Monday, May 28, 2007

Social ineptitude

Warning warning Will Robinson: This here is a mini bitchfest.

Exactly when did good manners go out of style?

More and more I see (in casual social interaction) less and less* in the way of...
  • Enthusiastic/ sincere greetings and salutations.
  • Expressions of please and thank you.
  • Participating in conversation, as opposed to one-sided know-it-all monologues.
  • The practice of attentive listening.
  • Proper etiquette at the dining table.
  • Exercising hospitality as a host; as well as knowing that the main responsibility of being a 'good guest' is to be appreciative (as in Do Unto Others...).
  • Extending a kind word when'ere possible and lending a helping hand.
  • Consideration of the elderly and for the infirm.
  • Understanding that listening to a braggart is boring boring boring (to tears, if not to run screaming).
For me, there's nothing worse than having to listen to a braggart: someone who goes on and on about how much money he has/she has/they have/can earn-inherit-beg-borrow-steal; how big a house they or someone they know can afford; how fancy a car or other prized possessions he/she/they own or is capable of buying; how highly educated, privileged, prestigious a job/station-in-life, et cetera.

Gag me with a spoon!

Kindly - subject me not to a recitation of someone else's resumé/ accomplishments as if they were your own. Actually, spare me your own unless you think it might actually be of some interest. Or unless I ask you - not during your monologue, but as we are conversing.

Understand that there is a decidedly thin line between sharing a personal accomplishment / touting a relative-friend's achievement AND being a braggart. Is talking about it an invitation to further conversation, to inspire, to encourage - or are you just showing off? Worse still - might you be living vicariously through another's (real or perceived) accomplishments?

Bite me!

Moi? Never entirely guiltless, of course.
In social situations, I can also be fairly inept.
Case in point: I'm guilty of swearing like a sailor when I'm not doing my damndest to practice those aforementioned good manners. Geez Louise, sometimes cussing is necessary! Not to mention FUN.

Matter of fact, because of my issue (folks, is it just me?) with braggarts, I may soon be sporting a badge or tee shirt imprinted with the statement: 'Ask me if I give a *hit'.
Besides alienating all decent folk in my midst, wearing such a remark might just serve as a hint to the next person who considers subjecting me to another lengthy braggadocio session ...
Then again, maybe not ... since those who self-indulge typically don't see beyond themselves and their egos: real, borrowed or imagined.

My bad! (apologies - this catchy phrase is ill-used at best by most people. That's why I chose to use it here...)

Can you imagine how social interaction might improve if everyone were to practice even a wee bit of the writings of Emily Post, Miss Manners, Amy Vanderbilt and/or even Dale Carnegie?

Ok - I have vented. Time to crawl back unda da rock...

* You better believe how appreciative I am when I do witness these points observed!


jessierose said...

I don't know if I can forgive you for saying "my bad".

baffle said...

Now I know another 'DollinkDaughterJrS button' to add to the many that I can push!

didnotridethisweek ;-/ said...

Just giving a shout out to my fellow socially inepts.

My tip when social ineptitude rears its ugly head?
Clean the kitchen, sweep, anything!

Washing dishes has covered a social-inept momnent!