They know when (and how) to say no
“Saying no takes a great deal of courage,” Grotts says. “But saying it can be liberating—and, just like anything else, it takes practice.” The good news is there are ways for us to be both assertive and gracious when we say no. Find out polite ways to say no to anything.
If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve dealt with a few meltdowns in public. But if you’re a polite parent, you might remember a particularly terrible meltdown and prepare yourself for the next time it’s bound to happen. “Your errands ran longer than expected and you’ve got ‘hangry’ kids? Grab those granola bars from your bag,” Granville says. “On a flight with a screaming toddler whose ears are popping? Good thing you bought a bottle of water on board! When we anticipate our children’s needs (before they become problems), we can keep them happy—and, in turn, keep others around us happy.”
They master empathy
According to Grotts, etiquette is ultimately measured by how you make another person feel. “If they walk away feeling like a million bucks, you’ve done your job. If you say something to offend them, they may not be your friend in the future,” she says. “It’s very difficult to backtrack once you’ve already crossed that line.” Polite people know this and treat others accordingly. When we approach difficult or controversial conversations with empathy, the outcomes of those conversations immediately become positive—or, at worst, neutral. This allows us to cultivate stronger relationships that will last a lifetime. Next, read on for 50 etiquette tips you should always follow.