4 Words That Will Make You Seem More Polite

4 Words That Will Make You Seem More Polite

women laughingFlickr/Nicola

In a touching Medium post a few days ago, the writer and programmer Paul Ford shared what he thinks is the secret to his politeness. In conversations with new acquaintances, Ford asks plenty of questions and lets the other person do the talking. He tries not to ask what they do for a living, but if it comes to that, he responds to their job description — whatever it is — with, “Wow. That sounds hard.”

“Nearly everyone in the world believes their job to be difficult,” he writes. He describes how this process once worked with a woman whose work is not something most people would consider taxing:

“I once went to a party and met a very beautiful woman whose job was to help celebrities wear Harry Winston jewelry. I could tell that she was disappointed to be introduced to this rumpled giant in an off-brand shirt, but when I told her that her job sounded difficult to me she brightened and spoke for 30 straight minutes about sapphires and Jessica Simpson.”

What Ford describes is known, in research circles, as empathy. It sounds simple, but it’s actually counterintuitive: If we humans are locked in a nasty, brutish, and short struggle for resources, why would we stop to give a hoot about each other?

But we do. Empathy is considered by many psychologists to be essential to cooperation, problem-solving, and to human functioning in general. Researchers have described it associal glue, binding people together and creating harmonious relationships.” Empathetic people are more likely to forgive others for small errors, like running late. Asking narcissists to imagine themselves in others’ shoes can help shrink their big heads.

Empathy helps people behave more generously, but some are worried that our society, with its Personal Brands and Snapchats, is losing this crucial characteristic. Recent research has suggested that college students have become less empathetic since the 70s, so much so that scientists are saying they should read great works of literature in order to better see situations from different points-of-view. Get out of the dorm and into the “Gulag Archipelago,” kids!

There are multiple ideas of what it means to be polite. The oldest, coined by the British philosopher Lord Shaftesbury in the early 1700s, holds that “‘politeness’ may be defined a dext’rous management of our words and actions, whereby we make other people have better opinion of us and themselves.” That is, we behave politely so as to boost our own social standing among our peers.

But I prefer the definition offered by Brendan Fraser’s Cold-War-era Prepper character in the 1999 feature film “Blast from the Past”: “Manners are a way of showing other people we care about them.”

Signaling that you understand how hard someone else’s situation is certainly makes you better at cocktail parties. But empathy — or “politeness,” or “manners” — isn’t just there at the start of interpersonal relationships; it also holds them together.

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/08/four-words-are-the-key-to-seeming-polite/376113/#ixzz3Igylnd4s

 

  • AUG. 26, 2014, 5:31 PM

#Empathy

About Robert Chaen

Biodata of Robert Chaen Founder of Robren Mega EMall, Robren Services, ChangeU, CEO-Celebrity Whisperer, Asia’s #1 Change Expert, and the Father of Asian FireWalking ​ Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and change expert.  He is famously known as the "CEO-Celebrity Whisperer”. Through 1-on-1 coaching, CEOs & celebrities whisper their issues and secrets to Robert, and Robert whispers back the best success secrets about business strategies, change tools, office politics & staff issues, and personal branding. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, , 300+ MSC CEOs in S.E. Asia's Silicon Valley, etc. He is the EKing of EMalls, the Founder of Robren Mega EMall, the World’s First Parallel Universe EMall Chian, with 100 City Mega EMalls opening in 2021-2023 (fb.com/MegaEMalls). ​He is widely considered as one of the top  International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club. He has interviewed PM Tun Dr Mahathir, Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia), Siti Nurhaliza, and other CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Influencers. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show). If Robert can coach you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be the best. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant skeptics.  Due to an ongoing paranormal encounter of the Angelic kind, he has been an Angel Whisperer 25 minutes before his late wife Brenda José crossed over on 23rd December 2013. Since then she has been sending him countless afterlife signs and he has written many articles and an EBook on his whisperings about The Afterlife and beyond from Angel Brenda. Updated: 2nd August 2020.

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