Tag Archives: Society

Being Polite: A Dying Trend

I remember when I was praised for being such a ‘polite little girl.’ Older aunts, uncles, family friends and my parent’s coworkers admiring my practiced inquisition as to how they were, or the eye contact and smile that were just second nature when it came to responding with manners when spoken to. I was taught manners as though it were a religion of its own. Sit up straight, don’t chew with your mouth open and be polite. Those were the rules. They were simple and clear. You don’t ignore someone who is speaking to you, say please and thank you, don’t interrupt anyone and treat people nicely. That’s what being polite is. It’s being nice.

Today, in a society so rarely face-to-face we’re forgetting to be nice. We’re defensive and suspicious, blocking out the world with headphones and commanding our attention away from those around us in our everyday lives. Rush hours of subways and buses crammed with people have their silence broken only by the squeal of the tracks or the dispersed chatter of groups of companions. Strangers brush arms and bump into one another as their jostled against the movement of the transit, but b52they keep their eyes glued to the floor, a phone, an advertisement on the wall or just stare, a dead-eyed stare at nothing at all. We shift uncomfortably under the gaze of anyone who looks at us and sometimes straight up ignore that rare person who tries to initiate conversation. As a woman, I’m guilty of not only ignoring a guy who tries to get my attention, but also going as far as to relocate myself to put distance between myself and the possible threat. That’s what people have become to us: threats or inconveniences. Instead of being polite first, we’ve gotten into the habit of being stand-offish and skeptical.

It’s hard to break this habit though, and it’s questionable if we’ll ever be┬áable to revive this dying trend of politeness. We’re a society that’s become impersonal. Connections are made online, dates organized via text, jobs applied to over email, interviewers following the initial googling of a candidate’s name. We’re forgetting that to be polite isn’t meant to be flirtation. To hold a door open for someone isn’t the first step in courtship, it’s being considerate. Replying to someone and affording them your full attention isn’t a green light for romantic advancements, it’s being a decent human being.

I want to find the little girl who knew the difference without hesitation. Who not only understood what it meant to be polite but did it unconsciously, without fear of making a social faux pas. I want to be nice again.

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From The Depths Of Zero Fashion Sense

Tom boy Liz, in all her glory, has been known to rock soccer shorts, baggy man tees, ripped jeans (not the fashionable ones…I take care of tears all on my own), stained tank tops and mis-matched socks with shoes that have┬áreached a point that no manufacturer envisioned for them. I’d like to say those days are long gone, but I confess to still being clad in massive sweat pants and shirts with holes in them way too often. If you ever intended to pick up some fashion tips from this blog, just click the little ‘x’ in the corner – I’ve got nothing for you.

My employment history easily assists in an explanation as to my pathetic style-sense. I’ve worked in scrubs and clothes that are guaranteed to get torn and dirty on a potentially daily basis. Animals aren’t the most considerate of fashion and I’ve (not so unwillingly), abided by their rules.

Now, without the excuse of animal interference, I’m faced with learning the art of being presentable on a regular basis. Sure, I can clean up when I need to. I’ve obviously not been totally hopeless. Living in a house of five girls, having a ‘girly’ best friend and maturing have all aided to my overall comprehension of how to dress. Malls are still places of struggle, dressing rooms mind as well be chasms and ask my opinion on accessories and I can promise a stare filled with mild confusion and a hint of fear. Oh and make-up? Nope. Just nope – Let’s leave it at that.

With this new path I’m wandering along in life, I’ve had to encourage the style-aware part of me to take some reins. It’s a sad truth that the way we look greatly affects how we do in life. It’s why theories such as the Halo vs Horns affect exist. Sure there are exceptions to the rule, but vaguely speaking, we’re judged a lot by how we carry ourselves. I’m not horrendous looking, but I’m far from stunning. Add some frayed jeans and ill-fitted shirts, and I’m barely grazing a 5/10. Professionally speaking, I’m in need of a re-vamp.

I’m not good at this. It doesn’t come naturally. Yet, what in life really does? Even the creative of us need practice to affirm those skills, and those fresh out of school need a little guidance in a new work place. There’s rarely just ease. Not being a natural at something is a poor excuse. It means that getting to the finish line may take longer, but at least your staying in the race. I’m working on myself. On my confidence, my style and even my hair. I need to up my game in every department now that I’m pursuing this new life. Be honest in my efforts and commit to each little step that may get me closer to my goals. It may seen like an insignificant change, but if it can, in any way, vouch for my word on how much I want this, then it’s big enough for me.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.