This month, I would like to speak about a topic that I am rather sensitive about as I see our society getting farther and farther away from this etiquette consideration. It is polite to be aware of who is within our “earshot” when speaking about certain topics or using particular language. Something that has most definitely changed in recent decades is the manner that women and men will speak in the presence of those of the opposite sex. It seems like today, there are little boundaries about conversation. Let me give you a few things to consider.
Gentlemen, it is not polite for you to speak about vulgar topics, use foul language, speak about gross or inappropriate things when you are in the presence or “earshot” of ladies. Recently, I was stuck on a crowded bus with two gentlemen standing right in front of me wearing prestigious suits and holding professional briefcases. They appeared to be quite the gentlemen. Then, they started speaking. They began a discussion, with me standing right in front of them that was anything but appropriate. I thought to myself, “wonder why they think it is OK to speak like that in front of me?” It was obvious, they didn’t respect me or themselves enough to watch their tongue in front of a lady. Let me remind us something about manners. Manners is NOT A LIST OF DO’S AND DON’TS. It is an OUTWARD EXPRESSION THAT SHOWS HOW WE FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES AND THOSE AROUND US. That’s why it matters.
Ladies, it is not polite to speak negatively about men, use foul or inappropriate language or speak of feminine health issues in the presence of gentlemen, especially those we do not have a close personal relationship with. As ladies, we want to seek helping those around us to feel comfortable and as we speak in a way that is kind, generous and gracious, others will be more comfortable in our presence.
Both ladies and gentlemen should be careful to keep their conversation positive, upbeat and cheerful when speaking at the dinner table and especially when conversing with others in casual conversation. We want to be a source of strength, encouragement and positive energy to others and the way we use our tongue will most definitely be a source of strength or a source of weakness to ourselves and others.
Let’s do our best to be aware of those around us when it comes to our language and speech. Yes, this is a free country and yes, you may say whatever you want to. Just because we can, does not mean we should. Restraint and respect are two traits that every gentleman and lady has. Do we?