Remembering basic manners can help interpersonal relationships

By Christina Fazio

Comment Staff

Some people will go to great lengths to keep texting, and will often ignore others in favor of their phone. Photo by Dean Jarvey on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.
Some people will go to great lengths to keep texting, and will often ignore others in favor of their phone. Photo by Dean Jarvey on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

We are all trying to figure out the balance between life’s demands and our relationships while tending to our busy schedules. However there are a few things that can not be forgotten when it comes to our interpersonal relationships that are essential in maintaining a smooth sailing social life.

Almost all of us are guilty of forgetting to call or text someone back at one point or another. This may initially appear as something that is really no big deal, but this bad habit can result in some undesired repercussions.

Failing to remember to call someone back can actually give that person the wrong impression and lead them to suspect you are intentionally dodging their calls or ignoring them.

If in reality you really did just miss their call, by accident, you wouldn’t want them to question your friendship as a result of forgetting to return their call, right?

While this may come as a surprise to some of us, we shouldn’t forget that the majority of us don’t possess mind reading capabilities. Often we allow the principle of explicitly communicating our thoughts, feelings and desires in order to be understood by someone else, to slip our minds.

No one has the time to play charades or guessing games. If you want someone to know or do something, you need to open your mouth.

Although this may sound outlandish, I truly believe a person’s manners are the most forgotten thing throughout the day.

Just last week, I said please and thank you while ordering my dinner from the dining hall, as I usually do, and was told by the woman taking my order that I had been the first polite customer she had seen all day. While a compliment is best received as flattering, I couldn’t help but wonder how the majority of students ordered their meals throughout the day without using any manners.

When someone is providing you a service, helping you, or even just looking out for you, you need to express your appreciation by saying thank you.

If the tables are turned and you’re the one asking for someone else’s help it is common courtesy to reference the word please at some point during the transaction.

Since forgetting manners has become quite the common occurrence, it’s safe to say that we all have encountered someone who has forgotten to be polite and know very well that it just isn’t a good feeling.

Make your mom proud and use your manners.

Last but not least, and although this sounds cliché, but make an effort to remember the golden rule. What’s that? Treat others how you want to be treated. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. You get what you give. Remember those?

In case you forgot, our interpersonal social lives are dependent upon a reciprocal relationship of some nature. Usually the investments made in the relationships we have are, to some extent, contingent upon what we receive from the other person.

Would you like it if your friend shared all of your secrets, as you do theirs? What if it wasn’t you who was doing the cheating in the relationship and you were the one being deceived, how would it feel? When you have to get up in front of the class and present your end of the term project, would you be cool with everyone texting while you’re speaking?

All of the separate relationships we have intertwine creating our social lives. The relationships we establish throughout our lives are quite complex in their nature, and require many things that can’t be forgotten in order to keep everything running cool, calm and collectively.


Christina Fazio is a Comment opinion writer. Email her at



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