Speaking with Acquaintances VS Loved Ones

In parallel with the previous post about being blessed – I noticed something at work today.

I’ve a colleague who was previously in a position where she had to liaise with customers all the time. She is absolutely brilliant on the phone. She has amazing phone etiquette and she speaks to cold callers, service providers, etc with extreme courtesy.

I adore her. I really admire her ability to make small talk, her ability to make others comfortable around her, her comfort with her job, in her own skin, her faith in running, how she juggles work and family, etc.

Her husband’s currently abroad, and I think they hit a slightly rough patch. So when he called the other day, she switched to a clearly irritable-sounding tone.

And then it hit me because I think we’re all guilty of it. How is it that we speak with acquaintances in a nicer manner than when with loved ones?

I mean – do we care about strangers on the streets? Do we care about our customers? Do we care about the acquaintances? Do we care about the colleagues we make small talk with? Do we care about them as much as our loved ones? How is it that we’re extremely nice to them instead?

Even if we’re having a bad day, we still mask it in front of others. But with our loved ones, we let it show. We let it all out. I’m upset, and I want you to know it. But in some ways, that seems really sad to me.

I’m not saying I’d rather mask my feelings when with my loved ones. I definitely would rather let them know what’s truly going on than anyone else I don’t care about. And it’s not about being close enough to not stand on ceremony, or skip the formalities.

But if we’re so nice to others, shouldn’t we try to say these “please” and “thank you” to our loved ones too?

When was the last time you said, “Mum, thanks for cooking the meal. It was delicious.” When was the last time you said that to somebody’s mum when you were invited over?

When was the last time you said, “Thank you” when your sibling decides to give you a ride to somewhere you needed to go? When was the last time you said that to cab driver?

When was the last time you said, “Could you please help me…” to your boyfriend instead of demanding it right away? When was the last time you said that to a colleague?

Shouldn’t we care more about sustaining that relationship with our loved ones – enough to speak to them in a nicer manner?

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Basic Courtesy

I think basic courtesy goes a long way if you want help from others. Especially crucial when you two aren’t close.

If I needed help, I would say hey, how’s it going. Even if I had to feign interest I would, because I needed something from them and it’s only right to hear if they’re doing fine. Because what if you’re bumping in at the wrong time?

But it annoys the crap out of me that some people don’t give a shit. They can just butt in with a million questions, sometimes with a ‘Hi’, sometimes without, without a care in the world because you, being the kind soul that you are (I am!), you will provide the answers anyway. And bitch about it later, on a blog perhaps.

All I know about you is your name and your school so don’t pretend we’re all that close for us to ignore formalities such as hi, how’s it going.

If I called my cousin up, it’ll be straight up, ‘babe, who sang this song?’

But if I needed help from someone I barely knew I would strike a damn conversation first!

It’s not even about me being narcissistic and wanting people to ask how I am and hear me go on about my life story. It’s about me feeling like we’re friends and you’re not just squeezing me dry whenever you need to.

Isn’t this just manners? Simple, basic courtesy?!