Honk your horn

Image for “Honk your horn”, GoGetter Coaching

Etiquette advises that showing off is unnecessary behaviour and is not polite. Except when it is.

People who gloat over themselves or family members in social situations, or boast about some accomplishment, are considered braggards, and nobody wants to hear what they have to say. However, in an interview situation, people must promote themselves, their skills and accomplishments – or risk failing the interview. It’s important to know when honking your horn is appropriate and when it’s not.

For a storyteller, there’s always a story in little things happening. Things some would consider insignificant, yet a great deal of conversation (and sometimes, lessons) can result from them, sometimes over a lifetime. Here’s an example.

Our family cars, like most, have a horn. In our family, said horn is hardly ever used, causing one to wonder, from time to time, what that horn sounds like, or whether it’s even real. In my car it’s probably the most unworn part of the vehicle. We don’t beep, we talk.

Instead of honking at someone when they’re cutting me off on the highway, I murmur at the other driver. “Oh no, you don’t. That’s dangerous. I’m right here, can’t you see me?” Of course, they can’t hear me, so they go right ahead with what they were doing.

When my sons began driving, I was delighted to see they were patient, calm drivers. Any opposition to other drivers came in the form of a gentle mutter.

Then there’s my husband.

When there’s a tailgater, he talks. Impressively. With the windows up. “Okay, fella, cool it. I can’t move, I’m surrounded by traffic. If you want to risk it, change your lane, but I’m staying put.” Usually followed by some “words of wisdom”, as he puts it.

Sometimes he’ll say to no-one in particular, or perhaps to me, quietly pretending I can’t see what’s going on. “What is she trying to do, who taught her how to drive? Don’t they know that the left lane is for passing?” Occasionally, I’ll attempt a cheeky explanation, “Driving schools aren’t what they used to be….”

Frequently, when letting someone pass, he’ll say, “Okay, you can go.” If they hesitate, he’ll say, loudly, “Come on, go! I don’t have all day!” As if the driver can hear him.

When I’m at the wheel and such things happen, my husband is quick to say, “There’s a horn, use it”.

Reserved for special occasions is my husband’s resorting to two-touching the horn. From a gentle no-sound touch in the area where the horn resides, to a slight tap that a passing fly might hear and move out of the way. If he ever does blow the horn properly, the offending driver never hears it – he’s already 5 cars ahead and oblivious. So now, other drivers hear the horn and wonder what this man is trying to say.

Thinking it must be because he’s recognized them, they wave affectionately as we drive along. Leaving my husband looking vaguely at them and returning a sheepish wave, the offending driver long forgotten…. and forgiven.

Honk your horn when you have to! Sometimes people need to hear it!

Email me at: bernadette@gogettercoaching.com .

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