Posts Tagged ‘non-verbal cues’

One of my most prominent childhood memories involve having my conversations with my friends being closely monitored by my parents. No, I’m not talking about them ‘tapping’ the phone and listening to every word I say through headphones, but they were always hovering nearby, either in another room or walking past repeatedly.

I remember being reprimanded once for not using the correct ‘greeting’. To my parents, the correct phone greeting goes something like this:

“Good morning/afternoon/evening. My name is Maria. Could I please speak to (my friend’s name)?” whilst most of my other friends simply said: “Hello. Is Maria there?” When I tried to shorten my overly long greeting to something like this: “Hello. It’s Maria. Can I please speak to (my friend’s name)?”, my parents had berated me as though the world would come to an end because of it.

It was something that stuck with me to this day, I guess; the importance of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Mind you, I don’t always remember to do it. Not that I purposely overlook uttering these phrases, but sometimes, in the busyness of the day, it was simply a matter of  I’ve checked whether you are busy doing something else; I’ve asked you in a nice way, using the least authoritative voice I have; I’ve accompanied this with the most grateful smile I could give the person.

It does get me thinking though, whether the non-verbal cues accompanying such requests, asking someone to do a favour, is as/more important than the actual pleading/grateful words. What do you think – do you prefer one over the other? Do you think saying ‘Please’/ ‘Thank you’ and accompanying them with appropriate body language an overkill in this day and age? Or is it a mannerism we still need to maintain at all times?


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