A Renaissance for Manners: Be a Better You

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If you've ever been to a Wal-Mart on Black Friday, you've probably had a moment where you've lamented the loss of common courtesy. Whether someone barged in front of you in line, cut you off, or cursed you out for having the audacity to cross the street “too slow.” All it takes is a few hours in public to realize that bad manners are all around us. According to a Good Housekeeping survey, 79 percent of us feel people are ruder than they were 10 years ago, and 42 percent encounter rude behavior on a daily basis.

You may not be able to fix every jerk on the street, but you can certainly be a drop in the bucket of a more pleasant society. After all, that co-worker who snapped at you could very well be a secret humanitarian who just happens to be having a very bad day.

Resurrecting the Thoughtful Gift

When was the last time you ordered fresh flowers online? How about a handmade note, an actual paper one, not some click-n-forward e-card? Giving small tokens of thought and appreciation is a dying art on our screen obsessed world, but it doesn't have to be.

The simple act of presenting a grumpy co-worker or acquaintance with a token of care or appreciation can move mountains in the world of morale. Next time the accounting department seems to be in an unusual tizzy, instead of complaining to HR, try getting some daisies, or other flowers online, or a round of coffees.

Stepping Outside Yourself When Angry

When confronted, our brains have an animal-esque “fight or flight” reaction, depending on our hormones, according to Wellsphere.com. Once someone is rude to us and the anger or defense takes hold, it's extremely difficult to take a step back and let yourself cool down. Next time someone snaps at you, or you witness something you deem selfish or unjust, suppress the anger urges and remember it's a fleeting, completely hormonal response.

If you have time to change your temperamental ways, take a yoga class and learn the benefits of meditation. It will lessen the stress and increase your energy, according to Online.Prevention.com.

Slamming the Brakes on Road Rage

Crazy stories about road rage frequently circulate. We all know that in the grand scheme of life, who cares if some guy doesn't use his blinker? But for some reason, we continue to honk excessively and flip strangers the bird on a regular basis. What is it about his mentality that seems to be so pervasive in our society?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) actually estimates two thirds of deadly accidents are caused by aggressive driving. Rudeness is all around us, and it's very easy to fall victim to and crave retaliation, but that only fuels the problem's flames. Next time somebody flips you off, snaps at you or generally makes your life more unpleasant, countering it with the gift of kindness is the best and only way to throw a wrench in the world's baddest new habit.

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