Manners Monday: Excuse Me?
Excuse me. It’s a phrase that seems to be said more and more often as something rude, rather than something polite. We’ve all heard people of every age group say, “Excuse me?!”as a nasty retort that instantly makes you cringe. But! This week, we’re changing all of that. Excuse me is actually a phrase that’s meant to be polite and to help people positively navigate a handful of awkward social situations. The key to using “excuse me” correctly is in the tone of your voice. Be careful to say it nicely, make eye contact, and be sincere.
This Week’s Rule:
5 Ways to Politely Use “Excuse Me”:
1. When you need to pass by someone who is in your path
2. When you burp, fart or do something embarrassing in front of someone
3. When you didn’t hear or couldn’t understand what someone said and need them to repeat it. Here you say it as a question, “Excuse me?”
4. To Announce that you need to exit the room or conversation for a moment during a meal or event
5. To get someone’s attention to ask a question
Put it Into Practice:
Toddlers 1 – 3 years old:
For the littlest ladies and gentlemen in training, remind them by encouraging them to say it at the right moments. Consistency and repetition will have your little wunderkind wooing everyone with their good manners in no time.
Kids 3 – 9 years old:
Help each other out. Maybe even print out this list and put it on the refrigerator or front door as a reminder. The key is to make it a habit so that you don’t have to worry about it anymore. So, practice catching yourself and practice kindly reminding other Manners Monday friends when they forget.
As always, leading by example is the easiest way to make sure that our kids know what good behavior is, so don’t just keep an eye on what your kids are saying and doing! You can do it!
Are there other times when you like to use “excuse me” to be polite? Share!
Each week I’m addressing a common courtesy or piece of etiquette advice that you can practice with your family to encourage good manners in yourself and future generations. These aren’t in any particular order and can be revisited again and again until you feel like you’ve got them all down. (Good luck with that!) I feel like I can never get enough practice and that it’s so easy to slip into bad habits instead of good ones. That’s why I started this series, to help myself and my own family again and again and again and again. I hope it helps yours, too.