# common courtesies # Etiquette

Common Courtesy Follow-Up Discussion

This week's video, Common Courtesy Etiquette Discussion, had such an electrifying response from The Daily Connoisseur community! I received hundreds of comments from readers who had common courtesy stories to share. There were encouraging stories of hope and horrifying stories of etiquette disasters. If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure to check the comments on YouTube, the blog and social media.

Today, I wanted to do a quick follow-up discussion to address a few popular topics from the comments:

- What do you do with unwanted attention from someone you have extended common courtesy to?

- How do you maintain safety while using common courtesies?

- Is rudeness more prevalent in big cities?

- Male roles in society with regard to the modern woman.

- What is a teacher with disrespectful students to do?

- and lastly... Where did all the gentlemen go? (Hint: It's where all the ladies went!)

Check out this special bonus video for the answers to these questions and more. If you cannot see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Tomorrow, Friday, April 15th, the Czech edition of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic is released. Thank you to all of the Czech readers for embracing the Madame Chic books. I hope you enjoy this latest edition!

Comments of the Week

There were so many comments that I could have chosen for this post. It's nearly impossible to choose! Thank you for all of your stories and wonderful insights. Here are two interesting ones to think about:

Emily G writes: Thank you for taking up this torch! About two years ago, the art teachers at my son's school did such a good job hosting the school art show, I could tell a lot of work went into it. So I wrote the organizers a thank you note. A few days later after sending the note, I ran into the art teacher and she told me that I was the first parent in 14 years to write her a thank you note. I was stunned.

Hi Emily, I love thank you notes for this very reason. They really do mean a lot to the recipient, especially in this day and age where fewer and fewer people send them.

Stephanie W. writes: I am so glad you spoke about this today. I would like to share a story. I was listening to the radio one day and the host of the show was talking about how he tried to hold the door open for a woman coming into the gas station behind him and she proceeded to chew his head of for holding the door open for her. For the next hour the program took calls and other people told their similar stories... I think there are some people who would normally help someone but have been bullied into thinking they are wrong for doing so. I think it is very important to show gratitude in these types of situations. You really don't know who is watching.

Hi Stephanie, this is very interesting! I would love to have listened to that show to hear what the callers had to say. Be sure to watch today's video because I do touch on this subject.

As always, I would love to hear from you. Let me know what your thoughts are on the subjects discussed in today's video. Have a wonderful weekend and I will see you next week!

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Amanda Garcia said...

I love this video and it's predecessor. I can completely relate to Natalie. I taught 6th and 7th grade for almost three years and just recently left for another position in the business world. Students can show little to no courtesy and for a teacher, it becomes more about survival in a hostile working environment rather than an opportunity to make a difference. I am in a unique position as my daughter is a student at the school where I used to teach and now that I work a regular full time job, I have so much more free time and am able to go in and volunteer. I frequently run into former students who tell me what they liked most about my class was the 'life lessons' that I taught them. I have suggested this in our family counsel meetings and we are in the process of setting up 'ladies' and 'gentlemen' clubs for next year, specifically to teach things like etiquette, fashion, manners and poise. Students may be resistant but the truth is, being poised and elegant is a powerful tool that will help you, not only enjoy your life, but to get further in it.

Lily said...

Hello Jennifer,
I live in a small community in England where it is quite normal to greet each other as we pass in the street. If I go to London though it is quite different. I have to remember not to give eye contact to anyone, especially on the tube, which seems to mark you as a bit of a nut! I would say that in most cities in England people tend to get on with their own business, ignoring others for the most part and moving at quite a speed while they are doing so! Dithering is frowned upon and woe betide if you are standing on the wrong side of the escalator when people want to pass by. I believe that the speed of life is part of the reason that common courtesy is not practiced. People are in a hurry, they are stressed and they simply do not have time to notice others. At least we still queue! We are famous for our sense of justice in a queue! The last bastion of good manners :)

Ruth said...

Hi, Jennifer. Thank you for your reminder about extending courtesies to others. My story is a reminder of the importance of receiving the courtesy graciously as well. I sometimes forget I'm 68,and am seen by others as an older woman. My older sister and I were traveling on a busy bus recently. She found a seat but I was standing. A young person kindly offered me her seat, and I thanked her, but declined, telling her I was only going a short distance and was quite comfortable standing. Later, my sister quite rightly corrected me, saying when this occurs I should graciously accept the offer because if the offer is refused, the next time the situation arises, the young person may not make the offer.

Susan Watson said...

Thank-You so very much for taking the time to answer my question about staying poised and dealing with people who overstep their bounds and exhibit unwanted attention when common courtesy is extended. Your thoughts are so very helpful to me. As a matter of fact, trusting my gut and using common sense has been my strategy in these situations, but I feel such a sense of relief in hearing this same advice from you. Now that I come to think about it, I experience many more appropriate responses to common courtesy than inappropriate responses. From now on, I am going to focus on the good experiences and try not to let the negative experiences frustrate me. I intend to be courteous as often as I can!
Thank-You so much for your books, your blog, and all of the good work you do!

Valerie Christina said...

Hello Jennifer,
Your posts are so helpful and seem to be just what I need to hear at the right moment. I related to you story of someone getting a little too close after your courteous behavior. This past week while waiting for the bus a man asked where I work. Mind you I've seen him before he's harmless and all I said was in a dental office. He had some questions and I did my best to answer. I let him know I am only a hygienist not a Dr. I looked up a place that takes Medicare that I knew of and let him use a pen to write it down. Well, then on the bus he came towards me with insurance questions and I had enough I had to put up that wall, I think he got the picture and backed off, but I felt almost guilty for not doing more. Your video helped confirm for me I wasn't rude for letting him know I had done all I could to help. Your books, blog and videos are so fun and helpful. I made the vinegar and lavender cleaning spray today and love it! I also have found using affirmations to be a big help on my overall well being. Thank you!

Sherry Johnson said...

Yesterday I shopped at Target and bought several heavy items. The cashier filled the plastic bags an left them on the end of the counter. I politely asked if she would put them in my cart. Whereupon I was informed it NOT part of her job to do so. I asked if that wasn't part of customer service and she drifted away. Another clerk overheard me and she offered to help. I am a 70 year old lady with sciatic problems. Never before have I had anyone refuse to put bags in my cart. Maybe I won't shop at target again.

Jana said...

Hello Jennifer,
thank you for your great blog, videos, ideas and basically the reminders of good manners. And thank you for your information about releasing the czech translate of your latest book. I am Czech currently living abroad, but I was really glad the last two summers to buy your book, while be back at home during my holidays. so I have something extra to look forward to.

Madeleine Lawrence said...

Hi Jennifer,

I work with young music students as an accompanist and teacher. After 30 years doing this I can honestly say manners have changed. When I started teaching, without fail most students would thank you at the end of the lesson. These days, 9 out of 10 don't.

So a few years ago I made an etiquette sheet with fun cartoons and handed it out to students. It covered such courtesies as arriving on time, thanking the teacher, not wiping your nose with your hand (yes, really! Many students do this and it is germy!), and waiting quietly whilst the student still having a lesson is playing.

In addition to this, when I have new little students, at the end of the first lesson I actually say to them, this is what we do at the end of the lesson: you say to me, thank you for my lesson. I then say to you, you're very welcome. Then we say goodbye. I found that doing this has really worked, and also put an end to my frustration at being treated with poor manners.

Aside from parents not teaching manners, I think a huge issue is the tv and social media teens are exposed to. You will not see many examples of poise and good manners via these mediums.


PS in my country town (a university town of about 25,000) manners are alive and well :-)

Lisa said...

Thank you, thank you for speaking to teachers. It is an uphill battle and I so appreciate your words of hope and encouragement. I work in the special education field and there are so, so many of my students that come from disfunctional homes with such sad lives. It is discouraging to say the least. Your words have given me hope and a resolve to show forth love and poise even under the most trying of circumstances.

Emma Knight Peel said...

I wonder if teachers could set their classroom rules from day one (or starting today) where they tell the class basically, "This is my classroom. While you are here, you will address me as Ms. ____ and raise your hand if you wish to speak. You will not curse or complain, etc." And, give them a few examples of the opposite, proper behavior. I don't know what's allowed anymore, or if small punishments could be given, like in the old days (standing in a corner, staying in for recess, writing sentences a hundred times, etc.) My generation refused to grow up, so they're raising children raised by big children without rules. It's so embarrassing and disappointing.

Sylvie said...

Thank you, Jennifer, for presenting this forum and encouraging this discussion. I think I may have a tip for other mothers of young children. I am the mother of two young sons. My husband and I are trying to facilitate an environment that reinforces common courtesy as "normal" and doing so is rather challenging. One of my attempts to provide peers and role modeling (in addition to their dad and other examples that show up in real life) is to record "Leave It to Beaver" and "The Andy Griffith Show" and play them while I prepare dinner. I feel (hope) this adds some balance to some of the poor behavior they witness in real life and on other shows. While the young characters aren't always perfect, rarely do they show anything but respect and politeness when interacting with adults. In addition, the adults generally demonstrate good manners and common courtesies when interacting with each other. There are so few television shows or movies where kids can see other kids (12 and under) demonstrating good manners. I can only imagine what the challenge will as they move into teenage years.

Natalie Schultz said...

Dear Jennifer,

It meant so much to me that you featured my comment/question about how to deal with disrespectful students. I value your opinion so much. In all honesty, I teared up when you spoke to me, and all teachers for that matter, when you said that we may be the only ones to model poise and courtesy to some students. You're exactly right and your response is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for responding to me and for everything you do.

Natalie Schultz

Iris said...

Greetings from a Czech reader :)
I'm really glad I discovered your book, it's really interestig to me to read how an American sees European culture. I like it very much.
Reminds me of visiting United States last year, curiously discovering your way of living)