person extending their hand for a handshake

Treat everyone with politeness.

“Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you — not because they are nice, but because you are.” – Roy T. Bennett

For many people, politeness is conditional. They’re only nice to those who are nice to them first. But niceness shouldn’t be a tit-for-tat trait, and it shouldn’t be interchanged with being a pushover. After all, it takes a lot of inner strength to stay polite in a heated situation. And standing up for oneself could, more often than not, be done with politeness. In fact, there are many ways that politeness could be beneficial for work, relationships, and life in general. 


The Benefits of Politeness

Being polite at work could make a world of difference. It’s important to work well with others to improve workplace communication and collaboration. And often, it comes down to the first impression, which sets the tone for a relationship. Politeness shows that you care and will listen to others, which will make them more likely to care and listen to you. This will create strong work relationships with coworkers and clients.


Additionally, arguments are inevitable in a work environment, but rude behavior could escalate these situations into unproductive rants and personal attacks. Politeness and calm discussions could help resolve these disagreements while avoiding any damage to personal relationships.


However, remember that being polite doesn’t equate to being a pushover. Don’t compromise on important issues just to avoid conflict with someone else. One could still be assertive and disagree with others while still being considerate and respectful. [1]


These benefits extend to romantic relationships as well. Often couples become casual and careless after a while. This could lead to them accidentally hurting their lovers and creating lasting damage to their bond. Being polite is a sign of respect for the other person. And while love is vital for any romance, respect is vital for keeping it happy and healthy. Additionally, politeness could make a good impression on someone you’re romantically interested in. This includes listening actively, giving genuine compliments, and graciously accepting no for an answer. [2]


Common Habits of Polite People

We’ve all met people who are genuinely polite, and we love being around them. They don’t wait for us to be nice first. Instead, they go out of their way to make us feel comfortable, respected, and valuable. They make us want to improve our politeness, and here are a few ways to do just that. 


Take the first step

Polite people don’t wait for others to approach them. They don’t need power plays like that to feel important. Rather, they are the ones to welcome a newcomer or draw the lone guest into the conversation. With every introduction, they don’t act like it’s a chore to see you. Instead, they seem like they are truly honored to make your acquaintance. 


Don’t initiate touch

Out of politeness, some people don’t touch a person until they initiate it. Individuals often go for the hug, pat on the shoulder, backslap, but some are uncomfortable with strangers touching them that way. Polite people follow cues from others to ensure they feel comfortable.


Don’t ignore the elephant in the room

When a person’s family died recently, a polite person doesn’t pretend nothing happened the next time they see them. Instead, they offer condolences at the start of their conversation. Ignoring a detail like this may feel easier to do, but it hurts the other person’s feelings. A quick acknowledgment goes a long way.


Don’t brag

Polite people don’t throw their achievements into every conversation. Instead, they want to learn from others and their experiences. After all, no one enjoys being subject to bragging sessions where they have nothing to contribute. What’s worse is the humble-brag, where a person hides a boast under false modesty.


Don’t push opinions

No one likes when a person pushes their ideas unprompted. Polite people know that what is good for them may not be good for others. They may offer advice, but they don’t push it. After all, they accept that some things are not their business. Most of all, polite people don’t judge others for how they eat, dress, where they are from, etc. They know that they themselves aren’t perfect, so who are they to judge?

Always be polite

Real politeness isn’t a tool to use and discard whenever it suits you. It’s a way of treating every person, not just the people you want something from. That’s why polite people are so beloved. They make everyone feel special, and their respect is genuine. [3]

Keep Reading: 24 Things People With Good Table Manners Don’t Forget to Do


  1. How Being Polite in the Workplace Helps.Chron. Gregory Hamel.
  2. “What Has Politeness To Do With Love?Psychology Today. Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. December 5, 2008
  3. “10 Habits of Remarkably Polite People.Inc. Jeff Haden. November 12, 2014
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.