Sometimes people are terrible to each other. Flat out, yelling, screaming, biting, spitting awful to each other.
As a rule I try to avoid being terrible to my fellow humans and I’d like to think I usually do decently.
So, inspired by an effort for less terribleness, here’s Ten Things: Courtesy Edition.
Always Tell the Truth (Unless You Should Lie)
Be honest with people. Even the hard truths, be honest. Be honest when not knowing the truth could hurt a person’s future success or happiness.
What I’m absolutely never advocating is that you tell people possibly true but mean things and follow up by saying “what? I’m just being honest.”
Use Your Turn Signal
Turn signals are your only real on-the-road communication. It’s how you say“oh, hello, yes, pardon me, I’d like to join your lane” and “Whoa! Hey! I’m turning left! Sorry for the inconvenience!” Turn signals are the warning you give other drivers rather than endangering their life.
So, listen to that calming click-click and think of all the people out there appreciating your stellar road communication skills.
Leave a Tip At the end of a meal (or any other tip-able service), ask yourself:
- Was a scalding liquid thrown in my face as response to a request?
- Was a herd of small, angry animals led across my lap?
- Did the location of my service explode/catch fire/flood with water or any other liquid during my time there?
- Am I now in need of hospitalization?
If your answer is no, you should probably leave a tip. For the record, a tip is not a dollar on a twenty dollar meal, nor is it “don’t eat yellow snow” written on the receipt.
Be Kind to Callers
Not, like, gentlemen callers. More like people on the phone, specifically those working for a business.
As someone who often takes calls from complete strangers (for my job, not just for fun), I can tell you that the common decency of not yelling at a perfect stranger because you aren’t getting what you want, doesn’t seem to apply to the phone.
No matter who you are talking to, remember that they are a human. A human with goals and dreams and feelings and people who love them. They are not an outlet for your misplaced rage, save that for a round of plate shooting.
Here are some things I’ve been told on the phone that you should never ever say*:
- You are literally the worst person on the planet.
- You don’t deserve to live.
- You are ruining my entire life.
- Oh my god. You’re such a(n impressive combination of unkind words).
- If you make me pay the fee, I’ll find you.
If you are not familiar, ghosting describes when two people go on a date, promise to call each other and then one person proceeds to fall of the face of the earth.
I heard this term for the first time the other day when a facebook friend posted an article about it. A facebook friend who for a little while, totally ghosted me.**
You guys, it’s mean and childish.
If you don’t like someone, is it that hard to answer the phone and say “hey, I’m sorry, I’m just not feeling it, you’re great it’s just not something I’d like to pursue.” No, it is not that hard and it is the decent thing to do. Do it.
No ghosting, unless you are an actual ghost, then ghost away.
I generally assume that if someone is asking their brain to form words and sentences from their thoughts and then fire up their vocal cords to deliver them, it’s important I listen.
There are few things more disheartening then realizing mid-conversation that the other person is not listening to one word you’re saying. They’re texting or tweeting or just spacing out and thinking about labradoodles.
Inatentiveness doesn’t make you look cute or scatter-brained or popular. It makes you look like a grade A butthead.
Give ‘Em the BFD
Yeah, that’s right give them the Big Fu…
Benefit of the Doubt. The Benefit of the Doubt.
This world of ours is a cynical one and everyone is scared of looking like a chump. That kind of sets us up to trust no one, and to live emotionally lonely lives.
You don’t have to give someone your bank account numbers and credit card information to let them in a little.
Give people a chance
Don’t Fake It
Even if you’re a really good actor, eventually everyone sees through your fake-itude.
Everyone does it sometimes and I suppose a fake smile or laugh here and there has few casualties. Just be careful because one tiny, fake giggle can easily propel itself into a false friendship.
I’m not a huge fan of being touched by people I don’t know very well. While I enjoy hugs from people I love, I’m not a fan of hugging just to hug.
It might make me weird, might not, either way it is not an invitation to hug me because “it’s funny” to see me feel uncomfortable.
When people put up boundaries, you need to respect them. Whether it’s physical or emotional, at work or at play, with everyone or just some, it’s a warning.
Rattlesnakes rattle for a reason, and so do people.
I truly believe this last one could solve a million current problems.
If you truly took the time to value your family, friendships, relationships, job, financial status, education, etc, how much less would you complain?
I’m guilty of complaining. A lot. On a myriad of topics. And I can tell you, not once has it made me really feel better. Not in the same way that accepting what I have and knowing that I’m lucky to have it does.
Well that’s it for me today.
Best of luck!
*Bare in mind that I’ve worked in big retail, ice cream, and spas.
** We’re good now. But still.