And since when is being rude acceptable as long as we disguise it as being honest and forthright? Please, it's an excuse to demean, humiliate, make oneself feel superior. Take your pick; of the many combinations that go into making a person believe it's okay to act like a jackass if his remarks are honest or feels the object of his remarks "needs" to hear it, passive-aggressiveness is my favorite dysfunctional behavior. If you are around a person like this long enough it becomes easy to spot and you can prepare. The worst of these offenders is the "stealth attacker." This one seems perfectly sociable but if he even senses some offense by, or short-coming of, another that he deems necessary to point out - watch out! Not only will he call you out, he will do it in front of at least one other person (sneaky yes but not without an audience) and he's not happy with one strike. After his barb hits the sweet spot like a snake strike, he will knock you into the dirt, stuff sand in your mouth and make sure you can't get up - at least for the foreseeable future. Just as quickly as he struck he puts his fangs away until next time. And it's the next time part that's tricky. You can rock along for a while and become lulled into this place where you think you're safe. You're under the radar. And, BAM! You're panting from the blow. The Bible describes it best in 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour." Jesus gave His children advice about it: "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16
My parents were sticklers regarding good manners. Etiquette was, and remains, important. It also was not seen as a 10-foot pole with which you whacked others over the head. It is as much about the respecting the feelings of others as it is about what is and isn't proper. Daddy was particularly vigilant about our education in this area. His pet peeves gave birth to his most reiterated instructions - don't comment on other people's plates, don't embarrass someone if you can avoid it, talk privately about personal matters. My sisters and I knew we better not say "Eww!" or "Why are you eating THAT?!" or we'd get a lecture titled "Don't comment on other people's plates." We knew if we said something to embarrass someone else - even if we meant it as a joke - we knew the lecture that followed would be entitled,"Don't embarrass someone if you can help it - and you could help it!" I think you get the idea. Mama and Daddy believed it made you a small, petty person if you set out to demean someone else or tried to appear superior to them. They believed class was not tied to position or money but to the way you carried yourself and treated those around you. I agree. Some of what they taught me really did sink in!
Manners are supposed to smooth the wheels of everyday interactions. So, hang up your phone and excuse yourself to the restroom - or say excuse me when you can't. Oh and one more thing...make that two: Fellas - pull up your pants. Ladies - vagina is a body part not a hem length! (Sermon over, go eat some chicken!) 'Night and love to all y'all!