Why Common Courtesy Is Powerful

We tend to remember others’ lapses in common courtesy. Committing kind gestures without receiving a thank you in return is demoralizing and a door not held can ruin a morning’s peace. Acts of common courtesy are small but poignant. They serve to remind us of virtues that we should live by, with respect and kindness leading the way. Common courtesy transcends age, nationality, and gender. It is a language used to propagate the goal of treating others how you want to be treated. Analyzing the positive aspects of exuding common courtesy may very well be beating a dead horse. This article though, hopes to mention two benefits to remaining courteous as a default state of being which hopefully motivate you to continue exhibiting such traits.

A Window Into the Future

The interactions you have with people are gradually built up to becoming more meaningful. You likely did not come up and high five your future best friend in the first instance of meeting them. In the same sense, going for the kiss prematurely would have scared off your current significant other. Common courtesy is a building block to the behavior you are able to exhibit once you get to know somebody. You and your best friend bonded because you were courteous to one another, along with relishing in your common interests. Common courtesy therefore, serves to prime you for more meaningful interactions with the ones you meet.

By acting courteously, you show people that you are a virtuous individual. You serve to provide the ones you meet for the first time a sample of your ability to show respect and kindness. We are more likely to want to get to know a courteous person, rather than one whose life hasn’t taught him the basics of common courtesy. If a person can’t manage to act with basic common courtesy towards us, then we can’t expect them to exhibit traits which are more positively complex. For example, if your first date with an individual reveals their tendency to act rudely toward restaurant servers, would you feel a desire to introduce them to your closer friends and family?

Common courtesy is a window into a more developed relationship with another individual. Their tendency to be courteous to strangers is a good indicator of them acting virtuously as their relationships grow to become more developed.

A Primer of Favorable Behavior

Common courtesy is also a good social lubricant. Emancipating your kindness onto others will increase the chances of them acting kindly toward you. Common courtesy serves to prime those you interact with for favorable behavior and interaction. It serves to tap into their tendency to reciprocate the behavior which is exhibited onto them. Being courteous is an easy way to increase the likelihood of having a positive interaction with the ones you’re with.

You can’t be too courteous in your interactions with the ones around you. Allow people to become attracted to the prospect of getting to know you better by feeding them servings of kindness and respect early on. Remember to not be selective with your acts of common decency. Being selective with your courteous behavior can serve to hurt you more than aid. People will perceive you to be using courteous actions for your explicit benefit if you pick and choose who you’re courteous toward. Be courteous to all, and watch them willfully open up to interacting with you.

Book Recommendation: 

Strenuous Life (Little Books of Wisdom)

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