Growing up, I always had to follow certain rules that one was expected to know for the sake of socializing properly. Knock before walking into a room, use your purse on your left arm, don't put your elbows on the table and wait for people to finish speaking: you know, all this annoying sh*t.
Of course, I'd be lying if I said I still comply with all the rules that were instilled on me as a young lady. I've grown up embracing a rugged side of myself I'm very proud of. But because of my upbringing, I can't help but to try to incorporate some of these guidelines for modern life.
But guys, let's face it: Our generation is rude as f*ck. Our manners have gone out the door, and it can be frustrating. Don't you agree?
Every day, we have the opportunity to use what we learned when we were younger. Every day we are presented with situations where our best behavior is expected from us. However, we don't always use the right approach.
More often that not, we have to be reminded how to act in certain situations. Hell, sometimes, I need to be reminded not to fall into the rudeness game of our generation. Whether it's in your personal, romantic or business world, keeping it classy never hurt anyone:
1. F*ck the waiting game.
You know what I'm talking about. This is the game where we wait around for just the right amount of time to text back our love interests.
Yes, I'm guilty of this childish stunt. But we live and learn, right? Aside from being childish, this behavior is just plain rude as well. What's so wrong about you answering the questions the other person seems to be interested in asking?
It's amazing to be in an engaging conversation with someone. But sometimes, that hopeful conversation may not flourish because too much time has passed by.
I don't know about you guys, but a million things happen to me in the span of a few hours. I refuse to look at my phone and tell myself I'll wait just a little more.
No. F*ck that. God knows when I'll have another free moment to text back.
2. Return calls.
This one should be a no-brainer. At least, it is to me. How hard is it to return a call?
Oh, you're busy? Your phone is on silent? You've decided to sit in a temple for hours to do some soul searching? I don't care.
Look, we live in a world where our lives revolve around our phones. So honey, an unreturned phone call just shouldn't be.
Don't try to fool me. If a call has gone unreturned, I do expect for the person to apologize. If this person doesn't, screw him or her.
3. Follow up.
I'm a huge believer in followups. If I make plans with you, that means I'm stopping something else I could be doing just to hang out with you.
So, what's a proper followup? A followup done correctly should be no later than 48 hours prior to said event. I'll even accept a followup notice of a minimum of 24 hours.
Also, a same-day reminder wouldn't hurt anyone. It shows interest in whatever the occasion might be, which is never a bad thing. All I'm saying is, your excuse should be grand and valid.
4. Accept compliments.
Darling, you are amazing. You are beautiful. You are incredible.
You need to start learning to accept compliments. It is basic etiquette to accept a compliment that is given to you. A simple "thank you" should be enough in this situation.
It also wouldn't hurt to give out compliments, either. Make someone's day, will you?
5. Put your phone away.
I know I'm not the only one who gets annoyed at this. How many of you can remember a time you were out with friends, but it felt more like you were out with your friends' phones?
I don't care how comfortable we are with each other or how long we've known each other: I will not tolerate you being glued to your phone the entire evening.
I mean, it's understandable to check on your phone once in a while. I get it. I really do. This is our culture.
But if you're giving your phone's screen more eye contact than you're giving me – also, how dare you, I'm amazing – then we have a problem. Be mindful of people's time. Give the people around you the attention they deserve. It's the same attention you'd also want.
6. Greet everyone.
Walking into a place with a lot of people may trigger anxiety for many of you. Of course, we're going to gravitate toward the people we know. But your friends aren't going anywhere.
Proper behavior at this point will really help you in the long run. If you're in a business situation, please greet everyone accordingly. Handshakes and a warm smile usually do the trick.
If you've been invited to a study group, greet every single person there and not just the one classmate you actually know. You never know how well you may click with some of them.
7. Respond to your damn emails.
I think it's safe to say we all have access to one or more email accounts. If you're still using your middle school email address, please stop: We're adults now.
At this stage in our lives, email addresses are typically given out for more professional purposes. So if someone is emailing you, it's probably for a really important reason.
I honestly don't think I know anyone who still uses email as a form of instant communication anymore. So if you receive an email, please respond to it.
Even if you're just receiving an informative email from a colleague, a future employer or a current boss, or even an emotional email from your former fling (yikes), simply respond. You don't have to respond with some kind of essay. Just acknowledge that you got the email and go on with your day.
My lovely Millennials, listen to me: Every day, we're learning more about our role as adults in society. It's a scary world out there, and most of us are still quite clueless about it all.
It's time for us to f*cking slay. Let's leave a legacy behind. Wouldn't you want that?