*Toyin sees Jennifer after a long time*
Jennifer: Hi Toyin! How are you? It’s so nice to see you again!
Toyin: Jenny baby! See how you have added weight like ki lo de! You don dey chop all the burgers wey dey Yankee?
Jennifer: *mentally pulls a straight face but forces a smile as she has to “understand” Toyin*
Manners. A way of behaving with regards to polite standards; unfortunately a lot of people, especially Nigerians, don’t seem to have much of it. I don’t mean respect – oh no Nigerians are doused with respect from their upbringing – greeting elders, helping elderly carry their luggage; Nigerians have respect hands down.
The manners I’m talking about however refers to respect among peers; how you relate with people on the same/similar level as you, how you greet them etc. I know people may mean no harm with their brash statements but it still doesn’t make the lack of a verbal filter acceptable.
Let me break it down – you don’t have to say everything you notice. Learn to keep some observations to yourself; if Jennifer seems to have added weight since the last time you saw her what will your pointing it out do at that very moment? Or if Tunde’s knuckles appear a bit darker than usual you don’t have to ask whether he has started working at a bleaching cream company – just keep it to yourself.
Some of you reading this may be thinking “I’m an outspoken person; I say things as I see them”, well good for you then. I hope you can swallow what you dish out. The day someone says something about you “as they see them” that just happens to be a touchy subject, will you just take it as one of those things? I’ll wait.
Yeah I didn’t think so.
Growing up in the UK, the British culture is polite almost to a fault. We are taught to speak only the good in people and so even our insults are ever so intricately concealed. I wish there could be a balance between the overdose of politeness in the UK and the almost complete lack of the same in Nigeria; that would be just perfect.
It starts with you – don’t be that lousy mouthed person that people cross the street to avoid interaction with. Choose your words wisely.