Hissy Fit - January 2022 - Ignored Social Graces: That’s So Last Year
...because everyone needs one every once in awhile
January 2022 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen
Everyone says, it’s the 2020s, like that gives the human race a hall pass. What does a year have to do with being a good human, raising good humans and behaving like a good human? Nothing, that’s what.
For those of you who discount social graces to the times, I have to ask, really?
It’s alright with you for people to be nonchalant, putting no effort into doing their part as a decent citizen? When did standards get so low, so as not to even expect people to do the right thing?
Here are a few things to put on your to-do list as you move into 2022
with a verve to #startfresh.
These things aren’t difficult; they are just simple, little things that make huge differences.
Return phone calls: It is rude not to return a phone call. If someone takes the time to call you, the least you can do is call them back. It has come to a point in business that one is uber impressive if they merely return your call. I usually spend at least the first 30 seconds praising and thanking them for returning my call. If you think you’re too busy to return the call, just remember, the person calling you is more than likely busy, too. Gracious! This truly is a small task. Be mannerly and return your calls. You never know what someone is calling about.
RSVP: If someone has thought well enough about you to invite you to a party or an event, for God’s sake, take the 15 seconds it takes to let them know if you will attend or not. It is beyond rude to ignore an invitation, possibly the utmost expression in taking a friend, colleague or connection for granted. Nothing says “I don’t give a damn about you” as not responding to an invitation, except maybe calling 10 minutes before—or during—the gathering to let the host know you’re not coming. At that point, forgo the call! You’re adding salt to the wound.
If you Commit, then Commit: Sure, I know I told you I would come to your party, help you make cupcakes, meet you for dinner, etc….but something better came up—or—I just didn’t feel like it. People! If you commit to something, please follow through and make good on your commitment, a.k.a. your word. When did it become alright to bail on people—usually without notice? Being able to count on someone is the basis of trust, friendship…humanity. I can’t impress upon you enough how important it is to do what you say you’re going to do. Civilization needs you to commit to your commitments to stay alive!
Don’t Be Late: Being on time is a virtue of not only respect for others, but also respect for yourself. If you value your time, and we all should, because it is finite, then being on time should be on the top of your non-negotiables list. Remember: If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late, and if you’re late, don’t bother. I understand there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. a wreck on the bridge), but most people who are late, are habitually late. You know who you are. Impress yourself this year and stop your tardiness now. No one will verbally praise you for it, but believe me, everyone will notice.
Put Effort Into Things: If you’re going to do something, then do it like you mean it. There is nothing more disappointing than someone wanting to take shortcuts or the easy way out. Granted, sometimes that approach is fine…when it doesn’t affect others. But at work, or on a committee, or with something you committed to, your best should be the goal. For instance, back when my children were still in school, I would always sign up for the most complicated thing—homemade German chocolate cake, homemade mac-n-cheese, etc—to bring to a class party or school event, even though my schedule was insane. Ultimately, I would get it done, but with great stress and time juggling. Don’t be like “old” me. I’m not sure what I was trying to prove, except that I was my own worst enemy. Eventually, when I wised-up, I would sign up to bring napkins, forks or drinks. These things are just as important. Who can eat mac-n-cheese without a utensil, right? My point is if you sign up for something, make sure you have the time, energy and excitement to put into doing it to your best ability. Don’t let everyone down by offering up the easy route. If you want the easy route, then take the easy route from the get go.
Quit Cursing: Ladies, as a whole we have to quit cursing. It’s gone too far. Even young children swear, and it’s because they hear parents, other adults and children all around them using horrible curse words in regular conversations. People use the f-word as though there are no other words in the category of “exclamations” or “adjectives”. I sat in the stadium at Carolina all last season with some of the most horrible things being yelled out into the crowd. (It was pointed to the Gamecocks, but that is still no excuse for the vulgarity.) I’m appalled adults no longer care if children are around. They just spout off their nasty mouths no matter who is in their midst. But, it’s not just at sporting events. It’s everywhere. This is where mindfulness would make a great difference. If it’s important to you to stop swearing, get conscious of your bad words and stop saying them.
No Excuses: One of the fastest ways to achieve mediocrity is through excuses. Excuses are the antithesis of self-discipline, and they are also lies you tell yourself in order to be less than your best self. If you’re cool with that, then keep the excuses rolling. However, if you’re ready to take your ONE life serious and be all you can be, stop the excuses right now! The choice is yours. Recommended Reading: No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy. Be prepared to change and live your best life.