…You know you want to
There I was on a Monday night, washing up the pots, pans and dishes I used in making and serving dinner for my family, people who at this time were ‘chilling’ in different parts of the house with their tummies well fed, hardly aware that anybody is washing their dishes. I had only managed to remove my work clothes before quickly making dinner and I still had not eaten at this time *Not like I’m about to complain or anything*. I actually love being so helpful and making everybody happy.
I’m washing everything as quickly as possible so I can be in front of the TV early enough to catch the opening theme song of my favourite soap opera (one of those hopelessly romantic TV dramas). Just when I’m about to rinse my hands and wear that smug super woman look on my face, our neighbour’s son who was spending the night at ours comes in with his plates and drops them right in the sink. As usual, I’m cool with it because this is what I do. But then he makes it even better when he says with a big smile; ‘Thank you’. My, was I pleased! I felt like I had just been rewarded for all the hard work I do.
Just as he made to step out of the kitchen, I got to thinking about the issue that this post is really about. *Yea, sorry, the post is not about kitchen chores or romantic soap operas*
Here it is:
We all just love it when people are polite to us, even when we weren’t expecting them to be. Whether it’s a ‘thank you’ or more exaggeratedly, ‘could you kindly do your job’, we are better motivated by politeness and kind words.
As much as we love it though, we do not all give politeness and kind words in the same indiscriminate measure that we desire it. This is where my theory of selective/insincere politeness comes in.
Back to the story:
Just as he was leaving the kitchen, I called out, “Wade, would you have said ‘thank you’ like that if it was your sister”
With a sarcastic twist in his face and a bounce in his stride as he turned to walk out, I heard his reply loud and clear “Nope!”
Instantly, I knew that the ‘thank you’ was for show and not a true expression of sincere gratitude as I had hoped. Oh well, maybe I’m asking for too much.
Too many of us are more comfortable being polite to strangers than our close friends and family. I guess this is because the strangers do not know us and we don’t want to leave a bad impression or worse still, we need their assistance. Close family and friends will get over it. Wrong!
Some people don’t even realise that they have been rude when talking to strangers. Why should they care? They might never see each other again. Wrong again!
Whoever said it was ok to not thank mum for the delicious meal she spent hours cooking just because she’s your mum and that’s her job or who said it was alright to snap your fingers rudely at the waiter at that fancy restaurant where you spend more than the waiter’s salary on food? Not acceptable!
Practice politeness with your family and friends who would easily forgive you if you were not polite. Also practice with common strangers who naturally expect you to be dancing on the edge of rudeness. Above all, make sure you mean it. It will melt their hearts like it does yours.
Ever met a stranger who was rude? Do share.