Pay It Forward by Looking Backward with Manners

Pay it forward by with good manners. It’s really not that hard nor does it take a huge effort. You can make a difference every day! I bet you can relate to some of my pet peeves or maybe you’re guilty of them. Hmm. You’ll soon find out.

Most people relocate from their family home at some point in their life, but leave something nice behind. Something we all held dear as children even though we were reminded to keep them with us at all times.  You may have even sung or watched programs about them. Do you remember?

They are called manners.


It can be a matter of being polite or using simple courtesy for others. Lately, I’ve seen good manners used less and less.

In big cities, people put on blinders to create personal space.

Most become glued to their cell phones for communication and entertainment.

Highways have become parking lots.

Many don’t use blinkers or stop at intersections. It can be stressful and frustrating.

buried in books

There is one particular lack of use of simple manners that really gets my blood roiling:

Hold the door for the person behind you.

“Experts” suggest swinging it wide, addressing the person behind you as ma’am or sir and letting them go in before you. Yeah, right. That is over the top and rarely happens out here in Colorado.

I have a simple suggestion:

Pay it forward by looking backward.

It’s so simple. C’mon! Unless you’re hearing impaired, you hear clipping, clopping, or shuffling of feet.

Instead of letting the heavy door swing shut on my face, hold the door until I can take it from you. See how simple that was?

As you hold the door, very few people will say, “Let it swing shut. I can open it myself.” No one. This goes for any man or woman. No sexism here, just good manners. Men should catch the door for other men, men for women, women for men, women for other women. Do you get it yet?

Most person will thank you. I would have thanked you.

After my surgery, I couldn’t open heavy doors. I would have to rap on it to get someone’s attention. You wouldn’t believe the looks I got like, What’s your problem?

While in Wisconsin, Land of Happy People, Cheese and Good Manners, I stopped by the grocery store. I had about 40 items in a big cart. As I approached the only checkout lane, a blonde-haired lady with a small basket approached from the opposite side of the store. In Colorado, it would have been a race. This lady turned to me and said, “Excuse me,” then made her move and emptied her few things on the conveyor belt. I emptied my cart behind her. Then I heard her say, “Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me.” I finally looked up. She said, “Thank you so much for letting me go first.”

It was such a shock. I said, “Oh! But of course.” She paid it forward by looking backward.

Manners aren’t dead yet, at least not in Wisconsin.

Pay it forward by looking backward and using manners. Click to see if you are well-mannered or rude! Old grocery store photo. Self care, Live your best life, Positivity, life lessons, personal growth #selfcare #lifestyle #positivity #manners

After returning from the LHPCGM, I drove to my local King Soopers grocery store to stock up. The checker looked me in the eyes, smiled, and introduced herself. “I’m Jackie. I’ll be checking out your order tonight.”

Then the bagger said, “I’m Laura. I’ll be bagging your groceries tonight.”

My mind raced. What is the proper response to this new routine? Do I introduce myself?

Hi! I’m Susie and these are my groceries you will be checking out and bagging tonight.

After a long pause I settled on, “Nice to meet you.” Although it didn’t incite a big conversation about the price of beans or the huge remodel surrounding us, it was nice. Just like good manners.

Remember to pay it forward by looking backward. 

Do you think we could start a trend?

Related Articles:

Emily Post – Everyday Manners

Wikihow – How to Have Good Manners

Quick and Dirty Tips by the Modern Manners Guy

86 thoughts on “Pay It Forward by Looking Backward with Manners

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  1. Good manners and consideration of others are taught at home and at school. It really is about getting outside of your own little world and thinking about the other person. In my central NY area, folks are generally polite, and people appreciate someone holding a door or giving a smile or a friendly wave as you pass them.
    My pet peeve is being called, “guys” by the wait staff at restaurants. There must be a better term for the clientele. Great topic, Susie–thank you! 🙂


    1. I missed your comment!
      Anywhere in the Midwest, even in the big city of Chicago, people use good manners. I am not sure what is happening in Boulder, but I am considering writing a letter to the editor.
      “Guys” doesn’t fly with a lot of people. We have to come up with new ways of addressing strangers. My 7th grade teacher, Mr. Lapshanski called us “people.” Not great either.
      Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Susie, totally agree with you …. Basic courtesy doesn’t excite anymore.
    Living in UK and standing at a bus stop – together with loads of people … everyone knew where they had their turn in the queue – doesn’t matter if I was in London or Belfast. Just so fantastic.
    This with holding up the door for somebody … and they just walk by without a word, I always ask them: Excuse me, I didn’t hear what you said .. and they answer; I didn’t say anything … and my comment back is: then it was what I heard.
    A friend learned me that many years ago.
    I can really annoy with people – here in Sweden nearly all courtesy is gone.
    If anyone offers help, which has happen to me coming back … from holiday on the train.
    It’s young immigrants man that offers their help.
    Somebody has said that if we meet somebody with out a smile – we should give them ours – something I often think about and do.


    1. I love your last line! “Somebody has said that if we meet somebody with out a smile – we should give them ours ” Excellent advice!
      I am sorry to hear that manners are going the way of the dinosaurs there in Sweden as well. I’m not sure what is going on, but I will continue using mine and giving away my smile!
      Thanks Viveka!


    1. Oh I know! That really irks me. You do a stranger a favor and they practically flip you off for the effort. I will keep on smiling and showing the world that everyone deserves good manners, dang it!


  3. Strangely enough, I’m always pleasantly surprised by how often I see people holding the door open for other people here in Florida. As for your grocery experience, I’ve come to expect something similar, but then Publix makes that a big part of the way they do business.


    1. So true. I just watched, (listened to) Steve Harvey for the first time and he did a pretty big segment on manners. Thank God! It was directed at men, but I think everyone could get the picture.
      Thanks Renee! Have a fab week yourself!


  4. Manners aren’t dead, they just need to be woken up a bit.
    Even the difficult students I had knew most of them.
    They just didn’t usually practice them.
    It’s funny, but they did a lot in my class once we got to know each other.


  5. Well, that brings back memories of hours spent writing line after line of some silly sentence for misbehaving in class 🙂 I think the silly question was “I shall not talk in class” !!


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