Home > Uncategorized > The Politeness Project: Extended Version

The Politeness Project: Extended Version

I recently read this article in Ladies Home Journal (what up, I’m a lady).  It details an experiment by a woman who typically reacted to rude service with more rudeness.  She tried to “kill ’em with kindness”, and no surprise to me: she was pleasantly surprised by the reactions of others.  Encounters that started off rude ended up in her favour, and the kindness was returned.

Being kind is its own reward.  You don’t absorb any of the others’ negativity or pain to pass on to someone else.  It doesn’t feel good to be the recipient of rude behaviour, but ultimately I believe that people don’t want to be nasty deep down.  They don’t have the tools to choose happiness.

I can’t pretend that I`m always a model of kindness, but as we move through our lives and daily chores, let`s make it easier on each other and enjoy our interactions.  I waited in a long Costco line today, but what`s the point of being frustrated over it?  And my checkout lady was clearly enjoying her life, passing her time at work by chatting with her customers, making the chore of grocery shopping and packing not just one of life’s chores, but a human interaction that left me smiling.  (Too bad she didn’t come home and unpack all that stuff.)

I know that this all sounds a little dorky, but if you just try to see everyone who crosses your path as a person, it just might change your life.  And when you’re faced with terrible service or attitudes,  think about how negative their headspace is, and how you get to choose your own.

“Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.”  -Plato

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