I was raised that it’d be better to tie a rock around your neck and jump in a body of water than be rude to people. Don’t get me wrong, this has not helped me at all when, say, a salesperson is rude to me. I’ll keep right on being nice. Nonetheless, these are the rules I live by.
I can’t help but be polite.
Let me tell you, was I in for a shock when I traveled above the Mason-Dixon line. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure all of you up there are very kind people, but you are not sickeningly sweet, like iced tea. Something else you don’t have. For some crazy reason.
I thank everyone.
Speaking of iced tea, I can’t even buy one from the drive-thru without a sincere, “Thank you very much!” Sometimes, I thank people after I do something for them. Some weird ‘thank you for letting me take care of you.”
I also use the other magic word–please.
As in “please don’t hit my car with that rock,” or “please stop standing on my foot.” It literally doesn’t matter what request I make, I have to couch it in a pleasing way.
I’m so sorry.
I am sorry for everything. Did you forget your umbrella like an idiot when it was already raining? (I do this constantly.) I’m sorry. Do you regret making an ass of yourself at your ex’s wedding? Golly, I’m so sorry. I can have zero culpability for whatever happened to you. I am still sorry for it.