We’re well into our 40 Days of Poise journey now, and things are starting to come more naturally to us. Our posture is good more often than not. We’re eating at the table and not in front of the television or in the car. Nice words are being said with greater frequency than negative ones. All is well and we’re doing great.
Until you’re smacked with the realisation that not everyone around you is dedicated to becoming more poised and polished. A coworker mocks you for being snobbish. A dining companion makes a terribly disgusting joke that shouldn’t be said at all, let alone at the table. What to do?!
This has been a learning opportunity for me. My initial reaction is to show my disgust, horror, and frustration at what has transpired. “I’m not being snobbish, I’m trying to better myself!” “Don’t say things like that at the table! Are you a child?” That’s not very poised, is it? A poised person has good manners. I don’t mean that you must always have formal manners, but good manners are a necessity of life. We treat others with respect. To the people who question why we’ve suddenly decided to become “snobs,” we can reply that we’re just trying something new and exit the conversation. When we encounter less than polite conversation, I have found the best thing to do is simply to wait. Inevitably the subject will change.
It is important to remember that while situations and circumstances may change our attitudes, they shouldn’t change our manners. Being polite, being kind, being as patient as possible–THIS is how we demonstrate poise. Good manners are much more about how we treat others than it is about how to hold your fork or what to do with your napkin. (You should know I also find these things to be important.) When we have good manners, we exhibit to the people with us that they are worth our “best behaviour.” It’s nice to know that you’re worth someone’s effort and good manners are the quickest way to show that.
This week, our challenge is to act with grace and great manners in the face of whatever situations we encounter. I know we can do it!