Simple rules

Cliques can be deadly and mean girls need to grow up!Darlings no one is perfect. I know I am not. But, all too often chances are lost or situations are made worse for want of a little charm and good manners. These simple rules can help you to avoid pitfalls, brighten lives, seize opportunities, and maybe even catch a lucky break.

Be on time

When you are late, you are saying to the other person, “my time is more valuable than yours.” It’s rude, dismissive, and can be costly. No one ever got a job by being late. Interviewers say tardiness is the kiss of death. Those who are late to dinner more than three times by more than 15 minutes are off my list. Chronic lateness can be a relationship killer. Your friend may not say so, but no one likes to be kept waiting.
 
Learn to add 30 minutes to your travel time, until you are always early. Bring work to do while you wait, if you arrive a bit early. Never arrive early at a hostess door –find somewhere to wait. Remember, no one is important enough to keep anyone waiting all the time.
 
If you are on occasion unavoidably late, call and apologize. And don’t make it habit.
 
The best time to arrive for a business meeting is five minutes early. Too early, and you look desperate. Right on time is too close. And, being late sends negative messages about how important the meeting is to you.
 
Be discreet or people will avoid you like Hyacinth BucketBe discreet
Don’t gossip or repeat other people’s conversations. It’s cheap and shoddy.
 
Try not "broker" information or over-share – it looks needy.
 
Those going through hard times appreciate discretion. I will never forget a friend thanking me at her husband’s funeral. It had come to her attention that even though I had known of her husband’s illness for many months, I had not discussed it with anyone. It would never have occurred to me to do so.
 
Don’t be the town crier. Let others have the joy of sharing their own good news, too. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak well of friends. Go ahead and boost your loved ones. 
 
Keep personal details personal. No one wants or needs to know the details of your finances, sex life, or digestion. Darlings, there is a reason they call it “TMI – too much information!” People may listen politely, but they often feel uncomfortable or even violated. And if the person you are unloading to is in a position to advance your career or recommend you, they probably won’t. Save personal confidences and candid opinions for very close friends.
 
Think twice before spreading bad news. You will be ruining someone’s day and they may not thank you for it. Let someone else tell the manager about the broken toilet or report the rude waiter. Just smile and get on with your day!
 
Be inclusive
Everyone has been “the new person.”  It’s awkward to walk into a room where everyone knows everyone else, and no one says “hello” or includes you in the conversation. It’s mean-spirited and ill-mannered as well.
 
So darlings, be the one who says “hello.” Include everyone in the locker-room or luncheon conversation. It’s little enough to do to help a new person feel at home. You may feel shy or awkward initiating a conversation, but take a deep breath and get on with it. Most people will love you for it.
 
I remember a New Eve’s party in Vietnam years ago when travel by foreigners was still quite new. Our beachfront hotel had gone to some trouble to arrange a “western” style party for all the foreign guests. Their New Year would be a few weeks later. There were about 12 of us, all from different countries standing about silently. Finally with help of very nice older Scandinavian lady, we got everyone chatting in polyglot of languages.
 
A few weeks later when my husband and I were on stranded on China Beach in Da Nang, without a taxi in sight. We ran in to our Scandinavian friends from the New Year’s party. They drove us home.
 
I wish I could tell you that no will ever snub you. But I can’t. You may run into a boor now and then, but don’t let it bother you. You can’t control how others behave, but you can refuse to let them get you down. Let’s face it, no one really likes a “mean girl,” so forget the “cool” high school clique behavior and be friendly.
 
Be kind
Cut people a little slack. Bite your tongue and hold back if you are ready to blast someone. They may be having a bad day. If they keep on misbehaving, you can deal with them when you cool off.
 
Don’t correct people, especially in a group or at party. It’s obnoxious. No one likes it.
 
Never interrupt anyone’s story to argue a little point. It ruins the moment and is the height of bad manners. If someone mispronounces a word or gets the year wrong, let it go! If you need to correct some one you mentor, be sure the two of you are alone.
 
Try to handle bad service and other small inconveniences with humour and compassion. Everyone is overworked these days. Good humour usually gets you further.
 
Kindness is a balm that soothes the soul and helps to heal the world.
 
Be ready
When you leave you home you never know who you might meet or what opportunity could come your way. Be ready. Never leave your home looking like an unmade bed or feeling like a pile of unwashed laundry. Present yourself to world as you want to be seen.
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