Mind your P’s and Q’s: How a polite attitude leads to happiness


This is a students POV of them completely ignoring their teacher while she’s teaching.

Growing up, I have always lived by the rules of courtesy, from opening doors, saying thank you, saying my good-byes, helping the elderly and a bunch of other things you would consider polite. My parents, along with teachers, have always taught me that respect is earned, not given.

By being polite, I was able to make better connections with peers and adults. Not only am I expanding my relationships, but as an individual, I have grown in a more positive light. Saying a simple “thank you” or “appreciate it,” simple words that hold a healthy meaning, is all people need; yet, why don’t we do it? I noticed a change freshman year.

Students were whipping out their phones during lessons, getting up to talk to friends, talking when the teacher is, not holding the door open for others and overall, just being disrespectful. This leaves me in disbelief. Wow. People sometimes suck. Hey, maybe you can relate to this. But don’t worry, I have a couple of suggestions that could help you be better.

The first thing I recommend that everyone does is saying thank you when someone helps you. I do this regularly. I do this because I want them to know that what they did for me was helpful, and I appreciate it. These simple words help create a connection.

The second thing I recommend is lending a hand. Picking up trash, holding a door or picking up something for someone when they drop it are all things that you can do to help someone.

My third recommendation is to be aware of what you are doing. For example, if someone is talking to you, make eye contact with them. This shows that you care and that what they are saying is meaningful to you.

I’m not saying that you should change yourself completely. However, by applying my three simple tips, you’ll notice something you haven’t noticed before. Sincerity, joy, pride, tranquility, bonds and fulfillment. So the next time you see someone struggling carrying in the groceries or fumbling to get their stuff together or trying to open a door, have common courtesy. Who knows, you might like being polite.