Was it difficult for you to adopt polite words and gestures?

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DonDud
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27 Jul 2010, 12:11 pm

My parents had to work very hard to get me to learn to say things like "please" and "thank you." I'm sure I was probably 10 or 12 before I would ever use words like those. Even now, it doesn't feel entirely natural. I mean, "please" is just such a nonsense word anyway. It's obviously derived from pleasure, and can be used as a verb "to please," but in the context of asking for something, it really doesn't mean anything. How can adding a useless word to your sentence give more power to your request? The request should be able to stand on its own. In the same way, can't we just assume people are thankful without saying "thank you" all the time? Doesn't that devalue thankfulness? Save the verbal thanks for when it is especially appreciated.

I also had tremendous trouble learning to shake hands and hold doors. I'll do both, and I'll even offer the handshake myself, but I don't like it. I didn't realize I was being rude by not holding doors until my classmates called me out on in during high school.



MotownDangerPants
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27 Jul 2010, 12:16 pm

Yes. I still don't do a lot of things I should. I said 'bye' instead of "Goodnight" until I was about 12 because they meant the same things to me lol. I didn't understand that "goodnight" is *nicer* to say. I would also say "I know" when someone told me I was pretty. I started saying "thank you" eventually but i hated it.

I have an awful time with introductions. I really don't like shaking hands and I avoid all eye contact when doing so. I generally don't introduce myself to others unless it's necessary.



TeaEarlGreyHot
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27 Jul 2010, 12:19 pm

Actually, I am naturally polite. Some may even say overly polite. Though, they did have a hard time getting me to understand that I needed to acknowledge when someone was speaking to me. I still catch myself sometimes thinking "Okay, I heard them. Let's move on" and have to force myself to acknowledge they said something.

This is a sore spot with my husband because I often forget to acknowledge when our children tell me something.


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DonDud
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27 Jul 2010, 12:25 pm

MotownDangerPants wrote:
I would also say "I know" when someone told me I was pretty.


Heh, I'm also terrible at receiving compliments. For one, I don't like too much attention being drawn to myself, so it makes me uncomfortable, and two, I don't know how to respond to a compliment in a way that wouldn't make me sound full of myself. I guess "Uh... thank you" is probably the best reply that I'm likely to muster.



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27 Jul 2010, 12:28 pm

I'm the exact opposite with compliments. I argue with them. I argue when I'm uncomfortable. lol

Someone can say "I love your hair!" and I'll list a ton of faults with my hair. I've tried not to, but I just can't make myself shut up.


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MotownDangerPants
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27 Jul 2010, 12:29 pm

DonDud wrote:
MotownDangerPants wrote:
I would also say "I know" when someone told me I was pretty.


Heh, I'm also terrible at receiving compliments. For one, I don't like too much attention being drawn to myself, so it makes me uncomfortable, and two, I don't know how to respond to a compliment in a way that wouldn't make me sound full of myself. I guess "Uh... thank you" is probably the best reply that I'm likely to muster.


Exactly. I hate being put in the position to respond nicely to a compliment. I either try to change the subject or compliment the other person in exchange.



Wrackspurt
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27 Jul 2010, 12:32 pm

In my family kids were kindly expected not to speak unless spoken too, and when we did we had to be polite. I don't know if it's because my parents started us early like this or what, but manners came as second nature to me.



Willard
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27 Jul 2010, 12:45 pm

DonDud wrote:
"please" is just such a nonsense word anyway. It's obviously derived from pleasure, and can be used as a verb "to please," but in the context of asking for something, it really doesn't mean anything. How can adding a useless word to your sentence give more power to your request?


The word is short for the phrase "If it pleases you", meaning "I'm not trying to order you to do something you'd rather not, but if you don't mind, would you?"

It did and still does 'mean something' and serves a purpose. It lets the other party know that you are not a pushy, obnoxious ingrate, by phrasing your remark as a REQUEST rather than a DEMAND.

The reason for saying "thank you" should be obvious unless you're a totally self-involved schmuck. Acknowledge the fact that somebody did you a niceness that they did not have to do.

That said, I hate compliments too, and my knee-jerk reaction is to negate them as in responding to "You look nice" with 'Aah, my hair's a mess'. :oops:



DonDud
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27 Jul 2010, 1:07 pm

Willard wrote:
It did and still does 'mean something' and serves a purpose. It lets the other party know that you are not a pushy, obnoxious ingrate, by phrasing your remark as a REQUEST rather than a DEMAND.

The reason for saying "thank you" should be obvious unless you're a totally self-involved schmuck. Acknowledge the fact that somebody did you a niceness that they did not have to do.


I do understand how the words are viewed and why people use them, I guess I'm just trying to verbalize my annoyance with them. They always made me uncomfortable when I was a kid for some reason, and I've never been entirely satisfied with them, though I use them (well, I try to, but I sometimes accidentally omit them when I shouldn't). I want to use them because I don't want people to see me as rude, but using the accepted cultural niceties has never been second nature to me.



Bells
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27 Jul 2010, 1:16 pm

I tend to try and compensate with people I don't know by being overly polite (which usually works to my favour). With those I do know, though, I can come off as a serious jerk and I don't realize it until they decide to tell me so. Usually angrily.



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27 Jul 2010, 1:21 pm

Bells wrote:
I tend to try and compensate with people I don't know by being overly polite (which usually works to my favour). With those I do know, though, I can come off as a serious jerk and I don't realize it until they decide to tell me so. Usually angrily.


I know how that goes! lol


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Rocky
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27 Jul 2010, 8:03 pm

When I was a kid, my only resistance to rules of being polite was when I could not see the logic behind certain rules. For example, I was told not to take the last piece of chicken at a buffet style picnic. Logically, every dish would include a wasted (at least in my mind) serving.


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Latics-Legend
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27 Jul 2010, 8:54 pm

Definitely, I've only been saying "please" and "thank you" on a daily basis for about a year now.

Though ironically now my Mum says i'm the most respectful to her out of me, my brothers and sister.



Last edited by Latics-Legend on 27 Jul 2010, 9:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

rmctagg09
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27 Jul 2010, 9:18 pm

Not really, it was pretty easy for me.



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27 Jul 2010, 9:27 pm

I remember throughout my grade school years my parents and teachers really had a hard time making me more polite. :oops:


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