When you read the title of this article, perhaps a few folks you know will pop into your head automatically! These are the unfailingly polite folks in your life, i.e., folks who always seem to be doing the kindest things and making the right moves. This type of behavior is accessible and beneficial to anyone who wants to incorporate it into their lives and benefit from these actions and their repercussions.
Luckily, the ability to show kindness and listen attentively aren’t traits we are either born with or without, like big feet or certain eye color. These are learned actions which can take a bit of practice first, but you will be amazed at how easily they can become habits in your life as well.
What regular, everyday things do polite men and women do, and how can you jump on the niceness bandwagon? It’s no secret that compassion, kindness, and manners make the world a more pleasant place, right? Read on to discover 15 things polite people do without even realizing it.
#1 They Actively Practice Compassion
Compassion is a habit that needs honing in most folks because sometimes our natural tendency is to think primarily about our own best interests. Practicing compassion involves employing empathy, which is tuning in to the emotional state of other folks around you.
How Do I Practice Compassion?
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
The easiest way to start is to simply spend one moment considering what it would be like to be the other person during your daily interactions. Instead of responding immediately and with your own needs first and foremost, think about what the other people around you are experiencing before you act or speak. Then, do your thing, and observe what happens.
Act How You Would Like Someone To Act
A lot of times, we complain about the actions of those we interact with instead of taking responsibility for our part in drama. If you consistently act compassionately, like how you would personally like others to be, chances are you’re on the right path to politeness.
#2 They Do Not Openly Judge
It’s just not a polite move to scorn other’s decisions and actions, particularly right there in-person. You always feel safe saying something to a polite friend because they won’t raise their eyebrows or sneer right after your story!
Tips For Not Judging:
Control Your Face
Many of us betray our thoughts by wearing them right on our faces! It’s called a “poker face,” and not everyone has one. Practice the Mona Lisa smile when hearing some particularly dramatic or salacious confessions from your friends, so that they know they are in a safe space without judgment.
Control Your Thoughts
Ultimately it comes down to changing your mind when it comes to judgment. The fact is, you don’t have a right to be the judge and jury of other people’s paths or actions because it is exhausting and counterproductive. Plus, this way, you don’t even have to actively control your body language because your natural thought process will be to avoid judging altogether – and just listen.
#3 They Do Not Overshare
Polite people are all about trying to make others feel comfortable, while also feeling comfortable themselves. It’s a nice, balanced way to be and can be very healthy and gratifying.
One key tidbit to having these types of interactions is by not oversharing. You’ll find that polite pals don’t generally pull you aside and give you the juiciest new gossip about their personal lives. Follow their lead, and keep your general conversations to topics other than the oldest skeletons in your closet.
#4 They Do Not Pry Into Others’ Lives
On the flip side, polite people do not ask repetitive personal questions of others or noticeably pry. It would simply be rude to do so because no one likes to feel pressured to reveal details of their personal lives on the spot.
One thing to note is that #3 and #4 describe behavior appropriate for basic social interactions. If a shoulder is required for leaning, even the politest of people will call on a friend for a listening ear and some camaraderie. Don’t let the blanket of “politeness” keep you from getting the support you need or from being there for a friend who needs to share.
#5 They Have Basic Manners
No, you don’t have to be well-versed in Everything Emily Post to be considered polite, but you do need to have the basics down pat. It’s a matter of being respectful to those around you and presenting your best foot forward at all times.
Absolute Musts Include:
MannersPolite folks can go to the ballgame or the fancy five-course dinner and be just fine. Get familiar with the standard operating procedures of eating all types of food and behaving in a decent and even graceful fashion in front of others.
Saying Please & Thank You
Mastering these childhood basics is critical, as well as “excuse me” or other necessary niceties during simple social interactions. You are not too busy to say “Thanks” every single time!
Appropriate Group Socializing
This habit includes being considerate to others in conversations, not dominating the entire stage all the time, and also not spending all night checking your apps instead if engaging.
#6 They Listen Attentively
This tip is a big one. Everybody knows people who make them feel like the only person in the room because of how well they are listening, almost as if they are hanging on your every word. Being polite like this is absolutely a learnable skill that will make a huge difference in life.
It’s simple but requires diligent discipline at first because, let’s face it, minds wander! Focus on what the person is saying and let them finish their entire thought or entire story before piping in with your two cents. Follow up on what they said, and don’t just use the silence as a chance to share your version of the same story.
Ask questions and listen to the responses. Look them in the eye and nod or react encouragingly throughout the conversation. And for goodness sake, do NOT look at your phone!
#7 They Can Take Constructive Criticism
Not only can these people accept helpful tips or strategies when planning, they welcome it. They aren’t so prideful that they need to be the hero every time and will even actively solicit input during projects.
#8 They Respect People’s Property
In general and overall, they have respect for other people, and they have respect for their things. A good rule of thumb is to treat all possessions as if they were your grandmother’s. Would you set a dewy mug on grandma‘s coffee table without a coaster, or rest your dirty feet on her dashboard? We didn’t think so.
#9 They Show Kindness To All
Kind people act the same regardless of who they are interacting with, and it consistently shows when you look at how they treat people. From the CEO to a general colleague, from the waitress to your fiance’s parents, everybody gets the red carpet treatment no matter what.
#10 They Have Respect For Others Behind Their Backs
This is the definition of gossip, and polite folks don’t engage in this behavior. If other people come up in conversation, they will either speak of them well or not at all. People who are truly polite and have respect for others do not rejoice in the miseries of others. They truly think well of the people around them and want them to be happy.
#11 They Are Mature In Quarrels
In general, these people take responsibility for their actions and don’t resort to immature tactics during disagreements. Let’s face it, not everyone sees eye to eye on everything, but there are basic rules to staying respectful while quarreling.
Tips For Fighting Fair
- Stick To the Current Topic
- No Name-Calling
- Listen Before Responding
- Accept The Reality of Your Actions/Avoid Instant Defensiveness
- Agree to Disagree if They Still Don’t Reach a Conclusion
#12 They Know When To Take Their Leave
Unless they are staying behind to help with the dishes, polite friends won’t be the last ones out the door. They will read the social cues of the gathering and leave when it’s appropriate. This type of consideration is also applicable to popping into someone’s office, chatting on the phone with a friend, or visiting out-of-town relatives.
#13 They Communicate Well
Communication spans a broad array of behavior. If you are unsure of how you come across with your overall communication, consider asking a trusted friend or family member for their input, since we are not always able to see ourselves.
Good Communication Skills To Master:
- Using An Appropriate Volume
- Not Interrupting Others
- Not Being Passive Aggressive
- Displaying Positive Body Language
#14 They Are Natural Hosts
Making others comfortable is second nature to polite people, and they don’t even need to be in a formal setting. Regardless of location, the kind human is going to include others and not hog the spotlight day-in and day-out.
Consider seeing yourself as a host or hostess during conversations, and imagine it’s your job to make others feel welcome, validated, and interesting. See how this behavior transforms how others treat you in return!
#15 They Do Not Harm Others
This might seem obvious, but it is an umbrella rule for a number of examples. Harming others could mean people, and it could apply to their physical bodies or even their feelings. Be mindful of your words, for they can injure just as cruelly as a weapon against the flesh.
Harming others could also include children, animals, and even bugs. It could apply to possessions even. The name of the game is just to be respectful of everything in your orbit.
We’ve broken down several behaviors and overall philosophies of the polite people who walk among us and make life more pleasant. Yes, they generally don’t have spinach stuck in their teeth and probably won’t start a food fight, but it’s much more than that! They listen attentively and treat all people they encounter with respect and dignity.
Employing the Golden Rule methodically throughout your day quite simply reaps amazing rewards, and it sums up how some people continually show kindness as they walk through life. “Treat others how you would like to be treated” are wise words that can apply to both people and things, and usually winds up with great results.
Take a look at the polite people in your orbit, and observe their behavior along with the responses they get. You’ll see a beautiful and effortless harmony that could also be yours to delight in! A true kindness never ceases to perpetuate through life.