The Obsession with Being Impolite

20 Jul

 

All cultures have a set of rules that dictates what are socially acceptable actions. Politeness has its own set of guidelines that can progress and change. They also often vary depending on the relationship of the people involved.

Being politely is personally very important, but I’ve found that isn’t the case with a lot of people. Americans are often thought of as rude and demanding, and it is obvious why, but I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. As far as I’m aware, you should say please when you are asking someone to do something, and thank them when they do. You should excuse yourself if you burp. You should open doors for people. If someone says something to you, you respond. Don’t interrupt someone when they are talking. It is also polite to smile when you see someone on the street, and ask people how they are, but that might be just because I’m from a small town.

All of those things are standard for our culture, but why do we refuse to partake? I know so many people who refuse to excuse themselves when they burp, because “everyone does it, and its a perfectly normal bodily function.” That’s true, but you don’t see me running around naked when I go to the grocery store. Please and thank you are even more standard, but people seem to forget them. Just because someone’s job is to bring you food or serve you drinks doesn’t mean that you should not say please. Honestly, they don’t haveto do anything for you. We do things like this because they are polite, and well…because you don’t want anyone to spit in your food.

I can’t figure out if its because we are a young country, and this just might be in the course of development, or if its really just Americans. Do we feel so entitled that we just think we don’t need to be polite? Is it the obsession with being different just so overwhelming that we can’t be polite?

Do you think being polite is important? Is being impolite an American thing, or do you think its the same everywhere? Why do you think people are so impolite?

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