I say, we’re now half way through 2022 and I am sure I’m not alone in breaking at least one resolution I made in January be it failing to get that early morning exercise, having that drink I pledged not to or eating a little too much AGAIN! All is not lost however as like others I’ll have another stab at them as I’m sure they are among the most popular resolutions to make and to break! Resolutions of course are ideally aimed to encourage self- improvement and as such there is one I think should be on everyone’s list – and that is to make courtesy, good manners and politeness second nature.

It really doesn’t take that much effort to be polite and courteous but what a difference it really does make. If this isn’t on your list of priorities (and believe me I know many for whom it isn’t) just try making small adjustments to your daily routine. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ of course but try it with a smile and a little eye contact. Hold that door open for whoever is following you through and smile and thank the person holding it for you. NO glares or rampant sexist comments please – that is totally unnecessary! Don’t hold phone conversations at full vocal power in public places, or walk eyes down glued to that phone forcing others to dodge around you and if you really must take that urgent, desperate call don’t stop in the middle of the pavement – move aside – how difficult is that? There’s still time to send a greeting to someone your heard from earlier in the year and wish them well. It doesn’t take much effort to write a few lines, make that call or even make a few clicks on that computer and the compliment is returned. Send out those thank you letters and making sure children do it is a must and even the most doting parents sometimes overlook this one – big mistake! Maybe you’ve received kindness and hospitality and for some reason are not in a positon to return it or even wish to – well you could stop accepting or just give an invitation for coffee or, next time you go for a meal perhaps take a little gift for the hostess as well as your wine to show your appreciation – it’s all about adding a little grace and mutual respect to our daily lives.

It is frustrating to accept that people can still be boorish in this way but believe me good manners and the lack of them can be found in all walks of life and across the social spectrum. I’ve met people with little advantage who have exemplary manners and some with great privilege behave appallingly. Worst of all are those who think it is ok to be rude as a matter of course to some they encounter and save good manners for those they deem worthy – ghastly, ghastly, ghastly! In the end how one behaves to others does have a comeback and like others I am sure I have found that people who are lacking in basic courtesy and consideration often fall short in other areas of their personal relationships too and in the long run are just not that nice to be around.

Exchanging a few pleasantries can make the day better and it really does encourage the best from others too – or at least offers an opportunity. Of course, sometimes strangers can be more considerate and polite than close friends or family since we all know what familiarity can breed and that is why insisting of good manners at home is so important – at all times for all ages whatever the relationship.

Great Britain used to have a world-wide reputation for courtesy, politeness and good manners, there was a framework, a code and in the main it was observed by the majority from all walks of life. Social interactions were easier, life far more enjoyable. Sadly, as the saying goes, the past really is another country, but good manners and a little more day to day courtesy can still make a difference and help us feel far better too. Let 2022 be the year your manners sparkle – there’s still time!


Oh! I say…….

OH! I SAY…….

Here in our blog you will find comments, tips and opinions on modern manners or the lack of them.

I say, I have just read that once more someone has objected to being called “darling” at a supermarket check out! Oh dear! Since all staff are trained to be friendly, warm and engaging (yes, sometimes a little too loquacious when all we want to do is pack our shopping and go home) and some retailers feel the use of ‘Madam’ etc., is too formal – what a fuss and nonsense to object to this term of endearment. To say that it is patronising is nonsense as the most it can be thought to be is vaguely irksome or over-familiar, perhaps, but even that is a bit of an overreaction.

In another time I remember when at my girls’ school a rather strict Maths Mistress would say to us – “Now go away and have another think about this, dear!”- we all agreed we felt, happy, warm, engaged, liked and actually wanted to work harder.

I would agree that the term ‘you guys’ frequently used by young service staff particularly in the food industry is an irritant and of course we hear of medical personnel, all too eager to use christian names regardless of permission and sometimes when deeply inappropriate, but the use of ‘darling’ in this way is neither trendily sloppy or carelessly disrespectful.

How much better the ‘insulted, deeply offended by such a term’ woman might have felt had she just smiled back graciously and said a pleasant “Thank you”. She might also have added “dear” too.