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Politeness

  • Politeness in an individual is as necessary as paint on both sides of a fence, for a person, like a fence, faces out as well as in.

  • We cough because we can't help it, but others do it on purpose.

  • Politeness is the cement that holds the social scheme together. It is the oil that eases the friction of daily life. It is the tune to which the hearts of the world vibrate in harmony.

  • ... courtesy, like a boomerang, will return to you who send it into the world.

  • Unhappily the habit of being offensive 'without meaning it' leads usually to a way of making amends which the injured person cannot but regard as a being amiable without meaning it.

  • Civilization will cease without civility.

    • Helen Hayes,
    • with Marion Glasserow Gladney, Loving Life ()
  • No one had ever been able to escape from young Mr. Shoemaker's inexorable politeness.

  • ... true courtesy ... is real kindness kindly expressed.

  • Home is the place where true politeness tells.

  • Be polite. Perhaps your family won't mind if you practice on them.

  • ... Lambard may be a perverse old idiot, but it's more dignified not to say so in so many words. A bland and deadly courtesy is more devastating, don't you think?

  • ... I can't see that she could have found anything nastier to say if she'd thought it out with both hands for a fortnight.

  • Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.

  • It is little consolation, and no compensation, to the person who is hurt that the offender pleads he did not mean to say or do any thing rude: a rude thing is a rude thing — the intention is nothing — all we are to judge of is the fact.

  • There are people who balk at small civilities on account of their manifest insincerity. ... It is better and more logical to accept all the polite phraseology which facilitates intercourse, and contributes to the sweetness of life. If we discarded the formal falsehoods which are the currency of conversation, we should not be one step nearer the vital things of truth.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "A Question of Politeness," Americans and Others ()
  • ... to be civilized is to be incapable of giving unnecessary offense, it is to have some quality of consideration for all who cross our path.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "A Question of Politeness," Americans and Others ()
  • He had not made an uncivil remark since the close of the war — a line of conduct resulting less from what he felt to be due to others than from what he believed to be becoming in himself.

  • Politeness, however, acts the lady's maid to our thoughts; and they are washed, dressed, curled, rouged, and perfumed, before they are presented to the public ...

  • When politeness is used to show up other people, it is reclassified as rudeness. Thus it is technically impossible to be too polite.

  • The whole country wants civility. Why don't we have it? It doesn't cost anything. No federal funding, no legislation is involved. One answer is the unwillingness to restrain oneself. Everybody wants other people to be polite to them, but they want the freedom of not having to be polite to others.

  • Cecilia's lunch party, having heard through the open door the first phrase of the interlude, had exchanged less than a glance and, all raising their voices, maintained a strenuous conversation till she came back. They were not English for nothing.

  • ... such is the effect of true politeness, that it banishes all restraint and embarassment.

  • The words in which these views were expressed were as offensive as conviction and years of practice could make them.

  • They bit their underlips tightly as old people do in carrying out acts of rudeness.

  • What is politeness in the home but the outcome of affection and self-respect, and the suppression of all those natural instincts of self-seeking that, allowed their way, produce the worst manners in the world?

  • Politeness is sometimes a great tax upon sincerity.

  • Frankness is usually a euphemism for rudeness.

  • ... she'd been brought up never to offend anyone unless you did it on purpose.

  • It is wise to apply the oil of refined politeness to the mechanism of friendship.

  • Society, by insisting on conventions, has merely insisted on certain convenient signs by which we may know that a man is considering, in daily life, the comfort of other people.

  • I think one of the greatest destroyers of domestic peace is Discourtesy. People neglect, with their nearest friends, those refinements and civilities which they practice with strangers.

  • Courtesy is the bedrock of social interchange. No matter what you're doing, even if you're fomenting revolution, you can still be courteous.

  • True politeness is to social life what oil is to machinery, a thing to oil the ruts and grooves of existence. False politeness can shine without warming and glitter without vivifying.

  • 'Mrs. Lacy is here.' Gilda discussed Mrs. Lacy with phrases usually reserved for the inhabitants of chicken yards. 'And her daughter,' added Elizabeth. On the subject of Mrs. Lacy's daughter Gilda chose terms customarily used for the discussion of ill-bred and not too young horses.

  • Unfortunately civility is hard to codify or legislate, but you know it when you see it. It's possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

  • ... small courtesies grease the machinery of life.

  • He didn't feel just then that he could bear Oliver Gault's pontifical courtesy; it was like going around arm in arm with a cathedral.

  • ... Maurice ... seemed to have set himself some impossible standard of discourtesy.

  • I come from people who have always been polite enough to feel that nothing has ever happened to them.

  • Haste is the enemy of politeness.

  • ... politeness is goodness of heart put into daily practice ...

  • True politeness is the language of a good heart, and those possessing that heart will never, under any circumstance, be rude.