COMMON courtesy is the catalyst that keeps our relationship with others harmonious.
However, there may be plenty of moments throughout the day that make it seem as though common courtesy is becoming increasingly uncommon.
Whether on the road, at work or in public places, lack of common courtesy can be seen from the simplest things such as not letting others exit a lift before entering.
While these gestures may seem small to some, the seemingly small things do carry weight in people’s minds.
This week, StarMetro Online shares a non-exhaustive list of 10 forgotten common courtesies.
1 Return borrowed money promptly
Whether intentional or not, we may sometimes find ourselves short on cash.
It could be an honest mistake, such as forgetting to bring your wallet to work.
Sometimes, life’s events, such as caring for an ill family member, has left you strapped for cash.
It is nice to have friends or family members who are willing to loan us some money but remember to return it as soon as you can without having the lender ask for it.
It doesn’t matter how small the amount is, you may never know how urgently they may need it.
2 Park appropriately
From parking between two parking lots to using disabled spots despite being able-bodied, these selfish acts often cause tempers to flare.
In non-emergency situations, one can only peg such individuals as selfish and obnoxious.
Equally bad are those who double-park without leaving their mobile number for others to call, or those who refuse to pick up the call when the blocked driver is trying to reach you.
It becomes a massive inconvenience for those whose vehicles are blocked, especially during an emergency.
3 Don’t invade other people’s privacy
Need to borrow a friend’s cellphone because yours has run out of battery?
Or has your phone run out of data when you desperately need to look something up online?
When borrowing someone’s gadget, such as their cellphone, laptop or tablet, use it for the original purpose you intended.
Don’t take advantage of the situation by browsing through their stuff without permission.
After all, would you like it if someone scrolled through your personal messages and pictures without your
4 Give others their personal space
It is annoying when the person standing behind you at the cashier in a supermarket is continuously bumping into you.
Or if a person stands too close for comfort while you are withdrawing cash from the ATM.
The concept of personal space can vary greatly between cultures.
Generally, it is understandable if the situation does not permit much personal space such as in a crowded train.
However, no one wants a complete stranger to be standing close enough to sniff their hair when space is not an issue.
5 Be punctual
Sometimes, unexpected events such as an accident on the highway causes a crawl in our usually traffic-free route.
While one-off situations are easily pardoned, being notoriously late can be seen as a mark of disrespect for the individual waiting on you.
Adding salt to the wound is when no apology is given for your extreme tardiness, or if it happens too often. Other people’s time is just as precious as yours.
6 Return phone calls and messages
Unless someone is harassing you, your friends, family members and business acquaintances will appreciate it if you can return their phone calls or messages.
If you cannot pick up a call, drop the person a message that you cannot speak at the moment.
Unreturned calls or messages can make one seem unimportant.
Should you need to contact the person in the future, they may not return your call either.
7 Clean up after yourself when using public restrooms
No one likes to be confronted with dirty toilet seats – or worse with shoeprints on them – when using public washrooms.
It is common courtesy to clean up after yourself or your child if either of you make a mess.
If you would not leave your toilets at home in such conditions, why should you do so when using public washrooms?
8 Ask before taking a chair at a restaurant
Have you ever found yourself waiting for a friend at a restaurant, only to have another patron take away the empty chair beside you without asking?
Or maybe you were keen on dining alone but was abruptly joined by an acquaintance without checking if it is fine to join you?
Social norms dictate that we ask a person permission before removing a chair from their table, or ask one’s friend or acquaintance if it would be alright to join them at their table.
Never assume that those dining alone are up for company or that they are not waiting for others.
9 Be a good guest
If you are staying at a friend’s or family member’s home, make the bed and tidy the room before leaving.
Never take advantage just because someone is a close friend or a family member.
Additionally, if someone has invited you to their home for a meal, gestures such as offering to wash the dishes is a nice thank you to the host.
10 Pay your dues
When borrowing a friend’s car, you can help them refuel and to top up their Touch ‘n Go card or SmartTag if you have used them.
Be responsible when driving other people’s vehicle – if you were caught speeding, settle the traffic summonses or you may risk turning a good relationship sour.
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