How to be polite: 20 easy tips

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For some people, being polite and courteous around others can serve as a sign of weakness or submissiveness, which is a wrong notion. Being polite is simply respecting and being aware of other people’s feelings. 

Unfortunately, being polite is a personality trait that only a few people have anymore. With everyone being extra protective, it is easy for people to care less about politeness but pay more attention to the inconsiderate behaviors of others.

The good news is, becoming a more polite person is incredibly easy. Of course, you might find it challenging to quit habits such as gossip or the irresistible urge to slam the door at someone. Still, you can start by doing little things like using people’s names, holding the door open for someone, paying attention during conversations, and resist the urge to use your phone while in the company of others.


Being polite is of your benefit; it improves your relationship with others, builds respect and rapport, improves your self-esteem, confidence, and communication skills. It also leaves a lasting and positive impression of you on those around you.

This article highlights twenty tips on how to be polite, and you defiantly want to read it till the end. Who knows, you may find out, being polite also improves your mood and reduces stress.

20 tips on how to be more polite

1. Be Consistent in being polite

To master the etiquette of being polite, you have to practice it regularly. You don’t want to be courteous and polite toward some people and not others; that certainly wouldn’t speak good about you as it could lead to a reputation of being two-faced.

2. Keeping to time

Although some people wouldn’t admit, it seems rude to be inexplicably late for a date or an appointment. When you habitually keep to time, it makes you more polite; it also helps you gain more control over your schedule and time you spend doing certain things.  If your date is at 7 pm, be sure you’re at the venue by 7 pm, even if it means giving yourself a little cushion time. What’s the worst that could happen?

3. Learn How to Make Small Talk

If you’ve had conversations with people who ask you a lot of personal questions, you must be familiar with the icky interrogative feeling it gives. When you meet someone, interrogating them with an endless list of items wouldn’t be a polite thing to do; this is why you must learn to engage in small talks.

Perhaps you could make mention of the weather, or talk about something that is in the news. There’s nothing wrong with being the first to begin a light conversation, but try not to overdo it. Being polite implies you listen to others as they talk, make appropriate remarks, and treat everyone like an old friend.

4. Listen

Everyone loves being heard and understood; when engaging in a conversation with others, it would be polite of you to listen, ask them questions relating to the discussion. This is especially important if you’re meeting for the first time. If you show others that you are listening to them and understand them, they will be more likely to accept your opinion.

5. Remember and use names

One easy way to both be more polite create a great impression on those you meet is to use their name during conversations with them. People like the sound of their name and tend to like you because you remember and call them by their name. Depending on your level of relationship with the person, it’s appropriate and polite to call them by direct name and not call them by a nickname until you’re permitted.

6. Avoid Over-sharing

Sometimes, too much information may seem annoying; an intelligent and polite individual should know how to drive conversations and when to stop talking. Especially when it comes to sharing information about your personal life and problems, over-sharing all at once could seem like you taking advantage of the conversation, which doesn’t create a good impression of you on the other person. Nobody needs to know about those absurd experiences you had if it doesn’t relate to the conversation or if they didn’t ask.

7. Humor

For you, a little joke may seem harmless since everyone loves a good joke. However, since people have a different level with a sense of humor, not everyone takes the same jokes the same way. When you find yourself in a mixed company, you must be conscious of the jokes you tell to not come across with a wrong impression. A Polite individual wouldn’t make a joke out of other’s misfortune.

8. Quit Cursing

Some certain words or phrases may seem inappropriate for use around children and elders. When around others, you should not neglect to watch your language, and also try not to curse or use swear words.

9. Avoid Gossip

Gossip is not an excellent attribute to be known for, although it can be challenging to resist the allure of gossip, mostly when something extraordinarily interesting happens. To be polite, you would not talk about others behind their backs. Therefore to be polite, you don’t listen to or spread gossips.

10. Give Compliments

You might be familiar with the positive feeling a genuine compliment gives; everyone likes being complimented, and being polite is being liberal with compliments. So whenever you meet that Facebook friend for the first time, feel free to tell him how much you love his haircut.

11. Learn How to Do Introductions Properly

Introducing one person to another is something every polite person should know how to do. As a host to two strangers, it may seem rude not to introduce them to each other while you converse with one of them.

Here’s what you should do: Be sure to keep eye contact with the respective parties while introducing them. Use names they’d prefer and proper titles, as you introduce them using a simple phrase (e.g., “I would like you to meet…”). To make things even better, you can talk about something the two people have in common so they can begin a natural conversation.

12. Know How to introduce yourself

When you are meeting someone for the first time, it’s proper for you to introduce yourself; polite people do not only know how to introduce others, they also know the appropriate way to introduce themselves. Here’s what you do; Wear a smile on your face, step forward as you reach out for a handshake, and introduce yourself with your preferred name. Always remember to say you’re honored to meet the person, but if they say that first, say you’re honored as well.

13. Adopt Courtesy

One easy way to be more polite is to be courteous, dealing with everyone around you. Allow someone cut in front of you in traffic, help to hold the door open for the person behind you, and try to think of others before yourself sometimes. Such small acts of kindness won’t put you out; they will only positively impact countless people that day.

14. Be Careful With Opinions

Everyone indeed has their personal opinion about everything, most especially these days. And while it’s easy to get caught up pushing your idea on seemingly casual or controversial topics, polite people do not immediately offer their opinions without prompting.

15. Greet People

Try to say hello when you see people, it could be as you walk around your neighborhood or on your way to the grocery store. Saying hello is a polite act that can leave a lasting and positive impression of you on others.

16. Remember Things About People

Most people tend to forget details about what they were told after having a decent conversation; it just so happens that information goes in one ear and out the other. When talking with others, it would be polite to be attentive to the conversations and remember details. Upon a second encounter, people will be delighted and impressed to know you follow-up on the previous discussion. It shows you care and are interested in them.

17. Respect Others

To be polite, you need to be considerate and show kindness to others; that means you should learn to respect their differences and opinions. Although you may disagree or dislike what people do, this is perfectly fine since you don’t have to like everyone. But you need to have some compassion for them as a polite person and try to understand where they are coming from

18. Phone Etiquette

Phone Etiquette is essential for being polite; when answering the phone, it’s better to begin by saying a soft hello, rather than scream your greetings. Generally, you want to speak gently but loudly enough for the person at the other end to hear. If you happen to be taking the call in public, you may want to watch the language you use and not share a bunch of personal, intimate information with others. When it comes to using your cell phones, be sure not to ignore people in your presence in an attempt to text others or scroll through the internet or endless apps.

19. Know Basic Table Etiquette

Understanding and using the basics table manners and etiquette is an essential skill a polite person must possess. Simple etiquettes like using your utensils from the outside and resting your utensils on the table before speaking should be observed in public. Other table manners that should be monitored include; not slouching, not chatting with a full mouth, and asking for things to be passed to you instead of reaching them from across the table.

20. Radiate Positivity

A polite person is a positive person; you can’t exhibit courteous acts when full of negative energy. Therefore, you should speak positively about yourself and every other person. Always wearing a smile on your face will not only make you happier but also makes the people around you feel more comfortable and at ease.

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