1. They are kind and patient with the salespeople and cashiers at stores.
The salesperson could probably list 30 things they’d rather do at any given moment than ring up bottles of wine and hemorrhoid cream for your #basic behind or help you squeeze into a dress you are unwilling to admit does not fit. Be grateful.
2. They always tip well.
In most cases, your waiters and waitresses count on your tips because they make less than minimum wage. If they were accommodating, brought your food within a reasonable amount of time, and did not spit in your drinks, show your appreciation.
3. They compliment people when you genuinely admire them.
Save for the Scrooges with hearts of coal amongst us, everyone feels good when people point out what they like about them. However, if you only have artificial or negative comments to make, it’s better to keep your mouth closed and stare at your nails instead.
4. They are honest when you do not reciprocate someone’s feelings.
Do not string him or her along — even though you sometimes get lonely and there is comfort in knowing that someone will rush straight to your side with every “hey u still up right now?” text you send. Although you may only want to sleep next to a warm, cuddly body (we all do…only the coldblooded are immune to spooning), it is cruel to play games with someone’s heart.
5. They give onto others as you would have them give onto you.
This applies doubly in bed (sorry, Mom and Dad).
6. They call their parents.
It’s easy to become caught up in the exhausting 9-5 grind. When work consumes most of your life, you barely have time for yourself. As soon as you’re free from the office, you might want to head straight home and forget that the world exists outside of your bed, Netflix, and a glass of cheap Sauvignon Blanc. But, you can have your “me” time; just don’t forget about the people who sacrificed their “me” time for 18 years to wipe your butt, cook you chicken nuggets, and drive you to soccer practice.
7. They don’t comment on anyone’s body or choice in food besides their own.
Actually, while you’re it, avoid commenting on your own body or choice in food as well! Have your cake, eat it, and don’t worry about anyone else’s cake.
8. They worship (read: tip!!!!) the barista who feeds your early-morning caffeine addiction.
Especially if he or she somehow manages to remember your order. Your barista is probably one of the bravest souls you know because he or she has to deal with hundreds of coffee-starved folk each day. Some of these people are downright terrifying before they’ve received their 8am shot of espresso and breakfast croissant.
9. They remember their manners.
This seems as though it would be a no-brainer. However, our social graces sometimes become less sophisticated than those of a six-year-old under certain circumstances. It’s not that most of us mean to be rude; it’s just that we forget! But, a “please” or a “thank you” — like our mommas taught us — can go a long way.
10. They don’t let intoxication absolve any impoliteness.
Maybe you’ve knocked back a few brews, bro. That does not give you license to treat the people around you poorly or mouth off to or about them. They say a sober person’s thoughts are a drunken person’s words — let’s keep them both friendly.
11. They text back in a semi-prompt manner.
I’m not advocating that you keep your phone glued to your hand at all times (Lord knows that my own friends have yelled at me too many times to put away my phone and “live in the present moment, dammit!”). At the same time, don’t wait two or three days to respond to a message, when it most likely is no longer relevant.
12. They are generous with their belongings.
Do not lend out the $400 black dress you have never worn to the friend who vomited all over the last sweater she borrowed from you — I have realistic expectations here. But remember that your kindergarten teacher taught you to share for a reason: a stingy soul is a sad soul. Never pass up an opportunity to treat someone else with kindness*. Usually, there is no cost to you, but you get to revel in the knowledge that you have made someone else’s day just a tinier bit better.
*If you need additional pointers, ask friends or colleagues from the Midwest for help! Midwesterners are privy to one of the only positive cultural stereotypes that exist: they’re really, really nice! And they have impeccable taste in cheese!