Etiquette Tip of the Week by Callista Gould

My sister and I were shopping and as we were walking into a store, the weighty door we had opened, suddenly became lighter. We turned to see a boy of about 10, holding the door.

I said, “You are an impressive young man!” My sister said, “Congratulations, Mom!” to his shyly beaming mother. It was all the more exceptional, because the store was athletic-wear – the kind of store where a 10 year-old boy usually rockets through the entrance, clumsily parting people in his path.

There’s a great deal of uproar over who holds the door. Before you get sore or want to even the score, let me implore you to further explore. (I am working on my Etiquette Poetry Slam.)

Doors are not the sole domain of men. Everyone should hold doors. Men should not be scolded for holding a door for a woman. “I can do that myself!” The good deed was not meant to condescend.

And men are not the only ones who should be thanked for holding a door. A number one complaint of women is women who thank men for holding a door but do not thank women for holding a door for them.

When someone holds a door for you, show appreciation. Look them in the eye and say, “Thank you.” Heap it on a little by adding:

“You are very thoughtful.”
“That was a kind gesture.”
“I appreciate that.”

Enthusiastic compliments re-enforce good behavior, for adults as well as children. What we are doing is recognizing that person as a fellow human being. To ignore people is to dehumanize.

Everyone likes a compliment...delivered sincerely. It doesn’t cost us a thing and it promotes good will.

We could all use a little good will, right?

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