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Monday, January 21, 2008

Etiquette as Stress Management

Etiquette is just a formalized way in which people kindly acknowledge another person. It is not about rules and regulation. It's about being gracious to other people and showing that you have basic human respect for them.

Etiquette is about paying attention. We lose so much in this day and age because we are so busy and so much is going on. We fail to see people around us. When was the last time you were jostled in a crowded store without so much as an "excuse me" from the jostler. It doesn't sound like much, but that little jostle without acknowledgement from the jostler is as good as a "I'm taking this space - screw you." A sincere "excuse me" or "pardon me" says, "Sorry, I should have been paying attention. I should have recognized that you have feelings." Now multiply that by how many times people are pushing into each other in this busy, overcrowded, "I gotta get mine, screw you" society that we live in. In the stores, at work, in your car, anywhere. On some level, it all equals stress.

Returning "civil" to "civilization" as a society would be a great step toward managing stress.

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