Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Benefits of Being Nice aka. WTF Happened to Manners People??

Didn't your mother ever tell you that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar?

I know mine did. 

What I've realized over time is just how important it can be to be nice to people.  I'm not talking about being overly friendly, I'm talking about being polite and courteous.

Nowadays everyone is so busy and stressed out and I find that somewhere along the line, we've forgotten how to be nice to each other.

With little to no chewing?  Eaten by what??
How many times have you seen someone not hold the door for the person behind them?  Or not get up and offer an older person their seat on the train?  Not to mention the people that just bash right into you walking down the street and don't even pause to see if you're OK.

Have we really become that rude?  Or are we simply so preoccupied that we don't even notice these things anymore?

In my opinion, part of it is the fact that a lot of people walk around texting and emailing.  Another issue is people walking around with headsets and music blaring so loud that they can't hear people trying to get their attention.  But really?   Is that really the cause?  Or have we just become immune to indifference.

I think honestly, we've forgotten how good it feels when people are nice to us.

Case in point.  You're leaving the grocery store with a handful of bags.  The person in front of you notices your hands are full and holds the door open.  Simple right?  But more often than not it doesn't happen.  But when it does it actually makes me smile, and in turn I WANT to thank them because honestly, too often, simple things like that get ignored.  And who knows, maybe me making a point of thanking them will make them more inclined to do it again in the future?  Maybe people have stopped doing certain things because they think it is unappreciated?

I'm not sure.

Now I hate to sound like a grouchy old lady (come on people, I'm only 28) but I find that the younger generations are getting worse.  We somehow instilled it into a generation of young women that it's insulting if a man holds a door open for you, or offers to lift something heavy for you.  And we've in turn instilled it into a generation of men that it's not necessary to offer to do these things for a woman because it could be seen as insulting.  Last time I checked, being polite had nothing to do with gender.

If I see a woman with a baby carriage coming, I hold the door open for her.  If I see a man with his arms full, I hold the door open for him as well.  It has nothing to do with how old a person is, or what sex they are.  Heck it shouldn't even matter that their hands are full, we should be holding doors open for whoever is coming behind us.

And for all that his holy, say THANK YOU when somebody does.



This is actually what came up when I Googled "Polite Cat"  This is "Polite Woodchuck" 


  1. I'm with you. I always hold the door for people if their hands are full, or open a door for someone pushing a stroller, and I habitually say please and thank you and excuse me. Some people reciprocate or demonstrate similar inclinations, but others will sit on a metro train and pretend to read while an 8 month pregnant woman stands nearby. SO RUDE.

    1. True story: I was on the train to work and it was super crowded one morning. There was this little old lady who was having a hard time keeping upright every time the train took off. Nobody got up to offer this lady a seat. I walked over to a 15ish year old kid who was playing a video game and listening to an iPod and practically yanked him out of his seat. He was like "why should I get up?" I have never been that close to actually smacking a perfect stranger upside the head. It was disgusting. SO RUDE. How are we raising our children to be like this?

    2. I see this on metro ALL THE TIME. It's awful. What's even ruder is when I will actually offer me seat, and I'm always a few rows back, by the window, so there are usually a few men in front of me who could be offering up their seat. So, not only did they not offer their seat to an elderly/pregnant woman, they let another female do it. How big of a douche do you feel like?

      When someone holds the door for me, I make sure I say "thank you" loud enough for them to hear and sometimes will even say something like, "thank you. that's so kind," hoping people will just pay it forward. I will also say, "thank you" very loudly to those who don't hold the door for me, just to make them feel like an asshole. Because I'm 10.

    3. Oh if I hold a door open and someone doesn't say thank you sometimes if I'm feeling particularly bitchy I'll yell "You're WELCOME" to make them feel like an asshole. Because apparently I'm 10 as well.

    4. I used to think it wasn't as bad in Smalltown anywhere, but even out here in the sticks people seem to be getting more and more rude. We don't have the issue with the subway (but we do have a town bus...and I do mean singular) but we still have doors out here in the sticks that do not open themselves. And we have really long driveways that fill with lots of snow, we have ridiculous ditches that need to be cut, and yards that need some pretty heavy equipment to look after. I certainly help my older neighbours and they pay it back by looking after the cats for us.

      We have certainly brought our three kids up to help out when they can, to respect their elders, and to use their manners always. And they are pretty quick to make similar comments as this post, so it must have worked.

    5. Ohhh yes I do the "you're welcome," too! I love when I get looks from people like, "wow YOU'RE rude." Yeah. because I'm the rude one!

    6. I'm with ya Elliott, in our Smallish city it's still OK but there are always-increasing examples of rudeness to behold!

      Good on ya, Ash for sticking up for politeness!

  2. Like the woodchuck lol.
    As an English person we are horrified by manners else were. Does no one know how to cue or wait their turn?
    After my trips to Paris this year is was my big bug bear.

    1. Toronto used to be pretty good and honestly we're still 75% better than most of the places I've been in. But the perks of it being a big busy city mean people are just rushing around so much that they can be pretty rude at times.