How to be polite?

Courtesy is a form of virtue. Good manners can change your life, as I learned a revolutionary chapter of my learning journey; 以礼待人. Moreover, we ourselves love being around genuinely polite people, because they make us feel comfortable, respected and valuable.

  1. Respect is the mother of polite.
  2. The 3 magic words: please, sorry, thank you. Say them often.
  3. The easy body languages: smile, nod or tilt our head slightly downward (a sign of respect in every culture).
  4. Be nice. If someone annoys or even insults you, don’t get into an argument.
  5. Always step forward.
  6. Never ignore the elephants (death of family members). Say a simple phrase: "I was sorry to hear about your mother. I’ve been thinking about you and am hoping you’re doing OK.".
  7. Master the art of endurance. In Chinese character, endurance is written as a knife on the top of a heart. One must learn to endure injustice, humility, and shame. What others think of us, do not really matter, as long as we know that we are adhering to our values.
  8. Never reveal our negative emotions e.g. anger^.
  9. Anytime and anywhere, do not easily share our secrets.
  10. Do not gossip. "If you want to share the inside scoop, talk openly about your own thoughts or feelings–then you’re not gossiping, you’re being genuine."
  11. During a toast, lower our cup.
  12. Ask a question that shows you truly value the other person’s expertise or knowledge. The person will feel good, because you implicitly show you trust his or her opinion; you actually get input you can use. Win-win.
  13. Masters the art of social jiujitsu (the ancient art of getting others to talk about themselves without them ever knowing it happened). Masters of social jiujitsu "are fascinated by your every career step, your every journey of personal transformation, your every clever maneuver on your climb to the top of your social ladder." Showing a sincere interest in people != manipulative.
  14. If we ask someone a question and s/he does not answer, do not continue asking.
  15. Some topics e.g. religion or politics are sensitive and better not to be discussed in countries like Sweden and Barbados.
  16. When others criticize us, even though it’s not our fault, do not argue back immediately.
  17. Never judge. Don’t judge the person we are speaking to, other people, other cultures or countries or, well, anything.
  18. Never push our opinions.
  19. Give others space. Gentlemen, please don’t touch (unless you are touched 1st)!
  20. If we are invited to people’s home for meals, help to clean out because our hosts have put efforts to prepare and a pair of assisting hands for cleaning will always be welcomed.


^ grep lesson ref*/*20151123*



  1. […] the art of endurance ~ this is also a form of courtesy. Never reveal our negative emotions (anger, unhappiness), unless such an action can lead to a […]


  2. […] complain, don’t criticize, don’t gossip. Never laugh at other […]


  3. […] philosopher (and also a politician + editor + teacher), who has allowed us to practice respect and courtesy […]


  4. […] we strive to understand them, and adapt our communication to suit their personality. We want to be polite to them, simply because we treasure everyone who crosses our life […]


  5. […] Be polite and always be respectful to people. […]


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