“Yes Sir, Yes Ma’am.” Is It Necessary?

Just the other day I was talking with this lady, that’s my mama’s age, if not older, and I want to let yall in on that conversation:

Lady: Are you enjoying it here in Arizona

Me: Yes ma’am, it’s different, but in a good way.

*Conversation continues and I continue to respond to her questions with either “yes ma’am” or “no ma’am”. She looks at me, with all seriousness, and says,

Lady: You don’t need to say “yes ma’am” or “no ma’am” to me.

Me: Yes ma’am I do.

Lady: It’s a southern thing isn’t it?

(I’m from the south, if you haven’t gathered that)

Me: No ma’am, that’s just the way my mama raised me, I guess.


“Did yall go to school together?” A question my mama used to ask, meaning if the person you’re talking to isn’t a friend, associate, and/or peer you need to be respectful in the way you talk to them, ESPECIALLY if that person is old enough to be your father or mother.

I realize not everyone was raised by my mama, but I feel it’s just a respectful thing to say “yes sir, no ma’am, please, and thank you!” I find myself not only using these phrases with my elders, but with almost everyone that I come into contact with, whether they’re older or not. Some people look at this small act of respect as an insult and you’re trying to make them feel old. Umm.. Excuse me, but I don’t control how YOU feel. I’m just trying to show you that you deserve to be respected, something that seems to be dwindling in this day and age, sadly. What’s your stance on the matter? I understand not everyone will agree with me and that’s fine and dandy, but I’m really interested in knowing your thoughts. Comment below. 👇


6 thoughts on ““Yes Sir, Yes Ma’am.” Is It Necessary?

  1. abetterwomancafe says:

    Being that I’m from NYC, it’s pretty different here. Since I was revealed to the truth and I began using yes ma’am/ sir especially at work, people laugh or say they felt old. Like you said, all I want to do is be respectful.

    But now that I think, even growing up with Haitian parents I was always taught to say “Oui” or “non” (yes or no) when an elderly person asked a favor of me and that was it. No complaints or further words of expression. Sadly, I wasn’t obedient to that growing up but I’m glad it came back to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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