The word ‘selfie’ is the number one new word of 2013 selected to be added to the Oxford Dictionary. The meaning of the slang term is a photo taken of one’s self for the purpose of uploading to a social networking site. Could the mention of selfie refer to the obsession with self or selfish? Certainly it conjures thoughts of self. In this New Year of 2014, there are many resolutions you make; to lose those extra holiday pounds, to improve your fitness level, to try a new hair style or to de-clutter your house. This time of the year the focus is on YOU. In the self improvement analysis, consider the restructure of the total self – the way you look and the way you act. In actions, nothing speaks more loudly than good manners. Have good manners been allowed to let slide? It is time to spruce up the total YOU.
A poll had been taken of over 50 Lexingtonians of all ages. The following are their responses to: What well known good manners need a subtle reminder?
• Putting elbows on the table, bar etc. Many think comfort is of the utmost importance and if being comfortable means leaning on the table, then it is alright. Not so!
• Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving. The cemeteries are full or drivers who thought it was once alright. Not so!
• Talking on a cell phone or texting in a restaurant at the table. It is rude – there is no other way to explain it. If there is an emergency, then excuse yourself and go outside or to the foyer.
• Not replying to an invitation in a timely fashion. This response was given by at least 20% of those polled. So, it is a problem in Lexington and perhaps in many other places. There are very few reasons not to respond. If the reply is going to be late, call to say that the reply will be forthcoming and why. A RSVP means to reply whether you will be attending or regretting. A regret shows the invitation was received and is acknowledged.
• Arriving at a party when there has been no reply to the invitation. Today’s parties often involve a caterer who has been given a guest number 4 to 5 days or more ahead. Also, a party could have place cards, seating charts, table gifts, etc. How embarrassing! If the person thinks one more doesn’t matter – Not so!
• Not looking at the person when talking to them. It gives the person who is trying to listen the feeling that the person would rather be someplace else or that he is looking for someone more exciting.
• Talking constantly while not giving others an opportunity to respond.
• Not sitting at the table until everyone is finished with the meal.
• Beginning to eat before everyone at the table is served. This is very common, even by people who should know better.
It appears that knowing good manners and practicing them are not the same. Proper etiquette is a very important area of the total person which needs attention. Look around and observe how many need to improve. Resolve to incorporate better manners into the New YOU in the New Year!