Tag Archives: Modern Manners

Relationship Fact or Fiction: Chivalry Is Dead

FACT

We live in a day and age in which chivalry has become an ancient word. It’s old fashioned. Our kids don’t know what it means. And, quite frankly, most of us have forgotten what it means.

Chivalry is defined as “ the quality of the ideal knight,” or nowadays, the ideal gentleman. See? Even the definition is dated! But chivalry goes deeper than a definition. Chivalry is deep-rooted in how we find mates and what a woman was once supposed to look for in a man. Some chivalrous standards that are becoming extinct:

-A man holding a door open for a woman, letting her through first.

-A man opening the car door for a woman while entering and exiting the car.

-A man walking on the street-side of a sidewalk and letting the woman walk on the inside of the sidewalk.

-A man asking a woman on a date and arranging all the details.

-A man offering a woman his jacket when she is cold.

-A man standing up when a woman leaves the table.

These are just a few examples of behaviors that used to be a common standard for men. Now, when a woman sees any of these actions, she’s skeptical. It seems like it can’t be real or authentic. So why is chivalry dead and what’s happened to it?

The problem is two-fold. Men aren’t taught to treat women this way anymore just as much as women are killing chivalry when it appears. Women now want to prove their power so much that they shut down every behavior from a man that they see as something they could do themselves. By doing so, we’ve emasculated men to the point of their not wanting to try anymore. Why bother when women are going to shut it down anyway?

We have to get back to reminding our sons of being gentlemen and actually teaching our daughters to accept the generosity of it. A man should cater to a woman and be polite and respectful of her, and a woman should be able to accept that generosity with appreciation and grace. Men can lose the lazy act as much as women can lose the “I am woman, hear me roar!” act. If you are a secure, strong woman, you don’t need to shout it. You don’t have to push through doors—they will be opened for you. And ladies, it’s our duty to accept when a man has been polite enough to do so.

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No More Double Standards: The Golden Rule

This post is the second part in my September series, Modern Manners. To see the first post of the series, click here.

Perhaps you were in church, elementary school, or college when you first heard about the Golden Rule. It goes something like this:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

We were taught this ever-important rule to help us understand that we need to treat strangers, fellow students, and neighbors with kindness. Fast-forward to today. Do you think about this phrase that often? Chances are you don’t, as it has become a part of you.

What your pastor and your third-grade teacher never taught you, though, is that the Golden Rule can and should be applied to your romantic relationships, too.

Sometimes when we’re wrapped up in a relationship, we expect everything from our partner. We expect him to be good, to never flirt with another woman, and to only have eyes for us—and it should be this way! However, you have to be sure you’re holding yourself to the same standards. What you want from your partner is probably what your partner wants from you, too.

Women often turn to me with their relationship hiccups, and I love listening. Everyone has her individual story, but more often than not, I end up telling most women I speak with to do one thing: reflect upon yourself. What is your behavior like? What do you want? How do you really feel? These questions are important because they force the woman to take a deeper look into her own behaviors. If you think about it, it’s also a part of the Golden Rule. How do you want to be treated, and thereby, how will you treat your partner?

Lately, I’ve seen women behave in ways I’m fairly certain they wouldn’t be happy with if their partner were doing the same. Before you act on something, I urge you to ask yourself this: “If my partner were in this situation, would I be happy if he did it?” If the answer is no, don’t do it. If it helps you to write or type it out, try it. Your questions may look something like this:

Would I be happy if my man were dancing with a strange woman? Probably not. Therefore, don’t do it.

Would I be happy if my man took hours to respond to a text or phone call? No. Therefore, don’t do it.

Would I be happy if my man posed for pictures with random women and then I saw them on Facebook? Definitely not! Therefore, don’t do it.

It’s a very simple exercise that puts the Golden Rule into practice and gives your relationship a little perspective. Remember that a relationship takes two: you both have to work at it. You can’t expect him to be receptive if you aren’t willing to make changes and work on yourself, too. Give and take, take and give. Just remember, treat your partner the way you want to be treated, and behave the way you want your partner to act as well.

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Dirty Mouth? Clean It Up: Profanity and Vulgarity

For students around the globe, September means back to school. Girls and boys ages 4 to 21 (and beyond!) trade in swimming and sunning for mathematics, language arts, history, chemistry and every variant in between. During this new school year, kids better themselves in skills that will help them in all aspects of their lives, from future careers to personal lives. They learn something new every week, if not every day.

A lot of us thought that once we had graduated high school or college, we were done. I think, though, that there’s something as women that we need to develop. Simply put, we could all work on our manners. Decades ago, women went to specific schools for this very subject. Many of us still look up to women of that era, such as Grace Kelly and Aubrey Hepburn. We look to their poise and elegance for inspiration, because they were real ladies.

That’s why all my posts for September will be dedicated to a grown woman’s version of back-to-school lessons. I’ll be focusing on modern manners and how a woman can return to a state of grace, instead of disgrace.

Today, I’d like to discuss something we all face every single day. It may seem small, but it affects the way you’re perceived greatly.

In 2011, I never thought we’d be living in an era that loves to swear. There’s a reason those Orbit gum commercials are memorable! We all have dirty mouths, and we do need to clean them up.

Profanity is so overused now that we’ve all become somewhat desensitized to it—we are immune to such vulgarity. The power of “the S-word” and “the F-word” doesn’t exactly have the zing it once had. It’s now just started to sound unintelligent. Profanity fills the holes in which a smarter, more powerful word combination could be used. Swearing no longer riles people up; it’s just started to sound silly.

Why has there been such a desensitization of curse words? Because they’re everywhere. You can’t watch a show on cable without cursing being used for cheap laughs and fake shock and awe. Pop music is suffering an infestation as well. When the musicians appear on television shows for live performances, songs have to be bleeped to the point where you can’t hear a melody. It’s become the norm.

Unfortunately, if you’re not an actress or pop performer, cursing simply isn’t attractive. People will not value your opinions when they’re studded with swears. Others will not see you as attractive because of your over-the-top profane use of language. If you think swearing will get you the attention and respect you deserve, think again.

We’re all guilty of getting heated and using iffy language. However, there are three places in which you should heed caution when it comes to what’s flying out of your mouth:

1. The workplace. Every office is different, but if you want to make the greatest impression, keep your conversations clean. Your statements will have a greater impact when you speak wisely, especially when you think you aren’t being listened to. I guarantee you—someone is listening.

2. In public. Walking around the mall, waiting in a movie theater, strolling the aisles of a grocery store, chatting over dinner—these are all settings in which someone, you don’t want to hear your profanity (such as a child) may, in fact, hear the dirty words that are coming out of your mouth.

3. On the Internet. Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, a relative, boss, or friend’s impressionable daughter will see your status. Think about the kind of impression you want to have on others. Yes, I understand that your Facebook page should contain whatever your heart desires, but if you want your relatives not to be startled, your boss to be impressed, and your sister’s impressionable daughter to respect you, you have to clean it up a bit. Try and keep this in mind: if you wouldn’t want your grandmother reading it, don’t post it.

This culture of profanity has gotten the best of us all at some point, but challenge yourself to tidy up your language a little. What would really blow people’s minds is if you didn’t swear at all and you invented your own forms of letting out your emotions. Take a cue from the Orbit commercial the next time you’re frustrated with something and say, “What the French, toast?” I’m sure you’ll burst out in laughter and any frustrations will be momentarily eased. Hey, it’s a start!