In reference to the article “Taking the First Step to Restore Civility,” we asked: In conversations with difficult or angry people, how have you managed to respond with civility? What difference has it made?
I, too, feel that etiquette has been tossed out the window. I try desperately every day to encourage manners in my household, teach my teenagers the proper way to handle something, and offer suggestions on how to be kind to others.
There are a few of us left who value decency and strive to keep it alive. We will pass it on and keep the hope alive for our children.
I used to work in the funeral industry. Loss of a loved one can create intense emotions, and family members of the deceased would sometimes direct their anger or frustrations toward me.
On several occasions, I calmly responded by asking, “What can I do right now to make this situation better for you?”
Their anger would stop almost immediately. One lady in particular replied, “There’s nothing you can do; I’m just upset, that’s all.”
When people are upset, they need our calm, not our anger.
I have found, in both my personal and professional interactions, that the proverb “Interact as if it is personal for them but professional for you” has proven very successful.
By conducting yourself professionally (with reserve, controlled emotions, but with intelligent empathetic responsiveness with integrity; and focusing on “the issue” rather than personal emotions), over 90 percent of response recipients (including those who began the interaction with rage, cussing, and spitting) will accept, and even appreciate, your modeling of “civility.”
Facebook is the worst! I always try to state my opinion and not attack the other person’s opinion. I’ve been called many horrible things on Facebook. I choose not to reply. I’ve also deleted them or snoozed them. I will not go to their level of hatred.
If I’m confronted by people that are angry, I always smile and let them rant. I always try to do what is right in this dark world we’re living in.