More and more I notice the lack of social skills, manners and common courtesy toward others. It seems to be evident everywhere I turn – from running errands and day to day activities to work meetings and emails.
I received an email today – not work related – that didn’t have as much as a hello. It jumped right into what could have been interpreted as a plethora of criticism and judgment based on assumptions. My guess was the person skimmed the message and replied without actually reading, digesting then responding. It was quite obvious. She was talking with herself, aloud, via email.
People seem to talk at you, not with you. They project, don’t listen. They are so caught up in themselves that they don’t think about anything or anyone else around them.
It’s always been a pet peeve of mine when people don’t start a conversation with hi, hello, morning or evening. Notice I didn’t say ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’, because I realize many don’t think any morning or evening is good. Their choice.
They don’t start with excuse me, or may I ask you a question or hope you are well, they just start in. No opening. No greeting. No nothing. I hate it.
Family, friends and colleagues joke with me, because they know how I feel. And I do stand my ground. If someone jumps right in, I respond in kind with a salutation or greeting before getting down to business. It’s not intended to start a lengthy conversation or engage in banter, it’s merely a courtesy. A warm and civil gesture to acknowledge someone as a human being, not just there to serve my informational needs or cater to my whims. It doesn’t matter if it’s personal or professional, I do it.
We seem to live in a time when people are so pre-occupied, focused or frazzled that they don’t make time for a simple hello. It costs nothing. It doesn’t take much time at all. And it can brighten someone’s day. It can alleviate a tough morning, reduce tension and lighten interactions.
Let’s bring each other back to earth. Let’s enhance our social skills and be reminded of basic manners. You don’t even have to be particularly fond of people, but I can safely say that these small acts can gain big returns.