The Decline of Etiquette

Mannerisms and Etiquette have taken a downturn turn, and become a thing of the past in today's society.Reminder of how people were, versus how they are now

In today’s society, etiquette is totally lost.

Maybe it’s from the new inventions of smartphones, internet, and social media. Maybe it’s lessons, that were once passed through the generations, lost in translation over time. But it seems like people today, lack the basic mannerisms and proper etiquette that was once considered a norm.

Since when did we stop…

For instance: when did people stop RSVP’ing? It used to be that when you received an invitation, you sent back an RSVP (if you were coming), or politely declined. All of this was done by paper mail 20 years ago, but email and social media has made it incredibly easier to plan events and invite guests. But the correspondence between the hosts and the party has declined…most don’t ever respond with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, making it harder on hosts to determine who’s actually coming. And even if they did, you can’t always go by the guest list of those who sent back their RSVP, because half of them don’t follow through (and you can’t depend on them to tell you when plans change.) All too often we have heard of Newlywed’s missing most of their guest list because of lack of communication (or even too many guests showing up unannounced!) and children’s birthday parties becoming lonely events because someone couldn’t decline properly. It’s a headache for hosts, to plan for one number of guests or another, to have the outcome be as unexpected, not to mention the financial strain of paying for those who don’t show (and those who do that didn’t say they were coming!).

Then there are the types who can’t make a “plan.” I’m a plan person-call or message me ahead of time (and by ahead I mean not an hour before…like maybe a few days at the shortest notice) and let me know what’s going on. I’ll tell you whether or not I can make it. if something happens, I’ll let you not not to expect me. But so many people I know want to get angry because I won’t commit to something you invited me to five minutes before it was time to go. I get angry when I don’t have enough details to make a decision (“come hang out” isn’t a plan. I need details-where we going, how long will it take…people with kid’s need to know these things. One: for babysitters, Two: In case of emergencies so others know how to contact us!), and people get offended that I didn’t commit to vague plans. Once you have kids, you can’t just “see where the night will take you.” Your night isn’t ever that long, and you usually have things to do afterwards (again, I need details because of other plans…like my responsibilities). 

And when you do go out, be polite. Try to interact with other members of your party, even if you don’t know them. As a member of the RBFC (Resting Bitch Face Club), people often think I might be standoffish or stuck up, so even when I try to say ‘hello’ to strangers or acquaintances I don’t really know, while amongst friends; they don’t talk to me. They don’t have to. But I have to at least try to initiate conversation. That’s being polite. or you are standoffish and rude. Too often I’ve had friends of mine say “Well, the only one I know here is you, so I’m not talking to anyone else.” And they scowl. And play on their phone. And refuse interaction. If you don’t want to talk to me after I’ve introduced myself,smiled, and was polite, then that’s on you. But I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to talk to someone who shows no interest in the other’s around them and acts like they don’t want to be there. Anxiety is one thing…being rude is another.

Speaking of rude, what ever happened to ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you?’ I see it in adults, and especially children. No one ever remembers these simple polite etiquette terms. They ask for something, like where the soda’s are or if they can have a cupcake-without ever saying Please. And take…without ever muttering Thank You. Children who are never taught this, become adults who have never learned it. And it just becomes part of the great Circle of Life we all know and love.

Today’s Reality

It’s sad, but it’s true. Some people just don’t know how to socialize in a kind and polite way. It can be inconvenient, disheartening, and downright infuriating at times. That’s why I think it’s important to practice being courteous-and teach courtesy. You can change a room’s atmosphere with your presence. And maybe if you are nice and polite enough, you can encourage others to be. One can hope, anyway…

I’ll start with my child. Maybe if enough people teach their kids and practice manners themselves, we can pull out of the etiquette slump.

Mannerisms and Etiquette have taken a downturn turn, and become a thing of the past in today's society.Reminder of how people were, versus how they are now

Author: Jasmine

SAHM to one little boy, and wife to a former member of the USMC. I blog about parenting, relationships, brands I love, and product reviews!

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