Normal is whatever you know (or knew)…

2 Mar

Have you heard the saying “this is the new normal”? Every time someone says this, I wonder, what is the “OLD NORMAL” ?

I believe that “normal” is whatever you know to be true, and I liked what I knew as normal before the economy took a turn for the worse in 2008.  I remember people following up on their promises, treating others with respect, giving common courtesy to strangers.

I don’t see that today – and if the new normal means any of the following, I simply want to go back to the “normal” I know with respectful people who live lives of integrity.  Here’s what I find with the “new normal”:

  • An erosion of respect for others: such as cutting in line ahead of others (who are waiting), insulting people without apology, breaking promises, making commitments that cost others money and then not showing up, making false excuses, outright lying, etc.;
  • A lack of common courtesy: such as not saying thank you when someone does something for you, not responding to voice mail or email messages from friends, not letting people know you’ll be late, not acknowledging presents or gifts, etc.;
  • Outright rudeness: such as dominating conversations with others (and then not listening to them talk), ignoring and interrupting, temper tantrums when you don’t get your way, rude remarks, inconsideration, selfishness, etc.
  • Unilateral, self-centered behavior: such as calling friends for support when you need it, but not being there for them when they call you for support;
  • Taking advantage of the generosity of others and then abusing it: such as asking to stay with a friend while you get on your feet, then staying for months (without paying a thing);
  • Talking out of turn with third parties: I have a former friend whose daughter asked to store furniture temporarily in my garage for a couple of months, now six months later (after ignoring my continued requests to vacate the items) she badmouths me to others because I will no longer give her the free storage.

What is your experience with “normal” behavior in today’s society?  It is easy to blame the economy for the downturn in niceness, but I think that rudeness is becoming the “new normal”.

I long for a return to niceness and common courtesy – is that too much to ask?  I want the “old” normal that I know and loved where kindness and positive comments prevailed.

Be kind to one another today!



3 Responses to “Normal is whatever you know (or knew)…”

  1. Bill Ravensberg Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Here, here! Well said Carol.

    The ‘old normal’ is much better. Hopefully, if we can each continue to show respect to others, it will start to rub off.

    Unfortunately, it may take some time. It’s amazing how quickly people have turned to the ‘new normal’.

    It kind of reminds me of weight gain / loss. I can put 5 pounds on in a few days but it can take 5 times that long to take it off.


    • Carol Dekkers Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm #


      Thanks for the comment! I think the economic strife and general stresses of unemployment and foreclosures (both negative) induce negative responses in people. It rubs off to employers (who want more more more at the expense of employees), customers (who inspired by sites like Groupon want deeper and deeper discounts), and in general (no one can get enough of a free thing) — all creating a “me first” mentality that goes beyond abuse of others.

      The “we” who can continue to show respect for others often get only disdain and disregard in response. It is my nature to be respectful, giving, and kind, but I’m beginning to wonder if nice girls DO finish last after all.




  1. Responding to friends is never out of season | Madeline Scribes - Thursday, March 10, 2016

    […] Normal is whatever you know (or knew)… ( […]


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