It always amazes me when people do not realize when they are being discourteous. They may just not know any better. As I interact constantly with adults and kids in the community and the world, you would be surprised at how many really do not know any better. While some of my advice below is meant to be humorous, it is also serious. I encounter these situations daily, and it is irksome. Here are a few tips that I would like to share with you regarding personal courtesy.
- When asking someone for something, please use the word “please”. This is what we teach our children, unfortunately, some adults have still not learned this.
- If you do not hear or understand what someone has said, do not say “huh” – instead, please say “excuse me”, or “pardon”.
- Do not refer to humans as “hey”. “Hey” is for horses, dogs, birds, insects, reptiles…. Just recently in the community, someone called me “hey”. I promptly asked the person, “what did you call me?”, and he/she apologized immediately. Did he/she know better? Yes he/she did, but he/she thought he/she could get away with it.
- Never, ever, ever, show someone your middle finger as an insult; if want to insult someone, use words. Better still, keep those words to yourself.
- When sending someone an email, always begin with a salutation such as “Dear Joe”, “Hello Joe”, etc. You may also want to check to see if the person is still alive first, with a statement such as “I hope you are well.” You may skip this only if you are in a back-and-forth conversation.
- Always say “thank you” when someone does something for you; this includes waiters and waitresses, flight attendants and others.
- When talking on the phone in a public place, please keep your conversation to a minimum and as private as you can. Most people do not want to hear your mess!
- It is plain rude to hold an extended phone conversation when you are in the presence of others. Just simply say, “I will call you back.”
- When at a public place such as a store, and you walk in front of somebody who is looking at items on a shelf, say “excuse me”.
- Say “excuse me” when you interrupt someone who is speaking; better yet do not interrupt people! That’s just rude!
- Last but not least, when you pass anybody on campus, please say a simple “hello.” You can try that is public, but some people might think that you are just weird.
Life is about relationships and the nicer and the more courteous we are to others, the better this world will be for all of us. The above advice is of course not meant to be exhaustive, but this is all I could think of at this time.