How to be polite to make a social difference with your comments

how to be polite

It's worth considering the virtue of how to be polite whenever you engage or interact online. In fact, this virtue is become such a rarity nowadays, whenever it happens it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Along with being kind and considerate, or positive and forthcoming, the process of being polite requires more effort than most people are prepared to do when commenting online.

Similar to hate and trolling, many people fail to stop and think how what they say will impact on the recipient. The knee-jerk spontaneity of commenting needs to be counteracted by fore-thought, awareness and empathy.

And the affect of how to be polite is certainly beneficial as well as important, as this infographic displays:

How to be polite to make a social difference

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Go ahead, make someone's day!

Everyone relishes someone being kind to them. This could be as praise, appreciation, even as simple as being noticed. Such as a like on Instagram, a retweet on Twitter, an emoji on Facebook or a comment on your blog.

Regardless of how expert or adept you are socially online, it's always good to get acknowledgement from your followers. And if their comment is positive, forthcoming, useful or merely a boost, the politeness involved could make quite a difference.

Show that you care about what's been said, the subject mentioned or the general discussion. Participate with grace, consideration and respect for their feelings. Put yourself into their shoes, to understand the effect your comment will have.

Focus on being welcoming and agreeable

Part of being polite to people is showing a valid interest in them. The world is so full of self-centred people, to actually get real and acceptable notice from someone who genuinely wants to know about you is like a breath of fresh air.

However, politeness should not transcend into being over-ingratiating or even creepy. There are too many people on the internet with ulterior motives who try to make contact, and as a result people are wary and delete or block before any conversation can happen.

It is all about your initial approach. Sadly saying "Hi [name]" should be deemed OK, but offering a statement or question which immediately puts the ball into your recipient's court would be better. The situation is in their control, not yours. You're not overstepping the mark by being too pushy.

Build respect and rapport with your followers

Politeness can easily lead onto forming a relationship, partly because of the niceness and pleasantness involved. It's easy to get to know someone who is agreeable and friendly, says all the right things, and doesn't appear to be threatening or disturbing.

Definitely knowing how to be polite puts you in good stead. This is an excellent way to create a better impression of yourself, set the scene in everybody's favour, and generally produce bonhomie all round.

If one of your objectives is to improve your reputation or credibility, being polite when you engage is one of your best tactics. Always be considerate and think of others when you converse, like virtually opening the door for them or offering your seat on the train.

Treat others as you would them treat you

The most polite people are the ones who listen with their full attention. They never interrupt, always grasp the concept and offer a genuine opinion when called for. This method is easily transferable from offline to social online activities.

Take time to consider the other's mood. Are they jokey, frustrated, upset, observational, wistful or looking for approval? Try to correctly interpret how others are coming across. This allows you to offer a more appropriate response which shows you really do understand them.

Another tip worth noting is remembering past conversations. Make a mental or actual note about someone which you can bring up the next time you meet. This emphasises your interest in them. Most people would be flattered or pleased someone has made this effort to connect.

Improve your own social life

Ever got that feel-good sensation after you've been nice to someone? This is the release of endorphins which is supposed to make you feel better, reduce stress and generally be healthy for you.

Understanding the necessity of how to be polite to someone, however you are connecting with them, should be considered beneficial. Good manners should always be part of general society, and 'tis a pity so much is ignored, forgotten or not even learned in the first place.

Being polite can boost your own confidence as well as in others. It can be as simple as saying please and thank you at the right time. To see recognition of courtesy in people's faces, or how they respond to your comment, should repeatedly be gratifying.

Develop your communication skills

Making an effort to be polite whenever you talk to someone, or respond to their needs, should start to become engrained. However, being nice and kind takes more effort. And it is not always recognised (unlike rude behaviour, which is instantly noticed because of its offensiveness).

This may require you to stop and think before responding. In fact this is probably good practice. If more people considered how their comments would be interpreted before they wrote or spoke them, the world would be a better place.

And "looking before you leap" before writing anything gives you time to compose something more appropriate. Your reply will be more relevant and suitable. It is more likely to be appreciated and responded to. Its ultimate motive will probably hit home quicker and with better effect.

The importance of how to be polite whenever engaging online

Positivity breeds positivity. And this is the same with politeness. Being disagreeable, especially because you're in a bad mood, puts you in the same class as trolls. And it's never a good idea to go down that route.

Show respect for people's opinions, ideas, language, attitude to life, personal preferences. Just because you don't like something they have, doesn't mean you have the authority to deride it. You should learn to embrace them and their quirkiness, as you hope they will of you!

Being polite costs nothing, but has the potential to buy everything (or at least put it at your disposal). With minimal effort you've improved the world, other people's moods, their view on life and raised your reputation to new heights. What's not to like?

How often do you consider the concept of how to be polite?

Let us know in the comments below your perception of politeness. Do you always make an effort to be polite? Do you deplore the lack of politeness in other people? What situation have you come across when politeness made a real difference?

Do you have any tips and tricks when it comes to being polite or having good manners. Surely there is something I've forgotten to add to this post! We would love to hear your opinions or anything else you have to say.

Alice Elliott
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