11 things you’ll only know if you’re way too polite for your own good

11 things you’ll only know if you’re way too polite for your own good

Manners, some people say, are a dying art.

There’s the uncouth youths playing music on the train, the news that Alexa is now reprimanding families for not saying please, and, we shudder to think of it, Twitter. Fred Astaire once said, “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any,” and he died more than 30 years ago.

Here’s a few things you’ll know if you’re one of those valiant souls still defiantly minding your Ps and Qs.

1. Saying sorry is an instinct you cannot ignore

Sorry Fight Club GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

There’s often an inverse proportionality between the people that should say sorry, and the people that do say sorry, and if there’s even a 1% chance you’ve done something wrong you’ll apologise profusely.

Better safe than, er, sorry.

2. When you’re worried you’ve been rude, it haunts you

Denial GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We trod on someone’s foot in a train station without a proper apology, and we just can’t quite get over the guilt.

That was in 2014.

3. You’re weirdly proud of your manners

Starship Troopers Im Doing My Part GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

There’s something strangely life-affirming about an orderly queue, a genuine enquiry after someone’s health, or an endless succession of “no, after you”.

When you see two people apologise for a shoulder bump that was no one’s fault, you can go about your day knowing that all is right with the world.

4. You’re a master of the evil eye

Phoebe Waller-Bridge GIF by BBC Three - Find & Share on GIPHY

It’s not always possible to completely hide displeasure, so even the most courteous of souls must cultivate an outlet, subtle enough that it might only be recognised by fellow polite people.

A twitch in the left eye, a momentary purse of the lips, the ol’ fishhook in the eyebrow. Never so obvious, of course, as to be rude.

5. You’re owed vast sums of money by your friends

https://giphy.com/gifs/show-money-maguire-9HQRIttS5C4Za

You wouldn’t dream of calling in the 50p Johnny owes you for parking money, or the £20 Susan borrowed for dinner, or the £1,100 that your social group collectively owes you for the flights to Tom’s stag do…

You might need to rethink some life choices.

6. Other countries can be… perplexing

Confused Laura Dern GIF by EditingAndLayout - Find & Share on GIPHY

We’re not making any value judgements here (that would be rude), but different nations have different interpretations of things like queuing and personal space.

On the plus side, there’s Canada.

7. There’s a difference between politeness and etiquette

Sexy Alicia Silverstone GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Politeness doesn’t mean getting sniffy over which knife and fork to use. If you’re actually polite, you’ll let them use whatever cutlery they please.

8. You get really uncomfortable when people are rude in restaurants

Mama Tns GIF by The Next Step - Find & Share on GIPHY

We don’t know why this is, but present nice, normal people with a service professional, and in a flash they transform into grumpy, overbearing monsters somewhere between Malcolm Tucker and Cruella de Vil.

We recommend a new form of national service. Instead of two years in the army, everyone must spend a fortnight behind the bar at their local Wetherspoons. Then we’ll see who wants to speak to the manager.

9. Sometimes politeness can be a drawback

Then I Won'T Hold It For You Cartoon Network GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Turning into heavy traffic, haggling at market stalls, getting served at a busy bar – just a few essential life skills we’re absolutely terrible at. We like to think that one day karma will reward us for our sacrifice, but in the meantime manners will have to be their own reward.

10. It can be difficult saying no

Stop It Social Media GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

What you meant was, “There are limbs I’d rather lose than attend your daughter’s ballet recital,” yet what they heard was, “How lovely, I’ll see you there.”

11. Most of the time, politeness is just being nice

Nbc Waving GIF by The Good Place - Find & Share on GIPHY

Fundamentally, being polite is a low benchmark that everyone should be able to reach. It’s called ‘common courtesy’ for a reason.

- Press Association

More in this Section

'The simple answer is, I was given drugs when all I needed was some rest': Motown legend Martha Reeves'The simple answer is, I was given drugs when all I needed was some rest': Motown legend Martha Reeves

Working Life: Margaret Naughton - Jack and Jill Children’s FoundationWorking Life: Margaret Naughton - Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation

Learner Dad: As long as other people gave their kids sugar, we assumed we didn’t have a problemLearner Dad: As long as other people gave their kids sugar, we assumed we didn’t have a problem

Let’s go to bed: How to create the cosy winter retreat you’ve always dreamed ofLet’s go to bed: How to create the cosy winter retreat you’ve always dreamed of


Latest Showbiz

The Mad Men actress announced the split with a statement on Instagram.Celebrity break-ups of 2019: Christina Hendricks splits from husband

She married actor Geoffrey Arend in 2009.Mad Men star Christina Hendricks announces split from husband

Robert Pattinson will star as the Dark Knight.Upcoming Batman film finds its Riddler

More From The Irish Examiner