By Shelly Volner

We’ve all heard the phrase, “don’t let the door hit ya on the way out,” right? I have given it some thought and I think the more relevant phrase should be, “don’t let the door hit ya on the way in!”

Day after day in public settings such as medical buildings and restaurants, I’m witnessing a marked increase in the number of people letting doors literally slam in people’s faces, including my own.  And for someone who has had two nose surgeries, the thought of a door smacking my noggin does not excite me.

So what gives?

Have we become so self-engaged that we can no longer look out for our fellow man and woman with a simple sign of courtesy? Holding a door open for someone beside or behind us is pretty elementary in the etiquette handbook. And I’m not talking about leaving it to a doorman.  The only acceptable exemption in my opinion would be if your wife has gone into labor and you need to break into a full-court sprint as your enter the hospital doorway.  A rare occurrence, but it does happen.

Interestingly enough, most of my research on this subject seemed to merely focus on gender stereotypes.

It’s thought that men were quite comfortable with the custom of holding doors open for women. That is, until the onset of women’s lib. At that time, many women became offended by this gesture because they thought it implied they were inferior and too weak to open the door themselves. As a result, a growing part of the male populace decided to abandon this social nicety to encourage women’s equality.

But one mustn’t forget, there is a logistics angle as well when it comes to opening doors. Jay Remer of “AllExperts” blog states, “if a door opens in the direction people are approaching it, the man opens the door and lets the woman go in first. If it is a heavy door which opens away from the direction they’re approaching, the man opens the door and goes in ahead, not standing in the doorway.”

Let’s face it folks…opening doors for others is really a gender free issue.  Whether you are male, female, young, old or anywhere in between, you should open a door for someone. And if the person approaching is handicapped or has their hands full it’s even more appropriate and appreciated.

Bottom line, those that open doors for others have good manners and those that don’t do not.  It’s an open and shut case.