Politeness Shouldn’t be Selective


Manners are something that just comes natural with some people. Sometimes it amazes me to see it in some people and not others in the same family. I was expected to be nice and say no sir and no ma’am and thank you along with excuse me. I always said please and thank you, and didn’t find it odd that these simple adages were expected of me; it was part of how I was raised, and it went a long way to showing mutual respect for another person by being polite to them.

The amazing part is some people are downright offensive to you using manners. They freak out, they cuss you out, they demean you for doing something your parents told you was the right thing to do. Elderly ladies don’t like to be call ma’am for many reasons and one of them it makes them sound old. Hmm. Politeness shouldn’t be selective, it should be given to everybody regardless of age, position in society or skin color. It shows you want to show respect.


I just don’t understand the reasoning behind becoming offended by, or being opposed to, being called ma’am or sir. I understand that in our society, which constantly struggles for progress, some people may see it as archaic in nature, an unnecessary representation of inferiority to another person or some other such intellectual nonsense that makes everybody’s head hurt. However, it’s insulting that the respect you show somebody is thrown right back at you, like he or she rejects your show of politeness just because his or her idea of what being polite means differs from yours. You’re left wondering how to respond to them while foregoing everything you have been taught to do when addressing another person. It’s offensive to be told that your show of respect isn’t accepted, and makes you feel as if it isn’t returned, either.

I once opened the door for two ladies going into a department store and one of them stopped and told me she could open her own d___ door. I just looked and her and said, ” I’m sorry for trying to be polite.” She didn’t respond.

I’m not going to stop practicing politeness because people may no longer expect it.