(For those of you who do not know what a bugbear is it is a cause of irritation)
Here is where I am going to sound like a grumpy so and so! Recently it has been bugging me more and more that people generally do not appear to use manners. I grew up in a world where manners were the norm…saying please and thank you was expected and common practice, no matter who you were or how old you were.
It now feels as though manners are almost a thing of the past…on the endangered list, soon to be extinct unless we do something about it.
My friend had a parents evening where she was told by the teacher that her 4-year-old was incredibly polite, and that the teacher had never come across such a polite child. I remember when she told me, we were both shocked that the teacher brought it up at parents evening because she said it was so rare for children to use manners! When I was at school (which wasn’t that long ago in the scheme of things!) parents would have been informed if their child did NOT use manners and now it’s the other way around!
I still say please and thank you even if others don’t, but I know of times when I have said thank you to someone and they have looked shocked, almost as if I have said something foreign!
Now I know it shouldn’t bother me when others do not use their manners, but it has been really getting to me because I think it’s rude not to use manners. The times I have opened doors for people or stepped out the way and not only have people not said thank you, but quite often not even smiled or acknowledged me.
I have noticed myself turning into my mother, as I then mutter under my breath, ‘thank you’ in a sarcastic manner! Or I go out of my way to give them my biggest smile whilst in my head I am thinking how rude they are! (I’m rolling my eyes at myself as I write this!!)
Manners do not cost anything and yet I believe they are very important and show appreciation and respect for others. It shows a kindness that I feel is lacking in general society as a whole.
Just like smiling, words can have a massive impact on someone’s day, and something as little as saying thank you can mean a lot.
I worry that the less people say please and thank you the more selfish and arrogant people may become. If we only think about ourselves and no longer undertaken acts of kindness such as opening doors, stepping aside for others, putting a checkout divider down for the next persons shopping etc, then people will have less reason to communicate with others or to use their manners.
I am aware that I should not expect others to acknowledge acts of kindness and therefore should not expect them to say thank you. Therefore, no doubt I will carry on being polite because that’s how I was brought up, but at times I do wonder why I bother, and it does make me feel more selfish.
However, I am bringing my girls up to use manners and I will remind them if they don’t say please or thank you, often saying, ‘what’s the magic word?’.
I wonder if the use of manners is something that is disappearing just in the UK or in other parts of the world.
Are people too busy to use them? Is it just something that people no longer think about or consider? Are children growing up without seeing others using them at home, in school or in general society?
When I was looking for quotes about manners, I came across this one which made me giggle…
I use manners all the time, in which case everyone, must think I am flirting with them!!!