7 real-world situations to gauge how good your manners are

If you could get a word in edgewise, over the pointing and rude interrupting, what we really want to know is … What Happened to Good Manners? Check out these 7 common real-life situations and see how you would react.

How do you react when this happens?
Noisy movie-goers

You are at a movie theatre, and just as you settle down to enjoy the film, someone a few seats away begins rustling and eating potato chips very loudly. Or even worse, a fellow moviegoer incessantly kicks the back of your seat.

Whisper loudly a complaint to your movie companion about how annoying the behaviour is without actually addressing it directly.

Musson stresses the importance of responding swiftly. “A generic shhhhhhhh can be effective and a good way to avoid confrontation,” she says. “Do several of these and the offender will hopefully get the idea.”

When it comes to seat kicking, regardless of the age of the person, her advice is to be direct. “Turn around and politely ask, ‘Would you mind not kicking my seat please? Thank you.’” Children will be so shocked that you spoke to them they will stop immediately. This also works on planes.

Doyle suggests finding a realistic and workable solution. “First try a respectful negotiation,” he says. “If that fails, then ask yourself: am I willing to move to another seat? If not, then do you want to lodge a formal complaint with the theatre management?”

Having personal power is about thinking things through before you take action – and it can be a matter of just seconds. Once you master this, you are much less likely to be triggered and feel angry in these types of situations.

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