What Are Some Signs You’re Actually Too Polite

Signs You’re Actually Too Polite You can take politeness too far—it's time to stop apologising for everything.



Being ultra PC

Being PC, or "politically correct," is a two-edged sword. Done right, it can help you be accepting and respectful of people with different lifestyles, beliefs, or cultures. But this is one polite habit that can go too far. Many people think being polite is never offending anyone, ever. While you should do your best not to be offensive, it isn't possible to please everyone and being super PC all the time may make you sound affected or patronising. Instead, focus on being a good listener and knowing how to apologise when you do mess up. Here are some more habits polite people have in common.

By Susie Wilson, International Etiquette Expert

Clearing the table when others are eating


Clearing up the dirty dishes may seem like a considerate gesture but if others are still eating, it can be perceived as a signal to end the meal or that you're telling them to leave. And if you're not the host, it can even come off as quite rude, as if you think the table isn't clean or you're taking over hosting duties. Always wait until people are finished eating and if it's not your home, ask first if you can help tidy up. Giving one-word answers

People worried about oversharing may think they're being polite by keeping their answers extremely short. But while a concise answer is polite, one-word answers seldom are. Answering just 'yes' or 'no' can feel curt and dismissive (And this includes electronic communications. A little explanation is always welcome. Skipping all the small talk gets a bad rap these days and many people cite small talk as something scary or difficult. So you may think that by skipping the "How are you?" or the "You enjoying this weather?" you're doing everyone a favour by getting straight to the point. While you shouldn't obfuscate your answer, there's a lot to be said for making a little polite conversation first. It helps people feel comfortable and establishes a relationship. Just avoid the big no-nos of politics and religion. Turning down compliments "You're so smart!" "Oh no, I'm just a lucky guesser! I'm a giant idiot!" You may simply be trying to look politely humble by downplaying compliments—and a little self-deprecating humour can be great—but constantly putting yourself down makes you look bad and makes others uncomfortable. Learning how to graciously accept a sincere compliment is a polite skill everyone should master. This can also be telltale signs you're being passive-aggressive without even realising it.