Did you ever hear the phrase “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? Translation: treating people well never goes out of style.
A couple of months ago, I was driving down a major highway in the pouring rain. Even though I was running late for my meeting, I was not speeding. When I changed lanes to get out of the way of a Mack truck who was riding herd on my tail lights, I was shifting gears (yes, I drive a stick shift), and a state trooper came up from behind. As the lights on his car started twirling, my heart started racing, and sure enough, it was me he was pulling over. UGH.
I rolled the window down and the first words out of my mouth were, “I’m so sorry officer, what did I do”? He was very nice and responded: “I think you were texting and driving.” “Oh, no Sir”, I replied, “I was shifting gears to get out of the way of the truck who was tailgating me, and I must have looked down for a moment.” Registration and insurance IDs were produced, and after a few minutes, he came back and very kindly told me he was giving me a warning, and to just be more careful.
Which leads me to using please and thank you. How hard is it to insert please before ordering your morning joe at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? And why is it even harder to say thank you? In our haste to get where we have to be or get what we what to have, we sometimes forget to the niceties in life. The reality is, being considerate of other’s feelings, whether it’s I’m sorry, or please and thank you, good manners never go out of style.
I am not suggesting we can always find our way out of a situation by apologizing, but I guarantee hostile confrontation never diffuses a situation. When you do something wrong, or you hurt someone’s feelings, try saying “I’m sorry”. Not only is it healing to both parties,it allows you and the person you apologized to move on with dignity. As far as please and thank you, we can never say enough please and thank yous to the people who serve us, like us or love us.
Give theses phrases a try. Hopefully there will be more pleases and thank yous than I’m sorrys. Doesn’t matter, as long as long as you start practicing!