Making a Case for Good Manners
There seem to be people who believe that being polite equals being false. These people suggest that it is impossible to be honest and be nice at the same time.
I think these people lack intelligence as well as good manners.
In 2013 manners are not about when to stand and what to wear, or which fork to use.
Modern manners are about compassion, and making people feel comfortable.
Even when we need to give bad news or have an uncomfortable conversation, there are always ways to be kind.
None of us is perfect in this regard. We all are capable of rude behavior from time to time. But striving to be kind and thoughtful is never a sign of weakness or falseness.
Whatever our career or circumstances, interaction with others is a daily necessity. Why not make it a pleasant one?
There are even polite ways to stand up for ourselves.
Years ago my Grandmother gave me a book entitled “The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense.” With humor and intelligence this book gave great ways of effectively and politely standing up for oneself.
Being gentle in our tone, considerate in our actions and compassionate in our phrasing in no way dilutes our message.
If we find ourselves in an altercation the surest way to win is to maintain temper when our adversary doesn’t. Well-chosen, well-modulated words allow us to speak our truth in a way that cannot be easily dismissed.
In any social or business situation we always have a choice about how we present ourselves. When we chose compassion over anger, patience over impatience and kindness over rudeness, we improve our reputation, our own mood and the environment of the people around us. What about that could possibly be weak or false?