What happened to being polite?

Being polite doesn’t take much effort but I think it may be part of our behaviour that’s slowly dying. Politeness is just a way of being “nice”. Many people might say that being “nice” is a weakness and the word itself is a bit wishy-washy but I don’t think there is anything wrong with the word. The dictionary definition of the word “nice” has several meanings. It can mean:-

  • Pleasing and agreeable in nature: had a nice time.
  • Having a pleasant or attractive appearance: a nice dress; a nice face.
  • Exhibiting courtesy and politeness: a nice gesture.
  • Of good character and reputation; respectable

Being polite is the equivalent of giving someone a present but without it actually costing anything. It feels good to give somebody a present. You feel pleased with yourself and we often get a better feeling from giving than we do receiving.

Everyone, of course learns courtesy and politeness in their early years. I was no exception and I was always taught good manners. At school as well we had to stand when an adult walked into the classroom as this was a sign of respect for your elders. I often gave up my seat on the bus going to school for old ladies and I felt good about it. To this day I still hold doors open for other people and have been known to open a car door for someone.

It’s on the road though that the worst of lack of courtesy is seen. Everyday, I’m carved up by other drivers who break the written and unwritten rules of the road as they try to gain a few extra seconds on their journey to and from work. These are the people who will end up with heart attacks and who will argue with their wives!

Less young people are saying “please” and “thankyou” and I’m not impressed with that. Saying those words with a smile is even better.

Being polite will cause others to like you more and give you respect. Try being extra nice for a day. Smile at everyone and even try to make small talk with a complete stranger. You might be surprised how good it will make you feel.

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