How to Be Polite

Paul Ford has written a fantastic piece entitled How to Be Polite. It’s wonderfully written, spot-on, and chock full of quotable stuff. Like so:

Politeness buys you time. It leaves doors open. I’ve met so many people whom, if I had trusted my first impressions, I would never have wanted to meet again. And yet – many of them are now great friends.

In the article, Ford mentions a particular “trick” when talking to someone for the first time. After asking them about their job, he often responds with “Wow. That sounds hard.” I do this all the time, and it really does work. I think all of us (me included) love talking about ourselves, and when given the opportunity – we just keep going until someone tries to stop us.

Like Ford though, I think I’m also genuinely interested to hear about other people’s jobs. I don’t always assume it’s hard, but I do believe that other people’s jobs are harder than we think.

Ford’s piece is quirky and funny, and it’s really a struggle to not quote the entire thing here in this blog post. Another excerpt:

It’s just a little rule nestled in my brain, filed under Prostitutes. There are thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of similar just-in-case rules. What if I had to meet the mayor tomorrow? What if I had to go to an expensive restaurant? What if I needed to interview a homeless person for a story? Emily Post couldn’t cover everything, so I have to make do. I am, admittedly, a deeply anxious person. But also a polite one.

Do yourself a favor, and check out How to Be Polite. It’s really quite good, and I’m all but insisting.

Because insisting would be a little too pushy, and impolite.

[via @mathowie, Image: The Good Boy, 1837]

Polite in Public, Vic Theater
Polite in Public: Chicago Pics Online

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave A Reply