We’ve Lost Our Manners – 5 Common Courtesies to Bring Back

I’m not going to start with a fluffy intro here, I’m just going to say this in the most direct way I can – we’ve lost our manners. I can’t count the number of times I see the elderly or a pregnant woman get on the bus and no one bothers to offer their seat – I’m talking about grown men and women who just sit there on their phones or dozing off to sleep with no disregard that someone else might need it more than they do. Have we lost our way? Just off the top of my head, I can think of 5 common courtesies we should bring back. If I’ve missed any, leave a comment!

  1. Giving Up Your Seat (on public transit) for Someone Who Needs It More Than You Do

Smartphones are distracting and a great way to kill time on your commute but at every stop, look up and scan through the people who have just boarded, there might be a pregnant lady just itching to sit down.

2. Saying Thank You on the Road

I consider myself to be fairly patient on the road but am the first to admit that driving (especially if you’re in Sydney) can be frustrating. So when someone makes it a bit more pleasant by giving you way or being patient about your subpar parking skills, say thanks. Wave to them, give them a nod…do something to show your gratitude and make the roads a bit more…bearable. I am shocked by how many people don’t do this now.

3. Eye Contact

I live in a friendly neighbourhood, one where people make eye contact and say hello when you pass by them. But I’m always bemused by the few who try to avoid eye contact even if I’m walking next to them. Since when did we get so scared of human contact? I used to work in an office where there was a narrow walkway. If you passed by someone, it would be awkward to avoid eye contact but some people did…just to avoid the conversation. Call it social awkwardness or…plain rude.

4. Texting Instead of Calling


I recently read that texting is a great way to miscommunicate how you feel and misinterpret what other people mean.

There is a time to text but there is also a time where a phone call is more appropriate. This is especially relevant if you need to make an apology, offer an explanation or have an awkward conversation. In situations like those, a text is the cowardly way out. To most, it shows that you couldn’t be bothered with an actual phone call.

5. Ghosting

For those who are new to the term, ghosting typically refers to the action go going missing in action without letting anyone know. This is most relevant in the context of dating where someone stops calling or getting in touch without an explanation. If you need to end things with someone, I urge you to do it with grace. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been on 1-10 dates with the person. If you have met and spent time with them, they deserve to know you don’t feel the same way.

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Image Credit via Will Landenberg at Unsplash


Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.