|I was born and raised in Mississippi most of my life.|
That might explain it. The deep south has a lot of things other areas of the country/world find strange. This is sounding like one of them.
| I was raised being told that sir was a respectful title for a man and ma'am was a respectful title for a woman.|
I can tell you that everywhere I've lived (4 states spread across the east coast, west coast, and Midwest USA), women hated
being called ma'am. Ellen DeGeneres even did a comedy bit about it back when she was doing standup.
Of course it's different depending on the culture you're in. Women where you live probably find it very pleasant.
I guess my point is.... there's this old saying... "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". When going to other cultures, it's respectful to adapt to those cultures. The general consensus with the culture on this forum is that referring people to sir is not necessarily respectful. Even if that's what you mean to do... it is not how it is being perceived.
|It is more disrespectful to ask a person to stop doing what they have done their whole life |
It's hard to respond to this without sounding rude.... how about an example...
Say there's this heavyset guy from some other state (let's say Wisconsin for an example). He's extremely friendly. Where he's from, it's common for people to give each other bear hugs and maybe even a peck on the cheek. So the way he was raised, and the way he lived his entire life.. that's what he did. Every time he greeted someone, he'd give them a big hug and a kiss.
So this guy moves out of Wisconsin and into your town in Mississippi. You meet him and you guys become pretty good friends. Once you're good friends, he starts greeting you that way: big bear hug + kiss on the cheek.
But let's say that makes you feel uncomfortable. You don't like it.
The question now is... would it be rude of you to tell him you don't like it and ask him to stop?
Of course not. Regardless of the fact that he's done it his entire life... you don't see it as being flattering, and you'd rather he not do it.
The other question is... would it be rude of him to continue doing it even after you asked him to stop?
. I'd say yes... it absolutely would.
Replace "bear hug + kiss" with "calling people sir/ma'am"... and instead of moving from WI to MI, it's moving from MI to this internet forum. And that sums up the situation we have here.
You are doing something that is extremely polite and perfectly acceptable in your culture
, but when you are on this forum you are not in your culture, so it is not being perceived in the way you intended.
|if I am forced to chose between sir/ma'am/Mr./Miss or this site; then I'll leave the site.|
I think that's a bit of an overreaction. But whatever.
|As for how to handle neighbors, I stick by what I said. The world has changed, there are some neighbors you can talk to and resolve your issues, but there are also neighbors that may react in the extreme resulting in harm to yourself. It is a hit or miss on that because you can never tell which kind of person they are. If the annoyance is worth the risk then go for talking to them. If not, don't. |
I agree that it depends entirely on the people. There's no one-size-fits-all answer when dealing with people.