front of me then reduces his or her speed. If you were in such a hurry to cut me off, why are you riding the brake now?

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