Politeness in close, romantic relationships.

By David Joel Miller.

Is politeness in short supply?

Polite child

Polite.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You don’t have to look far to notice a decline in politeness. Rude behavior seems to be the order of the day. We might be able to blame this decline in politeness on the media. Reality TV, politicians, and talk shows set an extremely poor example. It would be easier to forgive these public displays of incivility if the rude behaviors were spilling over into our close relationships.

Family counselors, particularly those who do couples counseling see a severe lack of politeness within the family. Research tells us that most people are far more polite to strangers than they are to those described as their “loved ones.”

Distressed families, couples headed for a breakup, are the ones who have run out of positive feelings for each other. One way to keep your close relationships positive is to practice your politeness closer to home. Here are some tips for improving politeness with your family and friends.

Give genuine compliments, not backhanded ones.

Say you did a great job, not “well you finally did something right.” Make it a point to notice when those close to you do something praiseworthy. Commenting on the accomplishments of your loved ones should be a time to build them up not an opportunity to try to make yourself feel better by putting them down.

Say what you can or will do.

Avoid focusing on what you can’t or won’t do. Constant negative expressions poison relationships. Rather than always being on the defensive, look for ways to express things positively. If someone asks you to help them today, avoid the temptation to assert yourself by setting boundaries in a negative manner. Rather than complaining that they are always expecting you to do things, consider a polite reply. Instead of saying “no, I can’t do everything for you,” say “I can help you with that this weekend.”

Be considerate.

Avoid self-centeredness. Before responding think first about their needs and their feelings. Avoid defensiveness and try to see things from others point of view. Look for ways to create positive interactions.

Focus on the new.

Let go of the resentments of the past. Continuing to rehash the resentments of the past damages relationships in the present. The way to get over past hurts is to create pleasant experiences in the present. Look for ways to strengthen relationships rather than ways to get even. Think of your relationship as being part of the team. The team doesn’t win by fighting each other. It’s a hollow victory if you win by hurting your partner in destroying your relationship.

Notice the positive in people and situations.

Be careful to avoid putting those close to you down. Whatever you pay attention to, you will get more of. Always picking on the faults of those close to you, turns the relationship negative. When people conclude there’s no way to please you, that everything they do is wrong, they learn to be helpless and give up trying. Focusing on the positive creates a happier relationship.

Show appreciation whenever possible.

Do not complain, nag or berate others. Avoid the attitude of expecting everyone to always do what you want. Show them some appreciation. Make it a point to notice all the helpful things others do for you every day. When you show appreciation, you make it easier for others to appreciate you.

Let them finish talking.

Do not interrupt. Especially when you think you’ve heard this before, practice patience. When you hear people out, you may be surprised at the things they say you were not expecting. Being willing to hear someone out is a sign of respect. If you want to be respected, you need to respect others.

Listen to them. Do not monopolize the conversation.

It is more important to understand other’s points of view than to sell yours. Do not monopolize the conversation. It’s not a conversation if one person does all the talking. Listening involves more than hearing the words. Pay attention to the feelings behind the words they are saying.

Evaluate ideas, not people.

Do not put yourself or others down. Lots of ideas look good on paper. It’s natural for people to think their ideas have merit. When you disagree, stay focused on the idea. Avoid calling people stupid or ignorant. Trying to win arguments by attacking others damages relationships.

David Joel Miller MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.)  Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Advertisements

Is Politeness out of style?

By David Joel Miller.

15 Rules of Politeness.

Polite child

Polite.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Rudeness seems to be the new fashion and politeness may be headed for the endangered species list. Even if you are not one of those people who believe that politeness is inherently a virtue, you might want to consider the adage “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

One dictionary defines politeness as “behavior that is respectful and considerate of other people.” Respect and consideration may also be lost arts, but let’s focus on politeness for now. Politeness used to be considered an important virtue, a component of etiquette and good manners. Being polite was considered essential for setting others at ease and creating relaxed situations.

Some people are polite by being frank and honest, while others see politeness as being not-offensive and allowing others to save face. The essence of politeness is being pleasing rather than abrasive to those around you.

Traditionally, in America people were more polite to strangers than to their own family. Impolite language was used to assert that the speaker was superior to the listener. In this new millennium, some people seem to think that politeness is no longer needed.

Should you be someone who still thinks politeness has a value, or if you would like to use politeness in ways that would encourage more people to like you, here are fifteen ways to become an expert on politeness.

1. Watching your language is polite.

Avoid using language that would offend the person you are talking with. Especially watch out for emotionally charged or demeaning language. Do not use language that puts other races, religions or political positions down. Avoid derogatory statements about people, places, or other points of view.

2. Listen to them attentively.

Pay attention to what others say. Make sure you understand their point of view before expressing yours. It is more important to understand other’s points of view than to sell yours. Do not monopolize the conversation.

3. Show respect for others and their achievements.

Be willing to listen to them and their accomplishments. Do not feel the need to “one-up” everyone. Avoid bragging and bravado. Consider other’s opinions even if they differ from yours.

4. Polite people use jokes and humor carefully.

Do not use jokes to demean others or enlarge yourself. Show you know the boundaries of good taste.

5. Taking time for small talk is polite.

Politeness includes developing and strengthening relationships with others whether you want something from them or not. Polite people develop positive congenial relationships with others.

6. Be polite to those who work for you and those you work for.

Do not start thinking that you are superior to others and that you can reserve your politeness for your friends. Respect those who do work for you, or with you, regardless of their position.

7. Give genuine compliments, not backhanded ones.

Say, “you did a great job,” not “well you finally did something right.” Do not praise someone when they do what you want and revile them when they disagree. Polite people understand compliments are a gift of appreciation not a bribe for compliance. Keep your praise genuine.

8. Say what you can or will do.

Avoid focusing on what you can’t or won’t do. Emphasize the positive. Polite people do not focus on picking arguments. They seek consensus and agreement.

9. Be considerate.

Avoid self-centeredness. Polite people are not selfish. It is not all about you. Being considerate is not an act used for making people give you what you want. It comes from noticing what others need and helping them reach their aspirations.

10. Politeness focuses on the new.

Let go of the resentments from the past. Move on to the present. Polite people are not obsessed with getting even for past slights. Holding grudges poisons current relationships.

11. Notice the positive.

Be careful to avoid putting people down. Look for the good in everyone you meet. Faults and disagreements are easy for anyone to notice. The polite person sees the worth in everyone and seeks to maximize that positive.

12. Show appreciation whenever possible.

Do not complain, nag or berate others. Name calling is not a part of politeness. If you only appreciate those who totally agree with you, your circle of relationships with continue to shrink.

13. Let them finish talking.

Do not interrupt. Do not go off halfcocked and argue with things that were never said. Hear others out before launching into an argument.

14. Evaluate your ideas, not yourself.

Do not put yourself or others down. A person’s worth is not the sum-total of their bank account or their wins in life. Being wrong occasionally does not make a person worthless.

15. Think about other people’s needs and desires.

Avoid being selfish. Politeness includes the trait of thinking about others in addition to yourself.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

David Joel Miller MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.)  Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

For links to my Amazon Page, Recommended books, and private practice, please see – About David Joel Miller

Tolerance.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Tolerance.

Tolerance.

Tolerance.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”

― Robert F. Kennedy

“The highest result of education is tolerance”

― Helen Keller

“In order to have faith in his own path, he does not need to prove that someone else’s path is wrong.”

― Paulo Coelho, Warrior of the Light

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Respect.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Respect

Respect.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Respect.

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

― Confucius, Sayings of Confucius

“I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect.”

― Mahatma Gandhi, Fools, Martyrs, Traitors: The Story of Martyrdom in the Western World

Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?

― Confucius

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Respect.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Honor Guard.

Respect.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Respect.

“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”

― Robert F. Kennedy

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”

― Albert Einstein

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

― Confucius, Sayings of Confucius

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

What is honor?

What is Honor?

By David Joel Miller

Who and what do you honor?

Honor

Honor
Photo courtesy of Flickr (Rennett Stowe)

Honor is:

Respect blended with reverence.

Esteem due to worth or exalted merit

High respect and esteem

A controlling sense of what is right

Highest courage and loyalty

From the Century Dictionary, 1889

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to

succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.”

― Abraham Lincoln

“It is not titles that honour men, but men that honour titles.”

― Niccolò Machiavelli

“We should keep the dead before our eyes, and honor them as though still living”

― Confucius

– Quotes from GoodReads