No matter what where you come from or your current tax bracket, GOOD MANNERS and ETIQUETTE matters if you want to be respected.
Hello and Welcome to JEWELZ OF WISDOM. I am your advisor, Simone Thyke and I am so happy you are here to learn, thrive and grow. The purpose of this blog is to share 53 years of Wisdom, with the masses. This months Jewel of Wisdom is about proper etiquette. You may ask, "Why I am going back to basics?" Well, the 21st Century has brought forth a mentality of laziness, sloppiness and rude behaviors and I felt it needed to be address. With that being said, I would like to share the Basic Rules of Etiquette, something that seems to be a forgotten practice.
But, before we get started let me give you the definition of etiquette:
Etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. Basically, if you practice proper etiquette, you are less likely to offend or annoy people and you may even charm or impress.
Now that you know the definition of ‘etiquette’, I would like to share the proper way, it is used, when interacting with others, in a plethora of situations. So, lets get started, shall we?
1. Be your authentic self, but be mindful of your attitude.
There is nothing wrong with being who you are, however there is a way that one should behave in certain settings. For example, the way you act among friends and family is very relaxed and most people are comfortable just being themselves. Subsequently, this same behavior is not acceptable when you are interacting with coworkers or in a more professional setting. Some people would argue that when you act differently in certain settings you are “selling out” or acting ‘White’, but this is totally not true. The way one behaves determines the level of respect one will receive, therefore it is imperative to adjust your behavior, attitude and vocabulary according to the environment and people you are interacting with. When you act accordingly, people from all walks of life will grant you the respect you deserve.
2. The Power of “Please and Thank You!”
There is nothing worse than someone who forgets to say please or thank you when making request or receiving something. It’s truly sad that I even have to include this in the list, but unfortunately, there are people, in the world, who have not been taught manners; like saying ‘please’ when making a request; ‘thank you’ when you receive something; ‘excuse me’ when you do something impolite; or saying ‘I am sorry’ when you do something wrong. Exercising good manners, makes a difference, when interacting with people and tends to prevent hard or hurt feelings. Also, using good manners shows your level of maturity and reflects heavily on how you were raised. So, if you are not using these ‘magic words please take the time to incorporate them into your daily routine. Trust me, the level of respect people will have, for you, will change for the better!
3. Giving Genuine Compliments can brighten someone’s day!
In today’s society, people find it very hard to compliment someone, but have no problem, at all, with ‘hating on’ on someone. This is especially prevalent on social media because people tend to share their lives, more openly, on social media; making it easy, for people, to make mean and rude comments. In addition, people believe that if you compliment someone, they will become arrogant, which is totally false. Basically, if you are a confident person and secure in who you are, there should be no reason, in this world, why you can’t compliment someone. Even, if they come across arrogant or don’t respond, you should still make this a part of your interactive routine. For example, I find that, women in particular, have an issue with complimenting each other because of jealousy or intimidation. Well, we truly need to break this habit and cycle. I make it a practice to compliment the women that I see out and about. For instance, if a woman has amazing makeup on; a nice outfit that looks great on her; or if she is well spoken and gives great customer service; I take the time, to compliment her. Many times, I get a surprise reaction and many begin to smile just because of this positive acknowledgement.
4. Learning How to Respond and Accept a Compliment
It is just as important to respond and accept a compliment as it is to give one. Sadly, there are many people who have an issue with responding and accepting compliments. Some people believe that when someone compliments them, they have an alternative motive. This behavior could stem from one of two things: 1) The person is very insecure or has trust issues or 2) The person have very low self esteem and doesn't feel worthy of a compliment. Either way, this behavior is unhealthy and needs to be address. It is my recommendation that you respond positively by saying ’thank you’ even if you are insecure or you don’t receive it well. Eventually, you will begin to believe the compliment is true if you hear the same compliment more often for several people.
5. Bragging, Arrogance and Loud is NEVER ACCEPTABLE.
I am not sure if this is a ‘cultural thing’ among “US” but black people tend to desire the most attention in the most negative ways. We are already a people that stand out in the crowd simple based on our skin hue, striking beauty and talents. Then why do we feel the need to gain attention threw bragging, arrogance and being ear wrenchingly loud. People, there is never a time when any of these things are acceptable in polite company. This is why old school parents announce before a child goes in public the preverbal speech, “Don’t embarrass me in this store or you will get it when you get home.” Unfortunately, the parents of today are even more ratchet than any kid and they wonder why their kids don’t know how to act. Well, as a rule of thumb, boasting about your personal business; acting in an arrogant manner when speaking about your life or the things you have or just being majorly loud in public places is totally frowned upon in society. This is why other nationalities tend to think ALL Black People are ignorant or ghetto when its just a few bad apples that spoil it for all of us. Now, of course, those same people say that they don’t care what anyone thinks, but also complain when people address them in a rude or disrespectful manner. Well, what people don’t realize is that you tend to receive the level of respect that you give out. Excluding racist situations, there is no reason, in this world, why black people practice being rude and disrespectful to each other. Well, the change starts at home and you need to make a special effort to practice being a better person. Practice makes perfect.
6. Please Actively Listen to Someone Before You Respond.
To be honest, most people struggle with this one which always leads to conflict. Most people complain that they are not being heard when it come to arguments or having difficult conversations where listening is very important. Many times, people allow a person to speak but instead of actively listening they are preparing to respond to what is being said. What is active listening? It is the practice of preparing to listen, observing what verbal and non-verbal messages are being sent, and then providing appropriate feedback for the sake of showing attentiveness to the message being presented. This form of listening conveys a mutual understanding between the speaker and the listener. Respect for the speaker is an absolute requirement when using good manners. When you actively listen to someone you are showing your level of respect and care for their concerns and for what they are trying to convey. In addition, showing genuine interest by now interrupting them; ignoring them because you are on your phone or watching tv; interrupting them with a rebuttal before they are done speaking or not making eye contact is definitely a sign of disrespect and can lead to conflict. If this is your daily behavior, then it is time that you make the change because this kind of behavior will not allow you to go to the next level. So, the next time your significant other, your boss or anyone what you are receiving information from is speaking do the following things:
a) Turn off all devices (television, cell phone, etc.) and give them your undivided attention.
b) Always make eye contact when being spoken to and when you are speaking. Looking around or away is a sign of disrespect.
c) Wait until the person is finished speaking before you respond.
d) Do not talk over someone and always ask if they are finished and ask if you can respond.
e) Set some ground rules of how the conversation will go so everyone is clear about all expectations.
f) Think before you speak. Sometimes counting to 10 and then speaking help you to calm down so you can answer without emotions.
At the end of the day, if we all put these things into practice I believe that there would be less misunderstandings and certainly less conflict. So, let’s go back to basics and bring back the manners our ancestors instilled in us!