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Science Says Polite People Are Less Stressed In Life

Science Says Polite People Are Less Stressed In Life

That barista who greets everyone in the ‘round-the-block line with a smile more invigorating than the coffee, and what seems like every waiter/waitress who seems upset but okay after dropping every plate in their hand push through seemingly stress-free . There is a reason the most polite people seem stress free even in the most trying circumstances, being polite will help bounce some of the naturally occurring negative stimuli out of our mind and contribute to more positive emotional well-being. Being polite can even help you get the most out of life by acting as a stress relief during some of the most stressful (but totally enjoyable) times. From school, to work, to the most terrible travel experience into divine destinations, being polite will reduce discomfort and will make your experiences pest-free to your mind.

School

Going to college can be one of the most stressful times of your youth. It’s many young folks first time moving out, first time by themselves, and their premier onto the adult scene. This added stress can exacerbate underlying mental conditions, which is why most mental issues present themselves between the ages of 18-24. Being a polite person will free our minds from the stress day-to-day aggravations can cause, and that’s a big deal for young folks trying to make it through school. Smiling and holding the door open for the person behind you will help you forget about the one just slammed in your face.

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While school work and being away from your family can be major stressors for freshmen, cohabitation can squeeze even the coolest college kid. Courtly courtesy can keep even the crummiest dirty sock hoarder out of mind, in your room, and an ideal roommate. While it might seem strange to oblige their strange habits, your 15 alarms don’t do much better. Communication and cordial interactions are vital contributors to serene cohabitation (being polite is all it takes), not daily dusting or taping down the middle of the room in a vain attempt to split your 10X20 room into separate kingdoms. Being polite while at school can really save your bum from a whole slew of daily emotional pitfalls, and keep your emotional well-being stable, this is just one example of the tremendous benefits that come when acting with a diplomatic disposition on a regular basis.

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Work

Coping with workplace stress is a difficult transition for any person hacking their way through white collar wastelands, added stress from poor communication and conditions beyond your control (like when the print-shop closes, emails that need returned to you, or weather conditions) can cause your stress to spiral out of control. That stress can affect your performance, your interactions with clients, and your health; stay sweet and avoid that fetid funk that can sink into business interactions, and your mindset. You can get coffee for a co-worker, keep your conversations extremely cordial (avoid cursing, or politely curse), or try to focus on the positive, awesome things your co-workers are doing, and let them know that they are awesome for doing them! Let your clients, know too, your rude manners shouldn’t be the subtext to your customer service. Besides, if you’re staying late to wait for the print-shop to get back to you, or are waiting for some vital emails that need inspected before you leave, you can use your time to teach another co worker about your favorite excel tricks, or you could get a head start on the secretary’s HUGE stack of filing (they would love you forever for that).

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Leisure time

You are the sweetest, kindest little genteel that ever did exist while at work, at school, or with your family and friends, but unless you can maintain that sweet, socially performing facade while under the pressures that might come with leisure activities like travel, playing games, or paintball! Just going for a long drive in the country-side can be super relaxing, but unless you stay calm and polite in the road, it can turn into a road-rage quite quickly if you start aggressively driving, or are unsure about the rules of the road in the area. Those rules can also prevent your politeness from spreading in other parts of the world (especially if you don’t follow the regional rules of what it means to be polite). Taking your leisure time, and enjoying it stress-free is vital for your future well-being. Relax, enjoy your leisure time, and take off into the super polite bliss you are bound to achieve.

Featured photo credit: Calgary Canada Day 2014 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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