Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to "Weather" the Weather - with Consideration!

Yes, this is the back of my really dirty car!  I know , I know - I don't ever go to the car wash so I should not own a white car!  What I'm showing you is clearly not how much I loathe going to the car wash - it's my bumper sticker.

It's a one-of-a-kind....or I should say a two-of-a-kind.  My Mom had two of them custom-made on a website....and sent me one. So there is one driving around Asheville and one driving around Greenwich.  We both get so many comments, I can't even begin to tell you. People love it and always ask where I got it. I should probably start selling them on my website with the placemats!

I said I planned to blog about real-life experiences - so this week, I wanted to talk about the importance of a specific behavioral trait - being nice.  Emily Post placed emphasis in her 700+ page book, Etiquette, on a person's  "instinctive

consideration for the feelings of others" and she wrote that this is the only real credential one needs in order to be included as a member of "society."  Really, the central message in her book was that how we treat others is much more important than a fancy street address or a last name (what others may think "society" means).  She said it does not really matter if someone makes a mistake in their manners  - the real mistake would not be treating those around you with consideration and kindness.  Emily Post believed that to purposefully cause distress to others is the exact opposite of what "good manners" means.

1) It's bad mood weather out there.  So, take a deep breath and think about the people around you.  People hate the cold and the snow.  People hate what the snow has done to parking lots and streets.  You can barely park on our town's main roads and in the main parking lots because there is so much snow....I am running across very very grouchy and touchy people and drivers when I'm out these days.  My husband even came home from an errand this week and said he is not going downtown again until the snow melts (meaning Spring)....that people are really being nasty.  Especially when we have our children with us, we need to be role models and show them how to behave kindly and nicely toward others.  We really need to watch our behavior during these months of bad weather when people are in terrible moods....and exemplify that we can "weather" it all by simply being nice!

2) In my Emily Post training, we learned to teach there are three basic principles that are the basis to all manners - Respect, Consideration, and Honesty.  
  • Respect is caring for and UNDERSTANDING others - being able to  understand that other people are coming to a situation with different feelings and experiences than you might have. 
  • Consideration is being sensitive to how your actions and words will affect others.  
  • And Honesty is more than "not telling a lie".  Honesty, in terms of manners, is finding the truth and being able to communicate the truth in a positive way. 

Even if you can't remember the "appropriate manner,"  keeping these three underlying principles in mind will always lead you to do the right thing.  And remember, being nice won't just benefit the other person - it will benefit you too.  You'll feel better for helping someone else have a better day!


  1. I think you and your mother should produce many more of your bumper stickers, Jilly.....we ALL need them. Pretty please?!??!?!

  2. Wonderful Jill! On today's topic, I think you'll enjoy two of the maxim's in my family of origin. From my mother Bess, "Kindness and consideration are the hallmark of good breeding." And from my father Bob, "Maturity is the ability to think of the other guy first." Still working on being as nice as my roots!

  3. I need one of those bumper stickers too! If only to remind myself to be nice when I'm driving too. Let us know when you have them for sale.

  4. The way Jill's mommy drives she needs to have that bumper sticker to survive the street scene. However she does have "lovely manners". Love you Uncle Mackie.

  5. Did anyone see the article in the Wall Street Journal this week, entitled As Weather Worsens, So Do Manners. You can read it online on the WSJ website!


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