Day 330. My favorite four-letter word.
Sleep did not come easy last night due to an exchange about customer service on a dear friend’s Facebook page. The central issue, as I see it, is not poor customer service; it’s a lack of compassion for other people, whether or not they are customers. As far as I’m concerned it’s never acceptable to act like an insensitive troll; nor do I think that being nice is synonymous with impersonating a doormat. It’s not necessary to invest the considerable effort involved to be everyone’s BFF but everyone can afford to be kind.
I think women struggle more with being overly nice to avoid the potential alternative, which is to be considered bitchy. I also think that the best behavior is gender neutral, multidimensional, and not at all difficult; it merely requires a few active brain cells and a small amount of consideration. Focus on being compassionate, honorable, and true to yourself.
Here are a few resources on kindness, civility, manners, and how to behave well even when other people don’t:
I haven’t read this one but it sounds intriguing.
Dr. P.M. Forni is a professor and Director of The Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins University.
I love Judith Martin’s wit, sense of humor, and plain good sense. This is a hefty and substantial reference book.
This little book is remarkably useful for handling sticky real-life situations.
Fair warning: Lynne Truss is hysterical. Do not attempt to eat or drink anything while reading this. If you do you’re sure to make a mess.
The Emily Post Institute Etipedia offers a slew of well-organized articles on every etiquette topic.
Manners and standards of behavior are like language in that they are constantly evolving. I think kindness and civility are timeless, and unlike the good china, should be in constant daily use.
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