Sunday, November 13, 2005

Can't We All Be Nice to Each Other?

When I was teaching, I would hear my students use the phrase, "SHUT UP!" when they wanted a classmate to be quiet. I would always have a conversation with them where I would tell them that there are always two ways to say something...the nice way and the mean way. For example, if you say "SHUT UP!" or if you say, "Can you please be quiet?" The same response is going to happen except with the first, the person will be mad at you but be quiet and second, the person will just be quiet. This rule applies most of the time.

I would like to have this discussion with adults. Why do adults have such a hard time communicating in a respectful manner.

I know sororities have a bit of a bad reputation in this day and age, but I learned a lot by being in a sorority. I was not the typical sorority girl. I just really enjoyed living in a beautiful house with a great cook. I liked that there were always some social gathering to go to or girls to sit up late and have a chat. I could have done without a lot of things that were part of the sorority, but the greatest tool that I took from my four years in a sorority was how to learn, live, work, and communicate with a variety of personalities. When you have so many personalities, a person needs to learn a variety of communication styles in order to get from these people what I wanted or needed.

We always had weekly meetings at the sorority house where we took care of the 'business' of the week. At the end of a meeting, people could share issues, celebrations, or personal 'traumas' that were going on in their lives. Some women would go on and on screaming their heads off because they were mad about something or at somebody. This never seemed to solve any problem. I usually listened. I never could figure out why people would take a public forum or meeting to tell someone if they had a problem with them.

So, even at age 29 and no longer living in a sorority house, I see this kind of display of communication that yields nothing but frustration and anger. I understand that people get frustrated and what to vent their feelings, but for pete's sake, close the door and find a confidant. Or, even better, go up to that person and tell them what has been bothering you, but please wait until you have had sometime to think about it.

Are there different standards for conduct depending on the business we are, retail, education, social...or can we just use one standard? Hopefully, a higher standard. I think I am at my best in a professional setting. I have always used a respectful manner when addressing any problems or issues, but like anyone, I can let my behavior slip and start to go off on someone...usually in my personal life. I know this was a bit high and mighty, but I just wanted to complain and reflect a little on this. It has been on my mind this week.

1 comment:

Dree said...

I think social skills are severely lacking today, for both adults and children. I often see our students talking back, being disrespectful, having an attitude when something doesn't go their way... and then I meet their parents, and I see them acting the same way. Children learn what they live. It's a shame that peopple aren't being held to higher standards.