Personal courtesy

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1. Simple gestures can mean so much

It doesn’t take much to be courteous, but the impact can be astonishing.

2. Greetings start the day on a high

Saying hello to neighbours may startle them at first, but most appreciate it. If you see the same people on your daily journey or in the building where you work, just say hello to them – it’s friendly, positive and makes people feel they belong.

3. Use the best two little words

Saying “please” and “thanks” (or “thank you”) alters the way people act towards you; shop assistants and catering staff can serve hundreds of people a day and are more likely to give better service to those who are polite rather than those who are brusque. It also gives you a better experience and makes their work more enjoyable.

4. Experience less hassle

Better service reduces problems, so your quality of life improves. Being tough and rude actually takes more of your time and effort, as you receive poorer service and have to sort out more problems.

5. Stand up for yourself courteously

When things do go wrong, you can still complain courteously. Those who shout and abuse others because of mistakes often target the wrong person. You can complain effectively while remaining polite – often you can end up being more satisfied than if nothing had gone wrong.

6. Don’t worry what others think

If people make fun of you for being polite, don’t take their comments to heart. Remember the quality of life you enjoy and that most people appreciate your courteous behaviour.

7. Enjoy life more through courtesy

Being polite makes life more enjoyable, even though nothing has changed in your physical environment. It makes waking up each day a pleasure.

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Courtesy toolkit

See the other polite prompts in our please and thanks courtesy toolkit.