By Naheed Ashraf

I wonder how many of us would agree when asked if they have ever been in situation where they wished they had a pellet instead of tongue. A bit harsh, but let us admit we all have been thrown in or witnessed such instances courtesy the colourful human breeds we mingle with.  If only we can be a bit more courteous and  follow some basic social etiquettes life can be more pleasant –  for us as well as those around us!

Here’s a quick crash course on what to avoid, my version.

Me, myself and I: No interaction should solely be based on a me, myself and I . Unfortunately if you are at the receiving end, you are left craving for a “YOU”.  I tend to shut my mental clock on such conversationalists and enjoy the bliss it brings.

Telephone monsters: Then there are those who constantly multi-task during a phone call, much to your annoyance. They will be screaming at kids, vacuuming, gulping the food down or just won’t be there to hear what you are saying. Block them or at least ignore their calls when you see their number if you want to be at peace

Needling / whining:  Have you even screamed at someone in your head to stop being a drama queen? We have infinite things to be grateful for in life. Your search for a good house help, missing things, loads of laundry, clammy weather making your hair stick out doesn’t warrant sympathy so get your act together and deal with them.  Also FYI, I understand why some of your friends avoid you, I am looking for an invisibility cloak as well.

You know it all: We get it, but don’t test our patience and stop your never ending interjections. It is totally acceptable to pull Aunty Acid on them and say “If you have comments, please raise your hands and put them on your lips”.

World owes you nothing: and neither do we and your need for instant gratification/ applause in life are totally unwarranted.  Ever been introduced to the words“Earn it”?

BOSSY: Your interest in my life and that of others is acceptable ONLY to a certain point.  I as well as many others are perfectly capable of selecting pattern for our dresses,  school for our  kids, colour scheme for our homes and don’t need your lecture on  what we should or shouldn’t have said or done every time.

Assumptions, give them a rest: Don’t assume things or read between the lines all the time. Personally I find this the worst of the lot. You are not an archaeologist and we a historical site; you don’t need to dig deep to find hidden meanings “she /he said that but actually meant…” all the time.  

Moral policing:  There is also a tendency for some that the minute they bring change in THEIR life, they feel it is an obligation to lecture others about it as well. Worst among these, with due respect, are the religious constables. Again  I apologize but people, your faith is for you and you alone if anything impress others with your actions, not words. I recently had the misfortune of a meeting which  ended just shy of her calling me  a sinner. I was told that I will be  pulled in hell because my hair was not covered, my loosely fitted shirt was enticing  whereas her abaya was a beautifully embroidered figure hugging piece. I  felt like throwing her in the ditch first and then turning my life around – the idea was very pleasant for some reason .

Thank You/Please: Get a grip, it’s a myth not a reality that your face would crack in two if you use these words. Unfortunate as it is, there are many who are devoid of this simple etiquette. Worst are the ones who receive a gift/ help in cash or kind and act nonchalant. What manners are you passing on to your next generation?

Sorry: Don’t apologize with a mouth splitting grin – if you  end up in a sorry state I am not apologizing for it either! Also,  do not attend a funeral or a grievance congregation and try to be funny. This is completely disrespectful and we may have to visit you for that blunder – in the hospital.

These are just a few of many things that we can do to make life simple and social interactions pleasant.  Some more that can be added are table manners , pick your own litter,  save the sarcasm for yourself  …. do you have some more to add to this list?

About the author:

Naheed Ashraf is mom to a beautiful three year old rogue . She loves to read, rant and is often in trouble due to faulty filters!