Us HSPs not only have good manners, we often notice when other people’s don’t. If my husband and I are shopping and he asks an associate for help, then I don’t hear him say Thank You, I quietly hiss, “you didn’t say thank you!” (and then I feel bad about being annoying.)
One of my pet peeves is when I am telling a story and someone interrupts me, and then they don’t acknowledge the fact they interrupted me, or they keep talking and let my story remain unfinished. To me, that is incredibly rude and disrespectful. If I interrupt someone, I try to be careful to fix the situation. I’ll finish my thought and then say, “Sorry, I interrupted you–what were you saying?” or, “Please finish your story”, or, I will ask a specific question to show I was listening to their story and, in a small way, apologize for interrupting.
The reason HSPs are very polite is because we are conscientious and afraid of offending people. I think respect is important, and I don’t want anyone to feel disrespected. It’s the golden rule–I treat others as I want to be treated. (See my blog post about being a People Pleaser and not wanting to bother people.)
My husband and I joke that I love comeuppance. In a movie or TV show, when a character is a total evil jerk and then they get punished, I love it so much. I’ll cheer, “YEAH! Comeuppance!!” When a bad guy gets away with a terrible behavior, it feels unfinished and bothers me! In general, HSPs are often concerned with issues of social justice (it’s all that empathy), and will fight to right wrongs in the world.
photo credit: Daisee Pics Photography via photopin cc
Thoughtful, “sensitive politeness” in interaction deeply impacts people. I love delivering it. On the other hand, I recently chuckled with my sister, an auditor, about the pleasure of “tattling.”
I’m exceedingly polite, apologizing to people if I bump into them, thanking them when they extend themselves to help me.
Of course, this can go too far as well. Like the times I find myself automatically apologizing to inanimate objects I bump into. 😉
Hi Savannah 🙂 I don’t think I’ve apologized to an object before! funny 🙂
Sounds like me Savannah lol I am always apologizing even when its not needed. lol
Me too 🙁 and then I feel a complete weirdo
This is so me to a tee! it really bothers me when my husband does not say thank you or when someone tells him “Have a nice Day” and he doesnt say it back or say thank you, it just drives me crazy. lol
It feels like I fairly frequently never get to the end of my story . I assumed that my stories are not of interest but maybe it is just modern ( or post-modern!) life? I listen while others have something to say sometimes at length. Are HSPs giving out ‘signals’ that allow folks to interrupt and cut short a telling? I think I don’t talk loud enough but forget to correct that until too late.
I can so relate to this! I HATE it when people interrupt me, and say sorry and thank you a seemingly ridiculous amount! Not that I see the latter as a bad thing. And interrupting people IS rude!
One thing I’ve also noticed really bugs me is when I pay someone some small courtesy like moving out of their way or holding a door open for them, and they walk by without even acknowledging there is a person in their midst. On those occasions I say, as loud as I can make myself (which usually isn’t very loud because I don’t want to make them feel bad, as they might be having a really stressful day or might be mulling over some big problem, I can’t assume to know what’s going on in their head, etc etc overthink…) “Oh no, thank YOU!”
Some part of me hates myself for doing it and not just laughing the perceived slight off, but part of me thinks that other people could really do with being a bit more perceptive and polite too! It makes the world a nicer place 🙂
But then there are days when I am feeling so introverted that even making eye contact to murmur a quiet thank you is too much interaction, and I really wish I could block out the world too…sigh… the curse of seeing and wanting to understand and sympathise with every viewpoint.
I’m new to the site and the podcast (just discovered both today) and am really happy to hear and read things that resonate so much with how I feel, and the difficulties I seem to create for myself. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, or defective <3
Caitlin, we are so similar!! I do the same things…when I hold a door open for someone who doesn’t say thank you, I mumble “you’re welcome…” but I wonder if maybe something is going on in that person’s life where they are distracted. You never know what someone is going through, you know?
However….I still find it nearly impossible, however, to understand how someone can walk through a door being held open for them and not notice. HOW DO YOU NOT NOTICE THAT?!
I’m so glad you like the blog and podcast! How did you find them, if I might ask?
as I read your comment I was always nodding – especially when it comes to people interrupting me in the middle of a sentence and saying shortly “Sorry” and then continuing with their stuff. In the meanwhile – when I recognize such behaviour – I try being in the same way to this person when I would like to transport some information. Else I am not heard anyhow… These situations make me very angry and afterwards I need 5-10 silent minutes to calm down 🙁
Anyway – nice to hear that we are not alone 🙂
By the way – Kelly and others – I have been so “polite” and provided my own (German) High-Sensitivity blog in several other languages.
If you would like have a short look into it:
You are even able to navigate to German content outside my blog which is then translated as well.
Enjoy – at least most of the sentences are translated correctly 😉
Have a nice day and hear from you soon,
Thanks Julia! I just shared your blog on Twitter 🙂
This headline caught my eye because if nothing else, I’ve always been described as polite. In fact, I’ve heard it so much and attached my own judgements to the word (as it applies to me) that I internally cringe when someone makes that remark about me.
I have had the experience that it helps more than it hurts in daily life though, as annoying as it is to me.
Oh, and I also automatically say ‘sorry’ to inanimate objects and I feel weird not apologizing to dogs if I get in their way, lol.
You couldn’t have said it better – it’s really just the “golden rule” and I don’t understand why everyone does not act this way. My bf has told me that I am too polite to strangers/people, but I can’t help myself it’s just engrained in me. I also say sorry a million times a day – like I’m sorry for being sorry” its insane! Excuse me, I’m going to read the posts above now…lol 🙂
You are excused 😉
Definitely in the same boat as you !
Politeness is engrained in me to the point where I exercise it without even realizing it. It’s as natural as bucking my seat belt. For instance, I never think twice about smiling and saying “Good Morning” or “thank you” to a cashier, server, etc, just because that’s what I was taught is the right thing to do. That being said, I do notice when others don’t practice the same level of courtesy. Simply thanking someone takes such little effort, that the only thing I can conclude is that anyone who doesn’t do so simply isn’t thinking about it. I also get mildly offended when I hold a door for someone and they don’t say “thank you”, but I have to remind myself that I don’t know how they were raised or what their thought process is. Besides, I’ve always believed that the true joy is in doing something nice for someone, whether they reciprocate or not.
It just boggles my mind when people don’t say Thank You. I find it hard to believe that even if you weren’t raised to say it that you wouldn’t catch on later in life….well, I guess I shouldn’t make assumptions.
Here’s another one! If my husband and I are out, and we see someone wheeling a baby carriage, my husband is always quick to hold open the door or help. Or if an elderly person is struggling with something, like carrying a heavy object, he always jumps in to help immediately. I love that about him….but *I* am not the same way. I always hesitate to help because I am THINKING too much. Like, “well, maybe she doesn’t need help” or “By the time I go help her, she won’t need help anymore” and that hesitation usually ends with inaction. Then I feel bad about myself!!!
Funny you mention that. I once held a door open for a lady who got really offended. She said something to the effect of “you don’t have to hold the door open for a woman…we’re quite capable of taking care of ourselves”. Funny thing is, her gender played no part in my action, as I was holding the door open for a PERSON, so then I felt offended. Some people just have strange hangups, and it’s not up to us to try to figure out what does or doesn’t offend them. Besides, I’ve probably held thousands of doors open for people over the years, and she was the only person who ever complained about it, so I’ll stick with the numbers. 🙂
I’ve come to realize over time that other people’s problems, issues, etc are THEIRS, and I simply cannot afford to take on everyone else’s issues and let them ruin my day. I’m content knowing that as long as my intentions are good, that’s all that really counts. People are people, and in the words of Forrest Gump, “life is like a box of chocolates….you never know what you’re gonna get”.
It’s like you’ve taken this straight out of my brain and posted it on the Internet! I feel exactly the same way and it is so painfully obvious when people are rude and don’t use manners. I get all tense and annoyed whenever I see poor manners. Often I will tell my friends or girlfriend how this annoys me, but they usually just look at me as if to say “chill out, it’s nothing to get worked up over…”. I try to shake it off by thinking maybe that person has had a bad day, etc. But for some people….!
I’m glad there are people out there like me. Keep up the good work with the site, I’ve only just discovered it today. I will be coming back! From reading some of your other posts, I feel like you are a female version of me! 🙂
Michael, I took a customer service course during my short time working retail (there’s a reason it was short…probably not the best field for an HSP). I asked her how to deal with customers who seemed irate or short, or just ignored us altogether when we offered assistance. She explained that everyone gets caught up in their own “inner world” from time to time, and that it’s nothing personal. It wasn’t that most people were deliberately trying to be rude, but that we were simply “off their radar”, especially if something else was weighing heavily on their mind. We usually don’t know what else has happened in anyone else’s day or how they may respond under different circumstances.
That being said, I think that social conditioning plays somewhat of a role as well. I work on a university campus, and one of my pet peeves is when students ignore the crosswalk lights and cross directly in front of traffic without even checking the intersection (we have to drive VERY carefully in these parts). 99% of the time, they’re listening to iPods or talking on the phone, and have no awareness that the crossing traffic has a green light. Yes, I realize that pedestrians have the right-of-way, but it just seems as if there’s a lack of common courtesy (plus, they could be endangering themselves if a car can’t stop in time). Seems like our gadgets have created a “tune-out” factor, hindering awareness and, in some cases, social skills.
OMG! I laughed until I cry when I read this (In a good way):
“One of my pet peeves is when I am telling a story and someone interrupts me, and then they don’t acknowledge the fact they interrupted me, or they keep talking and let my story remain unfinished. To me, that is incredibly rude and disrespectful”
All these years I thought I was a weirdo to think this way …. and now you have opened my mind……. they are the ones being disrespectful! they are the ones being wrong all the time… not me………
So happy now…. 😀
Good for you! It’s been helping me, too to realise I’m not wrong in these situations. It’s sad that in today’s society we should feel incorrect for being decent people. Sometimes it feels as if caring about others and being respectful is a crime to people!
I’ve been having such a difficult time making new friends and I feel this is much of the issue. I’m sensitive and have social anxiety. I try not to judge but I can’t help but think of most of the people I encounter are super rude.
I don’t get how they feel it’s admissible to interrupt someone without acknowledgment and to do it on the regular. If someone asks for my number to text then only ever text about themselves, or if they frequently just Don’t respond. I’ll text them “hi, how are you?” for example and they just WON’T say anything. Maybe they assume I didn’t care except that exact moment but that’s so sad to me. If I ask it’s genuine and I don’t care if you get it a week later, that’s fine, just don’t completely ignore me when you were the one to start this in the first place! lol End of rant.