Tag Archives: manners

Please excuse me

“Please excuse me I have somewhere else I would rather be.”

OK, I wouldn’t really say it like that but I have thought it many times in certain social settings. I don’t know if it is my age or my increased need to honor my self and my time but it is getting easier to walk away from being in the wrong place with the wrong people. We all have been in a room and experienced difficulty with a personality that turns what is a respectful, inclusive conversation or meaningful/fun experience into an excluding, bad taste, ego centric show.

I often find myself in that moment checking in with my reaction, trying to center and recognizing that this person is bringing up feelings in me I may need to explore.  I may need to look deeper as to how I can better handle situations like this. But not right now!

Right now, I sit politely listening to a bunch of inappropriate jokes or life/relationship analysis; a laugh that comes first from their own mouth, followed by others who either agree or feel compelled to participate. I sit there and think…Who are you? I look around to see if anyone else appears to be asking the same question or is adjusting their body language to compensate for their real feelings about this person being in their space. In my estimation, some individuals believe it is there place to liven things up but usually are not good at assessing the crowd. I always wonder what makes them think it was needing their touch, humour or antics to begin with.

It is the lack of civility, respect for all individuals and manners (especially in the company of women), that bothers me most. Some of the worst examples of human behaviour are used to signify a persons arrival in the group, propped up by a large ego and a loud mouth. (They are either really comfortable with their own behaviour or are compensating for some issues that are unbeknownst to the rest of us.)

I used to go through my life just joining in, feeling compelled to be in with the crowd but I became closer to myself over these years, formed a relationship and understanding that is working well. I became less interested in fitting in and more interested in living in my truth. There are some things that are just not funny to me or don’t interest me… and that is OK.

In assessing my own physical and psychological reactions to such people or circumstances I have learned a lot. My reactions are slowly changing; a slow process as sometimes I feel as though I may have to bite my tongue, literally. Feeling comfortable not to engage is welcomed, and then the subsequent letting go of all emotions associated with the experience or person. It is extremely liberating to realize that we all have reasons for the way we act in any given circumstance but that we also have the power to simply walk away.

Trust me when I say, I am under construction in this department, many people coming to test my foundation. How I respond is an opportunity to learn. I can do without certain people in my life, more selective I guess. I don’t know what works for the rest of you but I know where I am heading.

So, if you go down a road I’m not willing to go, “Please excuse me, I have somewhere else I would rather be.

(This post was reflecting many social settings in the past and was not fully representing any one situation or person)

Unplug

This past Saturday night I was out at a restaurant and observed a family who had just been seated across from us. I noticed that the son had his IPod earpiece attached in his ear. Naturally, I thought this would be removed as he is about to dine with his family, but to my surprise this earpiece remained firmly implanted. This really bothered me!

What happen to manners? He is sitting at dinner table not a mall bench. How is his inactivity in conversation helping him? The dinner table is a good place to engage with people, not technology.  What are these parents thinking? Have we all gone mad and can not function without being plugged into something?

I see it all the time and wonder what would happen to people if they were unplugged. Unplugged from cell phones, IPods, computers and the television.

Would they begin to have more conversations with others around them? Would they hear the sounds of their world more clearer? If their home computer was off when they returned from work, what would the rest of their days and nights look like?

If the television was turned off would they get that project done they have been saying they have no time for? Would they begin to write that book they are always talking about? Would they be more physically active or more creative? What would they accomplish?

Within my own life I know how easy it is to plug in and tune out, but I have come to realize in doing this I am not truly living purposefully. We miss the language of life when our ears are plugged with devices. Common courtesy for the people around us is tossed aside. Acknowledgement of our surroundings is diminished and that can make us vulnerable. But most of all, we may sit back one day and say “I wish I had …”.

There are many addictions in this world but it appears some people have lost their ability to live a moment, a day, a week, a month without having that fix of the screen in front of their eyes or other technological devices attached to their ears. They spend countless hours tuned into other peoples creativity, business or dramatizations of life, family and careers. If you don’t think you are addicted, then try unplugging. If what you use is not for work purposes than shut it off.

Try to see how you physically feel when you unplug for a day, two days, a week or more. Did you have troubles knowing what to do with your time? Did it force you to talk with others in your family or your community? Did you get something done you previously could not finish? Did you find another way to vegetate or relax?

Observing that young man at the dinner table I couldn’t help but think that if plugging in or tuning out becomes the norm, we as a society will lose more than a conversation with those we love. I’m not anti-technology as some may believe, I’m using it right now, what I am is someone who knows to keep it in its place.