Random Observation/Comment #719: Class never goes out of style.
Why this List?
Manners represent social norms and levels of kindness. From a Chinese background, poor manners are disrespectful and could lead to dishonor or disappointment. In these important years of parenting Evie, I want her to at least learn some of these phrases, actions, and situations.
- “Please” / “Thank you” / “You’re welcome”. I’d be happy with just this out of this list.
- “Bless you” / Gesundheit”. I find the source/story to be irrelevant – Saying this is acknowledging a sneeze and maybe it means something to them.
- “Excuse me”. Off of a sneeze, burp, walking through a crowded train station, or just leaving the table during dinner.
- “May I…?” Especially when you’re visiting somewhere or it’s not your house.
- “May I pet your dog?” Specifically pointing this one out because we have a lot of dogs walking around the neighborhood and it’s always polite to ask.
- “This is delicious.” Complimenting food, (especially if someone you know cooked it for you) is key. The cook always wants feedback and see happy eaters.
- “What can I help with?” Just asking can really make someone’s day. You’ll 80% get a “I think I’m good”, but you might learn something new or apply something you’ve learned.
- “How was your day?” / “How’s <person or recent life event>?” I’ve added this to the list because a well mannered person may also have great memory in social situations. Caring about other people’s lives and making space for them to express their feelings is kind.
- “Can I get you an ice pack or a band aid?” This shows concern for someone else (maybe only relevant within toddler minor injuries).
- “I’m going . Can I get you anything while I’m up/out?” I’m guilty for not always doing this because we’ve been locked inside and we haven’t gotten sick.
- “Would you like another?” / “Please, help yourself to more.” Observing people’s state (empty cup or plates) and then offering to help them is a great host attribute.
- “Do you have any food restrictions?” This means there’s an opportunity to contribute to an event by buying or cooking, which is a kind thing to do and considerate thing to ask.
- “I’ll get the next round” / “This one’s on me. You can get the next.” Probably to be learned later when you make enough money and have friends to do this. I do miss drinking in rounds.
- “Nice to meet you. ” Who knows if handshakes will come back, but the handshake and eye contact technique has many layers.
- “I’d like to push back on that point.” Conversations are an art in their own way. You can navigate it with sophistication and respect even if you disagree on the topic. I hope the etiquette of debate can be taught.
- Giving up your seat on a subway. It doesn’t even need to be specifically for a disabled person, family, pregnant lady or elderly person. Sometimes it’s just a nice thing to do.
- “Can you offer your seat for her?” Another layer of kindness and upholding manners is by asking on behalf of someone else to offer a seat. Kindness sometimes also needs a reminder.
- “Good game.” Good sportsmanship and winning/losing with grace is important.
- “BRB” or “Let me get back to you in <timeframe>” No one likes to be left read without a response. I think this is more forgiving as messages don’t need to be at conversational speeds.
- “Can we come by?” It’s just weird showing up to a house unannounced. Are you selling me something? Are you a serial killer?
- “Here’s a thank you note.” I think hand written notes are super cool and classy. I am a big fan of mailing these out and providing hand crafted invitations.
- Helping elderly cross the street. This doesn’t come up all the time, but respect for elderly is a good virtue.
- Respecting local customs. Read up on these if you’re traveling. Some of these are things you can say (learn a few phrases) or things you don’t do.
- Serving the guests, eldest, and the females first. This is pretty old school, but I like it.
- Make sure everyone has enough to eat and drink. This has to do with hosting and prepping properly.
- Never showing up to a house empty handed. At least a bottle of wine, right?
- Take your hat off inside (especially in a church or during the national anthem). I’m not offended for not doing this, but I know other people might be. The consideration here is for other’s beliefs.
- Tipping well. If you’re able to give and they did a good job, then why not?
- Giving someone without a Valentines Day card a card. It’s just a sweet thing to do. School social situations can be tough.
- If you’re up 10-0 on a table tennis match, then throw the next point.
~See Lemons Raise a Classy Lady