Given that I am a full-time college student, plus the fact that I work in public relations, my life is very much centered around constant social interaction. Throughout the course of my social science coursework and my time working in the marketing industry, I have come to understand why people are bothered by certain human behaviors. That said, I have compiled a few guidelines which I feel are essential for creating a more pleasant environment for those around you.
1. Educate others, don’t belittle them. – With the presidential election nigh, you can bet that almost all of your peers will be vocal about their opinions regarding their candidate of choice, among various socioeconomic issues. If you find that you don’t agree with someone else’s views, respectfully explain to them why you don’t agree and provide facts to back up your opinion. Swearing at them and calling them any sort of pejorative is not the way to go about handling any difference in opinion. If someones views really bother you, simply unfriend and unfollow.
2. Tip your servers and bartenders well. – I cannot stress enough how important it is to give gratuity to those working in the service industry. These people work miserable hours for low base wages; therefore, tipping is essential. I try to tip at least 18-20 percent; however, if you can’t afford to leave at least 15 percent additional gratuity, you’re better off just going to McDonald’s.
3. When someone is spotting you, don’t order more than you usually would. – While on the subject of restaurant etiquette, always remember not to go overboard when someone is treating you. For example, if your friend offers to treat you to Chili’s for lunch, and your “usual” is a chicken sandwich, a side of fries and water, don’t mooch off of your friend by ordering your usual meal plus a margarita, an appetizer and a dessert.
4. Respect those around you. – Use your turn signal; hold the door open for others; don’t yell at your Starbucks barista. Albeit simple, these occurrences are so rare that they can make someones entire day when they take place.
5. Reciprocate efforts. – If someone makes a regular effort to keep in touch with you, see you, or spend time with you, it would most certainly behoove you to return their efforts. Especially if when you’re dealing with difficulty, they are always there to listen to you and provide advice. Let your friend know how much they mean to you and that you appreciate them always being there for you.
6. Be honest. – If your friend is heading down a dangerous path, don’t enable them by dismissing their problematic behaviors. If you’re casually dating someone, but no longer wish to continue, let them down gently, but don’t ghost them. If someone’s behavior is making you uncomfortable, be vocal with them about it. Being an adult requires consciousness and diligence, whether it be with your friends, family, or colleagues.
7. Give people their space. – I’ll admit, this one is the hardest for me. I am an ENTJ swimming in a sea of young introverted twenty-somethings who romanticize the idea of spending the night in, watching Netflix with their cats. In this day and age, it seems that “I-types” are more common that “E-types”. At times, my feelings are hurt when I invite a friend out to an event or to a bar, and they reject my invitation. However, I am making an active, conscious effort to understand that introverted individuals hate the idea of big crowds and loud noises and find solace in solitude.