Social Decorum

Had some serious discernment lately.

Questioning myself who am I into this world, what’s my purpose, where my life is heading, and what direction to take to experience growth, both in my personal and professional life, and earned respect. 

I’m already in a state where “just playing around” no longer applies. Not that I am rushing into anything in life, but I figured, I should be making decisions now with a head sight of the future to make sense of my day to day life. 

True enough, we should never constantly bother ourselves with the grim idea of the future or put too much pressure on what lies ahead, because it might hamper our purpose of living at the moment, but the cardinal rule of life is, WE SHOULD SET GOALS. We should set priorities and work on it. This pattern will help us guide how to make right decisions and how to put some limitations.

Lately, I also realized that I don’t need too many people in my life to be happy and fulfilled, just a few one to enjoy precious moments. People who can truly understand my personality, who can appreciate my strangeness. I also acknowledged the importance of choosing who to be with. In as much as I wanted to be nice to the people I first met, the stark differences on personal growth and cultural orientation often come into the picture.

Wisdom is tricky, it is not acquired overnight nor over a glass of beer. We learned it by ourselves, through the lessons we learned in life, through reading good books, through experiences we gone through and through the right people we often go with.

The level of personal growth and the wisdom we gained sometimes depend on who are the people we welcomed into our circle. That’s why it is always an advantage if we surround ourselves with the right people, it will develop our personal learning and improve our wisdom. But if we welcomed wrong people in our circle who talked nothing but shallowness and which KTV lounges they will hang next weekend, it poses disaster. It would never really take us anywhere.

This contrasting view point is evident when we're in the group and engage on a conversation. I can easily tell if the person is a drifter, an impolite bastard who cared nothing in the world but personal pleasure and those who are sensible and with substance. Every minute is precious, having to spend it in such a useless discussion with futile people is completely a waste of time.

So I am making these notes to myself.

Next time I am in a group with people who have contrasting values, I’ll just hold my tongue and keep my mouth shut. It’s totally absurd if I would step down to their level of shallowness and thinking. They need more time to grow up personally and emotionally. They need to refine their behavior and how to interact with people for the first time. Because most of the time, people tend to forget their limitations and boundaries. 

It’s always painful to watch myself being gorged up with shallowness. It’s not that my social skill is awful or other people were raised in a more liberated environment, but there’s always a dark line of annoyance that emerges when they began to carp every inch of my being, as though I did something terrible in life because I did not conform with the current norms.

Then I’ll have to decide whether to endure the humiliation of their criticism and ridicule or it’s time to disappear. I want to avoid a situation where I would raise my voice, trying to defend my way of life because it’s totally senseless. I don’t owe anyone an explanation with the kind of principles I breathed. That’s part of my individuality that needs to be respected.

It’s always difficult to have a conversation with people who need more time to “grow up”, both in learning and acquiring wisdom. Those who are following a vulgar lifestyle would never understand the introverts. Having been used to the influence of shallow people who cared nothing in this world but party and night life pleasure, they would never understand the rules of correct decorum, dealing with new acquaintances.

Learning correct decorum and understanding the rules of etiquette are not entirely taught in school (unless you’re attending  a finishing school in Europe where children of aristocrats and royalty usually go to study social manners), you learned it by yourself. And it often shocked me to know that people are clueless about it.

I learned how to observe proper social decorum when I made an extensive research about the lives of European royals (that time I was writing the first few chapters of the book “The Queen Consort” which I momentarily shelve). For royalty and nobility, observing the rules of etiquette is necessary because people are expecting them to behave as such. Though wayward prince and princess are often heard in the social scene, misadventures of royals are always considered “low”.

Here’s one golden rule in social decorum that most ignorant people often overlooked, or have totally no knowledge about (except actor Ryan Agoncillo, I heard him uttered this rule on TV). It’s always rude for a man to ask a woman about her age. That’s totally discourtesy and lack propriety. The reason for this is that publicly, information like age, sex orientation, sexual preferences, civil status are considered sensitive and personal information that most people are not comfortable talking in public. It is considered blatant if you ask someone with something like that. 

In the world of social manners. asking someone with information he or she is not comfortable sharing in public is considered an act of plain rudeness. It lacks graciousness. You can check some best explanation from THE SPRUCE. And whether a woman is comfortable sharing personal information in public like age, the etiquette rule remains: It is improper and rude to ask a lady about her age, this according to Dianne Isbell of Belleville News.

Towards the end of the day, we can tell who among the people we met are courteous and who are those who have bad manners. We can never gain from their company. Nothing except tips on how to become tipsy. They are the people to be avoided.

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