By: Lorene Belotti, Guest Blogger
I dislike people who are not polite. In my job as a salesperson, I experienced aggressive people who truly believe if you work in business, you’re necessarily a “shark” who’s going to try to “trick” them; I met authoritarian people who think you’re just here to serve their every desire no matter what (especially if it’s impossible); I dealt with cranky and irascible people who take it out on you so that they may feel more powerful because they need to be “above” you to feel good.
Every day in our lives, we’re confronted by rudeness, incivility, and competition that are actually real aggressions: small or big attacks to your self-confidence and inner serenity.
What does being polite mean? I consider civility the breeding ground of blooming. It’s simply respecting everyone’s space, not being in people’s way, and allowing everybody to be conformable and at-ease all together. This respect makes people feel confidence and allows them not to live in a society that is like the “law of the jungle,” but in a civilization where everyone has his own place. Politeness answers to the basic need of recognition. By being nice and correct we send a positive and benevolent message; we’re open to others and we create connection. Politeness mellows human relations.
My boss once told me he was insulted by a woman whom he held the door open for at a restaurant. She rebuffed him, saying she was old enough to do it herself. Come on! Good manners have nothing to do with being a man or woman. It’s universal. Feminism should be a fight against degrading behavior. Is it so bad to have a kind intention from a foreigner, male or female? I don’t think so.
Being nice, especially for a woman, is not a shame! Being respectful, showing to others they exist and matter, just by little intentions, is beautiful and fulfilling for everyone involved in this social interaction. Being considered a nice girl shouldn’t mean, like it often does, staying quiet and passive. This is a huge and lame amalgam. We definitely can be strong, efficient, respected AND respectful. For me, true strength actually happens to be in this ability to combine common sense treatment, a real consideration for people around you, and deep listening capacities.
Don’t forget little incivilities often grow. A word over another in your car or at the supermarket can impact a person more than you think. Choose to not play that game. Say hello, thank you, smile, and send good vibes to a stranger’s life by bringing a little bit of kindness in your common world. THIS is Power.
Lorene is a French observer and learner of life. She’s been working as a salesperson and a marketing assistant for four years to learn the ropes of the business world. She used to be a sports journalist while doing her Master’s degree and she loves writing and telling stories about great people too much not to go back to her first love soon. She lives in the French Alps, and loves to try to solve the world’s problems while having a great meal with her loved ones. She is passionate about foreign languages, self-development books, American TV shows, and people. Oh, and she’s a total nerd of Academic studies (when she’ll win the lottery, she’ll go to Harvard).
Featured image via values.com