I wanted to title this article “Make People Like Yuh in 2023, Nah” but I ultimately decided that a more positive title was more appropriate. As Trinis, we have a reputation for being friendly and welcoming but we can also be quite rude and love to engage in picong and disrespect. Many of us are ignorant to the fact that good manners are the foundation of a good life. They help people get along better and make others feel valued, respected and appreciated. Practicing good manners can go a long way in creating a more positive society for everyone. These are 23 habits I’d love to see Trinis adopt in the year 2023.
1. Be honest about your ETA
Oh gosh, if you aren’t 5 minutes away just say so nah! Lying about that is just manipulative and annoying.
2. Use your indicator
Just do it.
3. Don’t lend or borrow
If you can’t afford to give something away don’t bother lending. On the other hand owing others is never a good look, and it can potentially destroy relationships if you show no effort to repay.
4. Don’t bad talk yourself or others
I completely agree with the notion that there is a lot of power in the words we use. We should all use this power to speak positively about ourselves and others. By using our words to build ourselves and others up, we can create a more positive and supportive environment.
5. When communicating give context
This might be a popular one in the workplace. Saying something without context doesn’t mean much to anyone else but ourselves. If you are communicating with someone, it is important to provide them with context so that they have enough information and can understand what you are saying. Start with where you are at or what you’re thinking/planning and end with your request.
6. Don’t litter
I always say if you litter, we can’t be friends. Make a habit of carrying a plastic bag with you and use that instead of throwing trash anywhere you feel like. Let’s keep T&T clean and beautiful.
7. Don’t show up unannounced to someone’s home
If you’d like to visit someone’s home, call or message and ask if it’s a good time to come over. If they say no, respect their wishes and don’t come by.
8. Don’t show up empty handed
Whenever you visit a friend or family member, it’s a nice gesture to bring something. Even if you’re just stopping by for a few minutes, it shows your appreciation for being welcomed to their space. Bring fresh fruit, flowers, baked goods or even a roti.
9. Better customer service
If I were given 3 wishes for my country, improving customer service would definitely make the cut. The current state of customer service at many businesses is poor, and this is likely due to a lack of proper education and training. It would be wonderful if business owners and their employees could be more knowledgeable about customer service, so that customers can be better served. This would be an invaluable contribution to the overall quality of life in the country.
10. Ask before snapping, recording and posting
These days it’s common practice to take and share photos and videos. But everyone is still entitled to their privacy and it is considered polite and respectful to ask permission before snapping, recording or posting photos of others.
11. Pay it forward
Paying it forward means when someone does something nice for you, you do something nice for someone else. It’s a wonderful way to spread kindness. These are some of my favourite ways to pay it forward:
- Buy doubles or coffee for the person behind you in line.
- Run an errand for a busy family member.
- Purchase extra dog or cat food and take it to an animal shelter.
- Leave a kind server the biggest tip you can afford.
- Write a positive comment on your favorite blog, website, or a friend’s social media account.
- Try to make sure every person in a group conversation feels included.
- Let someone go in front of you in line who only has a few items.
12. Cough or sneeze into your elbow
Coughing and sneezing have become taboo in recent years, but good manners have always suggested that you cover your mouth when doing so. Instead of using your hand, which may be carrying germs, use your upper arm as a barrier. This way, you are not spreading any germs to anyone else around you.
13. Respect others’ time
Don’t make a habit of being late and even if you are show respect by communicating and apologizing for any inconvenience caused by your lateness.
14. Respectfully disagree
Um, why are people so rude when others disagree with them? Instead of resorting to name-calling or other forms of disrespect, try to engage in a respectful dialogue. By focusing on the argument itself, a productive conversation can be had and a better understanding of the other person’s point of view will be gained by both parties (and by those of us who are here for the comments).
15. Compliment others
A simple compliment can go a long way in making someone feel appreciated and valued. Compliments such as telling someone you appreciate their hard work, or that you like their outfit can make someone’s day.
16. Avoid displaying entitled behaviour
It’s important to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Be grateful for what others do for you. If someone else does something for you, be prepared to offer something in return or simply ensure they know how much their help means to you.
17. Be kinder than necessary
Because everyone is going through something you know nothing about.
18. Respect other’s things
Don’t become so comfortable that you treat items belonging to others with scant regard.
19. Be self-aware
Don’t overstay your welcome or be outta timin. I’d like to elaborate but this point deserves its own article. Stay tuned.
20. Say thank you often
Thank others often for their help, feedback, and ideas. It builds relationships, shows appreciation, and makes them feel good. Don’t assume they know you’re grateful; say thank you more than necessary.
21. When using public transportation, make yourself small
Or pay the fare for the seat next to you. Avoid “skinning up” and taking up space for your things as if you are the only person in the vehicle. Also, headphones people!!! Public transportation is not the time to scroll through social media or listen to Spotify without your headphones in.
22. Say sorry
When you’re wrong, apologize. Avoid making excuses and passing blame. Apologizing lets people know that you care about their feelings and that they are important to you. You can even say it the Trini way with this card by local brand HailOut.
23. Be forgiving.
Above all, know that nobody is perfect and we should make allowances for each other’s shortcomings.
I’m hoping these habits will help you build better relationships and make new ones in 2023. So which of these do you already practice and which will you adopt?
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Jacqui enjoys cooking, music and other areas of the creative arts. She holds a BSc in Business Information Technology from the University of Greenwich and is the creative director and founder of LOCAL(868). She's obsessed with anything and everything to do with information systems, startups, entrepreneurship, and branding.