The Living Force
Laura said:The problem that I'm seeing - even with some long-time members (and here I'm speaking about direct social interactions) - is that they act like they were never taught good manners at all. I mean, the most basic civilized behavior that one should be expected to exhibit is just totally lacking. Things like being pleasant in difficult situations, not moping or acting sulky; things like being in someone else's space and "taking over" and trying to dominate; things like speaking and acting insultingly, or obstructively; ignoring the most basic, and I mean BASIC, politeness, appreciation, etc. It's just been shocking to witness. And even worse when "The Work" is sort of brought up as the excuse, and the blame is put on the other person because THEY weren't "considering enough" or they have "issues" and so on and so forth.
Laura said:Since we host so many people here throughout the year, we get an opportunity to see a whole range of behaviors. I'll never forget the fella who came to a workshop back in 2004 - young, pretty bright. I was walking from the kitchen into our pantry area and found him opening and closing cupboards and moving things around inside them to see what was in there. He didn't seem to be the least bit embarrassed when I stopped (with a bit of shock, though I was sort of hiding it) and asked him "what are you doing?" He said - as if it were the most normal thing in the world: "just checking to see what kind of stuff you have..." So I asked him: "is it normal for people in your family to go to other people's homes and start snooping through their cupboards and closets?" He said: "oh yes, my mother and sister do it all the time..."
I had to explain to him that this isn't acceptable behavior under any circumstances. He was shocked when I told him that most people do NOT do that.
The way some people behave at other's people's places is just astounding sometimes!
It reminds me of this quote from The Gambler by Dostoyevsky: 'Invite a man to your table and soon he will place his feet upon it'.
I don't really see how this lack of manner is compatible with every day life: with bad manners, how do you get (and keep) a job? How do you make (and keep) friends? How do you find (and keep) someone to share your life with? Conflicts and difficulties must arise on a daily basis!
The opposite unfortunately exists as well: terrible hosts! I've been to someone's house where I literally had to ask after quite a long while if I could sit down, had to ask after almost an hour, when I was really parched and could not take it anymore, if I could have something to drink. This was not an oversight, it has been like this every time we visited since. And she is a family member! Interestingly, this person is also a narcissist. She is totally incapable of giving and to think of anyone but herself.