In a crowd of people that you meet, occasionally you stumble upon this person who stands out.
She might exude incomparable charisma. He might be enviably charming and likable. She might be an example of confidence in a genuine and positive way.
People who stand out for positive reasons aren’t just remarkable, but they’re the ones we want to work with and do business with.
And that’s why people who possess genuine politeness stand out. (Not fake polite — sincere polite.) They make us feel at ease, respected and valued. We vie to be more like them and do business with them.
Here’s what polite people never do — and what they do instead:
1. They can’t stay in place
Let’s say you’re at a party and a friend gestured out someone and said, “Let me introduce you to Ben.”
Ben sees you coming … and he stands there, waiting for you to reach to him in some bizarre power move.
Remarkably polite people, no matter how great their perceived status, step forward, smile, tilt their head slightly downward (signifies respect in every culture), and act as if giving them honor by the introduction, not you.
That is what Mark Cuban did when I met him. He heard I am very eager to meet him and walked across the room right away—where I was waiting to see if it would be alright— to greet him hello. The fact I have recalled how gracious he was tells you everything you need to know about the impression that formed.)
Therefore, polite people never “big time” you; instead, they always make you feel like you’re big time.
2. They never call you what you don’t ask to be called
Again, in an event, you introduce yourself to me as Jonathan. We discuss things and within minutes, I’m calling you John. Or Johnny. Or Jack. Or the J-man.
Maybe your friends call you J-man, but we’re not friends or that close (yet), and you definitely haven’t given me permission to call you in an informal way, much less full nickname.
Remarkably polite people wait to be given the permission to use a different, or a more familiar name. They call you what you asked — or later ask — to be called because it’s your right to be addressed in the way you wish to.
Anything less would be disrespectful.
3. They never touch unless people touch them first.
Polite individuals wait for the other person to initiate the nonsexual touch guidelines. (Of course, let’s exclude the handshakes)
While I know that it seems like no one will ever hug or pat a shoulder because of the reason that no one can ever go first, don’t fret. Huggers hug. Patters pat. Backslappers slap. That’s what they do.
These polite people go a step further: They never pat or squeeze or slap (in a good way), even if they are being patted or squeezed or slapped. One sure thing they will do is to hug back, but they don’t retaliate other forms of touch.
What’s the reason for that? Some people don’t even realize they’re already touching you, but they definitely get aware when you touch them. That sure would cause them to be uncomfortable, and discomfort is the last way polite people want others to experience.
4. They never try to take unless they give
Consider networking. One of the goals of networking is to connect with people who can help you make a sale, get a referral, establish a contact, etc. When we do networking, we desire something.
Initially, polite people will never ask for what they want. (In fact they might never ask for what they want.) They set aside what they can benefit and just focus on what they can provide, because they believe that giving is the only way to create a real connection and relationship.
Pay heed solely on what you can get out of the connection and you will surely never make meaningful, mutually beneficial connections.
In the world of networking, it should be all about them, not you.
5. They never expose all they know more than they should
We all know some people who keeps on sharing stuff in the social media allowing people to occasionally see what they’ve been up to.
But for polite individuals, they don’t bring those things up. They talk about sports, they talk about the weather, they discuss about how “The Walking Dead” is a metaphor for life in corporate America, but they only talk about privy subjects the other person actually shared to them in person.
Perhaps it seems like the person wants everyone to know about a personal subject, but it rarely occurs in the real case. So unless his or her social-media broadcasts were specifically directed to you, always wait.
6. They never ignore the elephants
The mom of an acquaintance died several weeks ago. You stumble upon him and you’re not so certain whether to bring it up.
For polite people, they always bring it up. They try to manage it in a simple way, like, “I was sorry to hear about what happened to your mother. I have been thinking about you and am hoping you’re doing fine.”
Awkward? Of course not? Now that you have finally extended your sincere condolences, you can both move on: Your comrade is no longer wondering if and when you might mention it, and you are no longer wondering whether you should as well.
7. They never gossip — or pay heed on gossip
For most people, resisting the inside scoop is something that is hard to do. Figuring out the reasons behind someone’s decisions, the motivations which drive someone’s actions, the skinny behind someone’s hidden agenda — much less whether a certain guy is really dating a particular girl from marketing — those conversations are hard to shrug off.
Remarkably polite men and women know gossiping about other people makes you think what they’re saying about you. As a matter of fact, when someone initiates to talk about someone else, polite people excuse themselves and gracefully take their exit. They don’t really care if they will lose a gossiper’s respect; anyone who is up to gossip doesn’t respect other people anyway.
If you want to share the hot issues, talk openly about your own thoughts or feelings— then you are not gossiping, you are being genuine. That’s what polite people do. But at the same time
8. They never speak just to spread the greater glory of themselves
When can you say that? If you’re talking about something just because it seems you can feel the sense of pride to share it, and there’s no place for the other person to add value, you’re just patting yourself on the back.
When remarkably polite individuals want to discuss about themselves, they ask for some pieces of advice — and of course not the humblebrag advice like, “I notice you keep your car really clean; what wax do you recommend for a Porsche?”
When you ask questions, make sure that you’re doing it in a way that you are truly valuing the person’s knowledge and expertise. As a result, the person will feel good for they will perceive you trust his or her opinion; you actually get input you can use. It is a win-win situation and undeniably polite.
9. They never insist their opinions
We all know things. Great things. Cool stuff.
Just make sure you share those things in the right place and time. If you’re a mentor, share away for it is your job. If you’re a coach or a leader, share away it is your responsibility. If you’re the guy who just started a Paleo Diet, don’t tell us all what to order unless we ask.
Remarkably, the polite individuals know that what is good for them might not be good for others — and even if it is right, they are not in the position to decide that for you.
Like most things in life, extending helpful advice is more about picking the right spot — and polite people know the right spot is always after you are asked.
They never judge.
Judging the person they are speaking to is the last thing you will expect to see from the polite people. They don’t judge other people. They give fair and reasonable judgement on other cultures or countries or, well, anything.
Why? Because these polite people believe they aren’t perfect either.
10. They’re never bored…with you
You can relate it to an event wherein you stumble upon a person, talk with him for 30 mins and then walk away realizing you just had a great talk with that guy.
And later on without quite knowing, you learned nothing about that person.
Exceptionally polite people are experts at social jiujitsu, the ancient art of getting you to talk about yourself without you getting aware it happened. SJ masters are overwhelmed by your every career step, your every journey of personal evolution, your every smart maneuver on your climb to the top of your social ladder….
They find you fascinating — and that gives you the right to find yourself fascinating. (That’s an authorization we all enjoy.)
Social jiujitsu is effortless. Just ask the right questions. Keep open-ended, and allow room for description and introspection. Ask how or why or who.
As soon as you figure out little about someone, ask how she was able to do it. Or why she did it. Or what she liked about it, or what she learned from it, or what you should do if you’re in the same situation.
Expressing real interest in people is not manipulative, it sure is fun for you and for everyone. They get the chance to discuss on things they are passionate about, and also, enjoy their enthusiasm, excitement and passion.
And if that doesn’t satisfy you, think of it this way: No one receives too much respect. Asking other people about themselves implicitly shows you respect them.
Respect is the mother of politeness.
11. They are always polite. They never stop being one.
The charm you saw on those polite persons the first time you meet them, remains. They don’t use it and let go of it.
These amazingly polite people remain on being polite: probable because they don’t have another way to be, but also because they know there is no other way to be.
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