Day #3 : Over-polite

“Hello. How are you?”
“Hi. Yeah, I’m doing fine. What about you?”
“Yeah. I’m doing fine. What about you?”
“Yeah. I’m doing fine. What about you?”
(back and forth till the end of time)

I like people with proper manners who show courtesy while interacting with others. Who doesn’t ? But when the rules of making a good conversation are abused beyond a threshold, it becomes a bit awkward, boring, energy consuming and mildly frustrating. “Alright I get it. You are polite.”

Being too polite can be a turn off for some people. I wouldn’t say that being over-polite is worse than not being polite. Once cameraderie and a certain sense of safety/trust is established, there is no point in being over-polite because it becomes a limitation for the relationship & conversation to move forward. If someone is being over-polite, it means that they still haven’t accepted you and that they still feel that you can get hurt by whatever they may say. Sometimes I like to act as if I’m offended by their words when they’re being over-polite. This makes them over-compensate so much that they finally realize that it’s not worth being so polite. And then we can get along and move forward. While acting offended, you can exaggerate it and make it funny so that they see the whole ridiculous nature of their over-politeness. It’s all about calibration.

Over-politeness is a sign of distance in the relationship. In a good healthy relationship, the care is implicit and strong. When this is understood and seen by the people involved, they can drop the drama and just be themselves. In a good relationship, people look almost selfish because they don’t care too much about the other person getting offended. But there is a risk of taking people for granted. Balancing honest support and funny banter is an art. I’ve noticed that mature confident people can handle this well.

When someone is being too polite and it’s frustrating, the temptation is to break the mold by being rude so that the other person stops being too polite. Rude is after all the opposite of polite. But you can come off as the douchebag by doing this. Others will see you as an asshole for being rude to the kind guy who was only being polite. This is how people will judge you and categorize you so that they can make sense of reality. Not judging and being open-minded so that we can see reality for what it is, is very hard and consumes a lot of mental bandwidth. That’s why people don’t do it. People are ready to judge. This makes them dumb. Being open-minded is one of the traits of being intelligent. When posed with a new unknown circumstance and data, intelligent people are the most open-minded lest their biases and irrational judgement make them perceive things falsely.

Alright that ends today’s session. Will set a timer for writing from tomorrow so that I can utilize the feeling of an impending deadline and also be more effective.