I’ve always thought of myself as being polite.
- I say my please and thank you’s.
- I hold the door open for others as often is possible. And sometimes annoyingly to the group I’m with, as they are waiting for me to finish door duty.
- I don’t curse in mixed company and never first when meeting someone.
- I always use the name they gave me after we’ve met.
- I don’t gossip and an obsessive about keeping confidences
- I’m not on my phone when others are around. I try giving my full undivided attention to whomever I’m with.
Sounds pretty good, right.
Until I really dug deeper. There are still a lot of areas that I can work on to be a bit more polite, and to show a bit more courtesy.
Because at the end of the day, a little civility can go a long way.
We live in an increasingly divided and disconnected world, at least disconnected in a interpersonal way. Our devices keep us tethered to one another, to information, to every sort of news, to every convenience that can be instantly purchased and delivered to our waiting …well, I was going to say doorstep, but now it’s wherever we are.
Connecting personally with one another that is another thing.
Before we can be connected we have to be polite, to be good, decent citizens and upstanding folk who have good manners and respect one another.
Politeness sits right along with kindness, integrity, empathy, modesty, patience and trustworthiness.
Compassion is a subset of politeness where you are emotionally concerned about others, are a good Samaritan who is responsive to the misfortune of others. They live in the same sphere but are different parts.
With a little work and mindfulness this is something we each can improve.
In general, these reminders below work for most interactions, but be mindful of your local customs and social norms. Such as smiling when meeting someone is not universal to all countries and cultures.
The crucial part is in your motivation that you are showing consideration for others, are tactful, and adjust to the social norms of who you are interacting with.
Gossiping and judging is a tough one for a lot of people. The desire to connect over negativity can be very seductive and damaging.
Sure, you can score points with some people when you gossip, share embarrassing information about others, or get on the negative bus with them pointing out the flaws in others.
It just isn’t polite. –And it signals to them, even if they like it, that you will do the same with others about them.
Whatever you do, don’t ever stop being polite. It is part of being civilized people in a civilized world. Thank you, very much for bringing more kindness and civility into our world.