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- POLITENESS, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
- Take care never to speak what you have not weighed and pondered beforehand; nor interject your own words on the spur of the moment and in the midst of another’s; for you must listen and converse in turn, with set times for speech and for silence.
- Politeness and a sense of honor have this advantage: we bestow them on others without losing a thing.
- Baltasar Gracián, The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647), § 118
- Politeness, however, acts the lady's-maid to our thoughts ; and they are washed, dressed, curled, rouged, and perfumed, before they are presented to the public
- What is a nice guy? Most people think the opposite of a nice guy is an asshole. And that's why they cling to the nice guy identity so strongly, because they think “I don't want to be an asshole so I'm gonna be a nice guy”. But I think that the opposite of a nice guy is someone who is clear and direct about what they want - who's able to set boundaries; someone who isn't ashamed of their sexuality; someone who isn't afraid to be seen as a bad guy; someone who does the right thing - not the thing that's easiest. And this is a powerful question to ask, because now we're asking what is a nice guy. I don't think it's someone who's kind and has a genuine desire to be generous. I think a nice guy is a set of manipulative behaviors that many men use to get their needs met. Now there's nothing wrong with wanting intimacy, with wanting love, with wanting connection and desire and respect from other men. But the real problem comes when men want these things, but they're not able to communicate that they want these things. So they give something else! Hoping, wondering, waiting, that they'll get their needs met without ever actually stating what it is that they want. And this is a really toxic way to live, because you're constantly stressed and frustrated that people in your life aren't giving you what you want: Women aren't giving you sex; men may not be giving you respect; your family's not giving you love; I'm not giving you attention and instead of confronting that you just keep being nicer and nicer and nicer hoping that they will subliminally understand what your needs are. The three main strategies or symptoms of nice guy syndrome are 1) avoiding confrontation. The nice guys are terrified to be put under the heat they're afraid to be truly seen so they avoid confrontation at all costs. The second one is giving with an underhanded intention to get something in return that they will never admit giving to get. And the third one is seeking approval. Now again there's nothing wrong with seeking approval but it's the way that defines what kind of man you are. Masculinity is something that can be toxic. It is something that many men grow up seeing the negative effects of and they don't want to be part of that who saw a bully at school and thought “I don't want to be like that”, who saw someone abuse a woman or maybe had that dad who was really rude or wasn't there. And they thought “I don't want to treat women like that”. It's really easy for us to look at the negative expressions of masculine energy - bullying, war, rape, violence, totalitarian fascist regimes and think “I don't want to be that kind of man so I'm gonna not be a man, I'm gonna shy away from all elements of masculinity I want to define myself as the antithesis to all those negative things”. But in the process of doing that, we throw out what really makes us men in all of the powerful masculine expressions of our energy. Masculinity can be all those negative things, sure, but could also be standing up for what you believe in, standing up against a bully, it can mean leadership and it can mean believing in someone when they don't believe in themselves having this strength to support those around you who are weak.
- Liam Mcrae, The Cure for Nice Guy Syndrome (2018)
- Christian piety annihilates the egotism of the heart; worldly politeness veils and represses it.
- Politeness is a tacit agreement that people’s miserable defects, whether moral or intellectual, shall on either side be ignored and not be made a subject of reproach.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, cited in A Little Book of Aphorisms (New York: 1947), p. 153