Is Politeness for Sissies?

“Politeness [is] a sign of dignity, not subservience.”
? Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt has it right.  For most people being polite is pretending  I don’t think pretending is necessary. There is immense power in allowing other people to have their say, and not feeling threatened by their opinion. In fact welcome it.  In my experience for most of us being heard is more important than being right.  However when you are ignored or talked over, the need to be right can be insistent.

The urge to be heard becomes all consuming, when you have been silenced too many times.. It is tough to be gentle and kind when you have swallowed more hurt and rejection than a king’s ransom.

That 360 degree head turn thing happens.

When you find yourself feeling that urge to yell or explode “what about me” when it feels like you are being dramatic or pitiful, give yourself a gift.   A dose of compassion for yourself is a lovely way to own that you feel bad, sad, mad that you were ignored.

Knowing that your opinion matters, is key to understanding how important needing to be heard is.  This does not mean you have to agree with other people, or make them feel bad about what they express.

Speaking your truth with boundaries of politeness is the best way to be heard.  Not telling other people they must believe what you believe.  Rather allowing room for a discourse that could lead to growth, or at the minimum fascinating conversation.  Who wants to only talk to people that agree with us?  There is a danger in living in a bubble surrounded only by agreement.

Politeness is showing other people that you are their equal.  That both of you have the right to disagree without damage.   What do you think?   Is Politeness for sissies?  Or does it make the woman? Is Roosevelt right that politeness is dignified?  Are you comfortable enough in your beliefs, that no one can sway you with their rhetoric?   I would love to hear how you deal with discomfort in dialogue.

Joie de Vivre,

Jen Duchene

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