HELEN MEAD: Adults need lessons in manners

HELEN MEAD: Adults need lessons in manners

HELEN MEAD: Adults need lessons in manners

First published in Helen Mead

I’ve just read a teens’ guide to good manners.

While it is all very useful — be punctual, don’t leave mobile phones on the table at mealtimes, look waiters in the eye, and say thank you, don’t talk about yourself all the time, don’t be a nasty person — I personally think such tips would be more usefully directed at adults.

I have two teenagers, and I meet a lot of their friends. While not perfect — particularly towards us parents — they are mostly polite and considerate.

Adults, on the other hand, are mostly not. I come across rude people on a daily basis. Barging and pushing, shouting, glaring, dropping litter, When I’m on the bus or train, it is usually an adult speaking loudly into a mobile phone.

Last week I sat half a carriage away from a man involved in a dispute with a holiday insurance firm. By the time I’d travelled from Bradford to Leeds I knew his medical history from birth, home address and bank account number.

I’m often in shops, standing behind people having conversations on their mobile phones or texting, while being served. This is so rude, yet it is common practice.

I’ve even seen this in the building society, when customers break off financial transactions to answer the phone, then have a lengthy chat, oblivious to the cashier and waiting customers.

Many adults are loathe to say thank you. I once helped a lost American tourist find her coach, driving around York for two hours until she finally recognised the drop-off spot and got out, without a word of thanks.

My daughter works in a cafe and says that, often, people never say thank you or even acknowledge her when she serves them or clears tables.

Almost on a daily basis I see adults dropping litter or throwing it from cars (with children in the back seats), I hear adults using foul language and see them spit in the street. In clothes shops I’ve seen adults pick up garments then drop them on the floor rather than hang them back up.

And how many adults do you know who love the sound of their own voice? I can name many who never listen to a word other people say, yet will spout on for hours about themselves. None of them are teenagers.

Teenagers do suffer from a sense of entitlement and crave overnight fame — which I blame squarely on the X-Factor. Having lived a little, adults thankfully lack this, but it does not stop them from being arrogant and rude.

As adults are the ones whose role it is to influence and inspire younger generations, surely it is them who need to learn some manners.

Comments (7)

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12:52pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Auntilol says...

It is not only manners that are needed, care and consideration come a close second. On Friday afternoon, returning to work after a meeting, I had the misfortune to fall on Blackburn Boulevard. My files and folders fell onto the pavement beside me. As I lay bleeding, people actually walked over me, even though they had seen me fall. Others laughed and walked around me, obviously in such a hurry to get to their destination, that they didn't want the inconvenience to help an older lady, lying bleeding on the pavement. I was eventually able to pick myself up - no thanks to the general public. thankfully I was not badly hurt, apart from my faith in humanity, which has taken a hard knock.
It is not only manners that are needed, care and consideration come a close second. On Friday afternoon, returning to work after a meeting, I had the misfortune to fall on Blackburn Boulevard. My files and folders fell onto the pavement beside me. As I lay bleeding, people actually walked over me, even though they had seen me fall. Others laughed and walked around me, obviously in such a hurry to get to their destination, that they didn't want the inconvenience to help an older lady, lying bleeding on the pavement. I was eventually able to pick myself up - no thanks to the general public. thankfully I was not badly hurt, apart from my faith in humanity, which has taken a hard knock. Auntilol
  • Score: 2

1:12pm Tue 22 Jul 14

333333 says...

The problem these days is that people are confused about what it is they should care for and what it is they are here to consider.
The problem these days is that people are confused about what it is they should care for and what it is they are here to consider. 333333
  • Score: 1

1:17pm Tue 22 Jul 14

333333 says...

Just fall in love with your own heart before you fall over and lose your balance again auntilol.
Just fall in love with your own heart before you fall over and lose your balance again auntilol. 333333
  • Score: -1

2:41pm Tue 22 Jul 14

333333 says...

People wait all their lives for that one message that will awaken the heart. They settle for slogans and buy into other messages and they pack their little heart away in a box, put it in the attic, and forget all about it.

Years and years and years go by without them knowing or understanding or even remembering that they packed their own little heart away in the attic in a box and it has just been sleeping in the attic in a box, waiting for the message to awaken.
People wait all their lives for that one message that will awaken the heart. They settle for slogans and buy into other messages and they pack their little heart away in a box, put it in the attic, and forget all about it. Years and years and years go by without them knowing or understanding or even remembering that they packed their own little heart away in the attic in a box and it has just been sleeping in the attic in a box, waiting for the message to awaken. 333333
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Tue 22 Jul 14

333333 says...

Try putting faith in your heart, if you are looking for somewhere to put it.
Try putting faith in your heart, if you are looking for somewhere to put it. 333333
  • Score: 0

5:25pm Thu 24 Jul 14

:-)*_=¬^(~+/@:-) says...

GURU MARAGI PREM WADAT
GURU MARAGI PREM WADAT :-)*_=¬^(~+/@:-)
  • Score: 1

11:00am Fri 25 Jul 14

333333 says...

25,550 days - youtube.
25,550 days - youtube. 333333
  • Score: 0

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