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The act of deference

Graphic of Thoroughly Modern Manners

Dear Readers,

I’d like to talk about the act of deference, which is defined as a readiness or willingness to yield to others, or a humble submission that includes respect. If manners are all about social deportment, then the act of deference is a type of good manners that includes courtesy.

An example of deference might be taking unwanted parenting advice from your mother-in-law. This would be deference to her age and respect for her wisdom. You don’t have to agree; you do have to be nice.

Other acts of deference would include the dance we do when entering, exiting and navigating public spaces. This includes elevators and rail trains, and the rule is simple – let the people exit first and don’t crowd the door.

I don’t know if people haven’t been taught or that we’ve all forgotten, but this is a really essential rule. I’m talking about all of you at the grocery store, too. Let people leave before you enter.

And if I could speak to all of the waiters, waitresses and servers out there, please defer to your customers. Allow them to move about your establishments without being run down and run over. We know it is essential to serve hot food hot and cold drinks cold, but please, defer the right of way to those who are paying to be there.

We’re doing great, I know we can do better!

Big Love,
Mrs. Abramovitz




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