Sunday, February 8, 2015

Time For A Rant About Bad Manners

Floored by Bad Manners

Over the past couple of days, I've been made to feel bad about myself because of other people’s bad manners. This morning, I picked my son up from a sleepover. When I thanked the father for having him over he replied,"It wasn't an issue." Immediately I felt bad, because I’d had the effrontery to thank him. Why couldn't he have just said, “You're welcome?" I should have shot back, “Well I hope it wasn't an issue!” But he wouldn't have got it; not to mention, that would have been rude of me, and I'm here today lecturing about rudeness.

Yesterday, I dropped my daughter off at her friends house; it was her first time visiting there. I went to the door with her so I could greet her friend’s parent. But her mom was on the phone and stayed where she was, down the hall from me. At least she told me she was on the phone with her mom. Okay - but she still could have walked over to where I was standing in her doorway. Then when I went back to pick up my daughter, I was again left standing in the doorway with her mother in full view, lying on the couch watching TV. If it had been me, I would have muted the TV, stood up, walked over and actually had a little conversation with the other parent to make her feel welcome. But she didn’t, and so I felt bad. Obviously she didn't think highly enough of me to pause the damn TV.

Am I being too sensitive? No I am not! This generation is losing sight of the purpose of good manners. Good manners means getting your mind off yourself and thinking of the other person, making them feel good about themselves, welcoming them, showing them you care and are grateful. It's not about you. It's not about being embarrassed that the other person is thanking you, or feeling you don't deserve the complement, or what ever other baggage you might be carrying around. Good manners is about being gracious. So if someone says thank you to you; it’s very simple, say, ”You're welcome." And you know what? You'll feel good too!


Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,
it appears you are assuming that it is crystal clear to the good mannered people why you say that "It wasn't an issue." is a rude response to your thanks because you are not explaining this in detail. Could you please explain that some more? That probably makes me rude, too, for not seeing this. Your explanation could help educate those of us that would respond in the same manner.
Furthermore, I would consider your comeback with “Well I hope it wasn't an issue!” as completely unnecessary since he already said that it wasn't an issue. As you already mentioned that would just be rude and even sarcastic.

Karen Gough said...

Hi Chris,
When he responded to my thank you by saying, "it wasn't an issue," that made the response all about him, and in the above situation, it's like saying, the sleepover COULD have been an issue but luckily for him, it wasn't. His answer made me feel like my son sleeping over could have been a problem even though obviously it wasn't. "It wasn't an issue" is simply an inappropriate response. I'm sure he didn't think he was being rude. It's like an alternate way of saying, "no problem," (which I've got a post about as well! ;-) ).
If instead he had responded with a simple "you're welcome," then it would have been about me as the recipient - 'you are welcome,' and I would have felt well - welcomed!
And yes, if I had responded with "I hope it wasn't an issue," that would have been unnecessary, sarcastic and rude, which is why I didn't say it. :-)
The whole thing's not that big a deal, just a pet peeve of mine.
Thanks so much for commenting.

Karen Gough said...

Oh yes, and I did feel like he was bothered by me thanking him - like it was rude of me to thank him in the first place. Probably not what he meant, but that's how it came across to me, especially because he didn't make eye contact and was busy doing something else when he said it.