Do you have G.R.O.T. - General Rules of Thumb that you use in your daily life? Have you forgotten them? Did you ever learn them? Or, has stress made you ignore them?
Consider them as the rules of conduct to help you get through a busy day with the least amount of damage.
My husband came home to tell me about the dirty dish problem at work. Despite having a dish-washer, more often than not, all the dirty dishes end up stacked precariously in the sink, on the counter and even makes it way around the room, like some slow-moving dishsect. Rather than cleaning up after themselves, the culprits leave them for the Dish Fairy.
I've been thinking about the people who think they don't have to clean up their own messes. @Marissa_Herrera retweeted an article by Sami Grover. In it, he talks about recycling sins and how he was always left to clean the can (the aluminum cans, but I'm guessing the other one, too.) It seems that good intentions drop onto the shoulders of the few. His job would be so much easier if all his housemates would have pitched in and done their part.
So, without further ado, here's a list of things that are considered good manners and help ease the burden for everyone:
- If you take it out, put it back. Food, clothing, office supplies, equipment, etc.
- If you use it up, put it on the list to be replaced or tell someone who is responsible for replacing it.
- At the workplace, clean up after yourself - wash your dishes - that also includes your coffee mug.
- If you make a mess, clean it up.
- Hold the door open for someone - don't just let it slam in their face. This takes 2 seconds and is common courtesy.
- See someone struggling with the door or their coat. Help them.
- If you've received your neighbour's mail - walk it down to them. Good chance to get to know them (no, not by sneaking a peek at their mail)!
- Plan your time well so you arrive on time for your appointments. By your tardiness, the entire schedule is affected.
- Take your place in the line - no butting in.
- Let someone merge in while driving - even if you think they were in the wrong.
- Just because you've missed the turn while driving, don't expect that 4 lanes of traffic should stop because you want to cross. Go around the block.
- If you see acts of violence, call the police. This is not a spectator sport. Children need to know this, too.
- Make it a habit, at least once a week, to do a random act of kindness. Increase to daily.
Most of these things were reinforced in elementary school, complete with little jingles to help set the lesson. Unfortunately, not all households take the same view and children grow up forgetting these valuable skills.
Adults, who know and understand these mores, may let them slide as they become increasingly stressed. As they feel the pressure mounting, their window of tolerance closes. They may become more impatient and quicker to anger. Performing the niceties of manners is just one more drain on their time and energy. Something's gotta give and it does. We're seeing this in the form of shorter tempers, increased road/desk rage and less tolerance and patience for others.
- Do things you would normally have had patience for upset you?
- Are you finding yourself reacting to comments when there was no challenge issued?
- Do you always feel you are on the run and have no time for the things listed above?
What better time than the new year to re-activate your G.R.O.T and learn some emotional management techniques that will help to balance your nervous system? In the process, you begin to feel better. You'll treat yourself and others better, too!