Monday, November 3, 2014

Manners Monday – Launching #daretobepolite

What’s the manner with people? Rarely does a day go by without someone doing something or saying something to upset us. It may come in the form of an insensitive comment disguised as constructive criticism. Or a rude remark designed to elevate themselves and put down another. Sometimes it’s a piece of gossip for pure entertainment purposes. Other times it’s an unfiltered observation pointing out a serious character flaw.  And oftentimes, it’s a blatant lack of respect for our time, our money or our commitment. At what point did we turn into such a nasty, negative, cutthroat, backstabbing, dishonest and competitive society?

What ever happened to polite? When passersby would greet one another with a knowing nod and smile. When sitting down to dinner meant giving your undivided attention to your dining partners. When a suitor called the object of their affection on the telephone to arrange a date. When an act of kindness was acknowledged with a handwritten thank you note.  

The #daretobepolite campaign is designed to wake up the nation and raise awareness on the importance of politesse and good manners. For the next three months, we will be challenging (daring) the public with three separate 21-day campaigns. Why 21 days each?  Because it takes 21 days to form a new habit and we want these skills to stick.  November launches the campaign with the very basics, otherwise known as first impressions, focusing on how we look, how we sound, and how we behave. December, at the height of holiday season, is devoted to the vast realm of dining and entertaining.  January, we begin the New Year by examining communication in all its forms whether spoken, written or electronically transmitted.

Now, please do not get me wrong. I do not espouse on a pedestal looking down shaming everyone else.  I turn the mirror on myself with every intention to walk the talk. I am the first to admit that I am a work in progress and that I actively practice polite.  I am in the trenches with you, so let’s take the first step together. Shall we?

Step 1/Week 1: First Impressions: How we look.  The first thing people notice is appearance. They sum us up in the first few seconds before one single syllable has been uttered from our mouths.  Everything from our posture and gait to our grooming and attire is being scrutinized.  Is our outfit too revealing or too schoolmarmish?  Are we well-kempt or disheveled?  Do we have any noticeable bad habits?  We are all very quick to judge. We can't help it, we're human. However, we’re not talking about the vacuous pursuit of vanity, rather more about taking pride in the way we look which shows respect for oneself, as well as others, and has a direct positive influence on our relationships whether dressing for a job interview, a first date or a social function. For the next seven days, we are focusing on outward appearance from our skin, hair and nails down to our clothing and accessories. We’ll dissect style guidelines, which wardrobe staples are best, and fashion faux pas to avoid along with a few tips on exercise and diet. We’d also love to hear from you.  Share with us your photos and videos, post your personal do’s and don’ts. Our polite armor sets the tone and is the foundation for virtually everything. Join us now! Make the vow to #daretobepolite!  

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