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Why is it sooo hard to be courteous?

BAM! He slammed the door in my face. I took a step back and blinked my eyes a couple of times to make sense of what had just happened. It wasn’t the first time and I know that it wasn’t the last time either. No, this isn’t a break-up/abuse story. It’s a story of how people have forgotten to be decent or courteous.

The story mentioned above is a colleague slamming a door in my face by not having the decency to hold it open for another 2 seconds while I stepped out. No, this isn’t about how boys have stopped respecting girls (Because that’s an entirely different story). I would’ve held the door open for anyone too, including a guy.

The point being… Have we stopped thinking about how rude we sound at times? Have we stopped thinking about our manners and how to be courteous? I have seen people giving me strange looks when I say please or thank you, thinking “OK, So, what do you want and why are you being so nice to me?” Well hello? I am just being myself and my usual self is well-mannered that’s all!

Why is it that only when we NEED something, we put on our decent coats and put on our best behaviors and those fake smiles? The customer care services are the best examples for it. Even if the customer is being a pain in the neck, they smile and help them. Yes it’s their job to do so but just because we aren’t being paid for it, doesn’t mean it isn’t ours anymore! For example, if you’re looking for something in the supermarket and you can’t find it, you ask the salesperson there to help you out. Now the situation could go two ways. You politely ask them that where the certain thing that you need is or what usually happens is “Hey! Wheres the …. (Insert object here) section?” Now if we put ourselves in their shoes, we would be offended and angered if someone even raised their voice in front of us. But when we do it, it’s perfectly okay!

I have seen people bumping into each other (which in a busy city like Karachi, happens A LOT), accidentally hitting each other with trolleys in the super-market (This recently happened with a friend of mine and the aunty did not even look up once to see whom she had hit), asking for a favor… all without one single sorry or thank you or please. Where has all the mannerism disappeared to? We live in a society where we claim that education seems like a distant dream. I know people being highly educated and never even uttering a single thank you… EVER. You could be working in a huge company and be rude at the same time. So, why do we get education then? What’s the point? For example, you could be a manager in a certain company and scream at people, being least bothered about how the other person would feel or how it would affect them? But if the same happens to us, we feel as if the world has came crashing down on us!

Courtesy actually is (or at least it should be) part of our everyday lives. When we ask someone a favour to do for us, we often don’t notice our tone. How many times have you said Thank you to your own mother for bringing you a glass of water? Or ironing your clothes? (My mum just looks at me skeptically when I do!) See the below example:




See the difference? And how difficult is it? It has been a known fact that sometimes it isn’t what you say it but in fact… how you say it. I once learned a very nice trick by someone I know. It’s about ‘sandwiching’ your comments. Let’s say you don’t like the pants your colleague is wearing. Instead of saying “Yuckh! I hate what you’re wearing today!” we can always say “Well I would not have chosen those pants with that shirt, but I like the color of your shirt and it would’ve went well with maybe another pair of pants”

So you give regard to feelings of your colleague and get your message across to. A simple Hi or a smile to the person handling your groceries, dry cleaning or even your maid… goes a long way.

So adapt it. Say please, thank you and apologize when you’re wrong. Quit the blame game.

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