It seems like politeness is pretty much underrated these days. It shouldn’t be that way!
Being polite is a sign of maturity and capability. It creates better interactions. It helps diffuse tense situation. It is simply good manners, something that we all need to practice regularly.
For most people, politeness is learned at school or at home, but for others, it is necessary to re-learn this habit in other ways. Using phrases that polite people exercise in their vocabularies is a good way to start.
10 Phrases Polite People Use Often
- “Hello” or “Good morning/ afternoon/ evening”
Greeting people may seem unnecessary, but it is really a great habit to have. A quick and easy greeting works wonders in terms of breaking the ice between you and people you are not too close with, and it might brighten someone`s day.
- “Is there any way that I can help?”
Is someone you know having a difficult time? Is your friend going through a loss? Have they revealed something serious to you?
It is difficult what to say and what to do to help someone else. But, asking if they need help is sometimes the best thing you can do. This is a compassionate act that can make a huge difference.
- “Pardon” or “Excuse me”
There are many different situations where you may need to ask for pardon or excuse yourself. Here are some examples:
“Pardon”: Instead of asking “what” when you didn’t quite catch when someone said something, say “pardon”. You can expand on it: “Pardon, could you please repeat that?” or “Pardon, I didn’t catch that.”
“Excuse me”: You can use this phrase to excuse yourself from a location or situation, to ask for a passage through a crowded location, to get the attention of someone, as an apology for invading someone`s space, and as a transition into an urgent topic.
This term is one of the first polite terms that most people learn. It is the most used of all the phrases as it instantly softens any sentence. For instance, consider:
- “Let me pass,” versus, “Could you please let me through?”
- “Keep it down!” versus, “Please be quiet!”
- “Lend me your pen,” versus, “May I please borrow your pen?”
- “Get your stuff off the table,” versus, “Please move your things from the table.”
When you use this world, you instantly change the tone of whatever you say next. Your tone switches from demanding to polite and friendly.
- “Thank you”
“Thank you” is the second most commonly used polite word out there. It is isn’t just good manners but has been proven to provide benefits to you and the people around you. It has a potent psychological effect on the body and mind, increasing positive thinking and providing a healthier worldview.
For instance, you should use this phrase when a waiter gives your order, your partner makes you dinner, a person waits for you when you are running late, you receive constructive criticism, someone gives you a compliment, someone confides in you, etc.
- “Could you give me a moment”?
When you are busy, you are not able to attend to everyone right away. Often someone comes up to you and interrupts what you`re doing, and you need to hold them off until you are ready to attend them. You have a couple of options, such as multitasking, telling them to wait (sounding rude), or asking them politely to wait until you are done.
The third option is the most positive. You can use phrases like “Could you please give me (insert length of time here) to finish this up?” or “Sorry, I’m a little wrapped up now. Could we pick this up later?”
- “What do you think about?”
It is very easy to find yourself talking all about yourself. The chances are, you often forget to ask what others think about a certain issue. Your perspective are the ones that you truly know, and it can be hard to understand and remember other people’s opinions.
The next time you are engaged in a conversation, ask the person next to you what their opinion is. If you are in a big group, direct the question at the person who has received the least attention.
- “I would prefer it if?”
If reviewing someone else`s efforts or work is part of your job, it is easy to get up onto a pedestal. Consequently, you may start talking down to the person, particularly when you aren’t satisfied with their work.
Instead of criticizing them with harsh phrases like “This is bad,” use phrases like “I would prefer it if …”, “I’m not fond of …”, “To be quite honest with you, I’d rather …” etc.
- “I`m afraid that I disagree”
- “You`re welcome”
Everyone has their own beliefs and viewpoints, so it is natural to disagree with plenty of people in your lifetime. But, what to do when someone is wrong, and you know it? Calling them out is not an option, as it will make you appear rude and mean. The best would be to use tactful sentences like “I’m afraid that I disagree” and “I don’t think that’s quite right.”
Often, you will be the one recovering a polite “Thank you.” In that case, it is good manners to respond with “You’re welcome or “My pleasure.”
Many people use “No problem” instead, but the problem is that some experts believe that it sounds dismissive. It is up to you which one you choose to use, but to be safe, “You’re welcome” is always an accepted form of recognition.