15 Signs You're Way Too Polite For Your Own Good

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For some people, there's a big lingering problem in their lives. Now, usually, they can't tell that it's a problem — and maybe that is the problem right there.

Being too polite isn't just something socially awkward individuals do; in fact, it may indicate low self-esteem. And if you're not sure if you're one of these people, there are a few signs that will let you know.

Here are 15 signs you're too polite for your own good.

1. You worry about how you come across to others.

Whether it's the way you speak or the way you text, you'll do anything to make it appear that you're kind and polite. For example, you use exclamation marks in your texts, worrying you’ll come across as miserable without one.

The problem with the written word is that there is no intonation, so you resort to using punctuation marks and emoticons to get your enthusiasm across. And while an exclamation mark does make things look friendly, it can also come across as a little maniacal.

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2. You feign happiness despite feeling differently.

Even if someone's actions affect you negatively, you refuse to show any emotion other than “happy” or “pleased.” Suppose you receive a less-than-stellar haircut. You say you’re pleased with your haircut despite the deep inner sadness it is causing you.

You sit and watch your reflection in the mirror as your world slowly falls apart. But do you stop them? Oh no, you don’t even make a move or say a word as they shear off more than double the amount of hair you requested. Instead, you continue to answer the extraordinarily personal questions they ask you as they annihilate your fringe.

Then, you smile excitedly and agree to be up-sold on some unnecessary hair products while taking out a second mortgage just to pay for it all.



3. You consistently get 'stage fright.'

No, it's not stage fright where you're performing in front of thousands of people; rather, it's stage fright for something as simple as sitting in the bathroom stall in a public restroom. You keep absolutely still when someone else walks in while you're in the stall.

Why is that? Why do you have this great fear that someone will, heaven forbid, hear you doing your business? Most likely, you'll wait out the other person or make an inordinate amount of noise with the toilet paper to cover your tracks.

4. You allow yourself to remain in uncomfortable conversations.

You frequently find yourself getting stuck in a “fine thanks, how are you?” loop. And it's not because you don't remember their name or where you know them from. In actuality, it's because you don't want to come off as rude.

Even then, making small talk can be uncomfortable, but you allow yourself to feel this way because, again, you're strongly worried about how others see you.

5. You refuse to be assertive.

Assertive people are confident, communicate effectively, and express their thoughts in a respectful manner. For you, standing up for yourself seems practically impossible!

You attempt to deal with a line-jumper by staring fiercely at the back of their head. You won't refuse to take on a project at work when you know full well you're already in over your head. You allow people to talk down to you without saying a word in your own defense.

And why? Because you're too polite for your own good.

signs you're too politePhoto: Tariq Washington / Pexels

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6. You say sorry for no reason.

You apologize when someone knocks into you, even though it wasn’t your fault. You apologize when you call your friend, thinking you're being a nuisance. You apologize when you're doing something new for the first time and aren't immediately an expert.

People who over-apologize do so because of false guilt or people-pleasing, which really just points to you being overly polite.

7. You don't know how to accept compliments.

Even if you've achieved something wonderful, you'd rather downplay the praise you receive, retorting with self-deprecation. Because you don't want to come off as conceited, you'll hide your excitement at your accomplishments.

But instead of refraining from accepting any type of praise, all you need to do is say, "Thank you." Nobody will think ill of you for it.



8. You make eye contact for a little bit too long.

Holding eye contact while in conversation is a great way to show that you're engaged and paying close attention to the other person's words. But you take it a step further, prolonging your gaze until it becomes uncomfortable.

While you may believe this is showing that you're polite and interested, it can easily make others feel uneasy.

9. You'll do anything to avoid coming across as rude.

You care deeply about how you portray yourself to others, and because of this, you'll often hold yourself back from actions you believe will make people see you in a negative light. Not wanting to be the one that takes the last piece of communal food, for instance.

You go out of your way to ensure that people only see you as nice or kind, rather than enjoying life's simple pleasures.

10. You never correct someone who is wrong.

You won't do so because telling someone they are wrong is criticism, even though there are plenty of ways to approach the situation without being rude. But you won't leave that up to chance.

If it's a factual error in a conversation, you let it go. If it's a mistake at work, you say nothing. You're just too polite to risk coming across as rude or disrespectful.

11. You won't ask for help.

It's not that you're too prideful — you simply don't want others to think that you're too needy or that you want to burden them with your own issues. You'd rather struggle to finish a project, lift a heavy box, or tend to an injury so you don't appear incompetent.

But remember: you can still be polite and ask for help when you need it. It doesn't mean you're weak, it just means that you're human.

signs you're too politePhoto: Edwin Ariel Valladares / Pexels

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12. You lie to spare others' feelings.

You'll do anything to avoid causing pain to others, even if it may end up causing problems later on. Whether it's the way your friend is dressed or a not-so-appetizing meal your partner made, you won't speak up. Instead, you'll tell white lies to appear considerate.

While you mean well, your need to be polite at all times can backfire. In fact, a study from 2016 found that participants who were dishonest were more likely to increase that behavior with repetition, meaning that, like the study is titled, "the brain adapts to dishonesty."

That means that lying can become second-nature to you, which is just not a great way to portray yourself as polite.

13. You care too much about being liked.

This harkens back to your need to control the way you come across to others. There's no doubt that part of the human connection involves wanting to feel like you're part of something, but when you force it, you come off as desperate and inauthentic.

Yes, it's natural to want to be liked, but when you don't act like yourself, you're not doing anyone any favors. Instead, it's important to stay true to who you are, rather than acting like someone you think others will gravitate towards.



14. You can become too touchy-feely.

Because you're too polite for your own good, you tend to invade the privacy of others by being overly touchy-feely. While humans are wired to need physical affection and touch, you may bend boundaries, even with people you know well.

Whether it's a family member, close friend, or even a stranger, you attempt to convey affection and warmth, but may make others feel uncomfortable. Remember that not everyone will want a hug or to be touched, and it's important to respect those boundaries.

You can still be polite while keeping your hands to yourself and being mindful of others' comfort level.

15. You don't know how to be yourself around others.

Because you've focused so much on portraying yourself as polite, you've essentially cast your true self to the side. You've adapted your morals and preferences to please others and change their perception of you, rather than just being yourself from the get-go.

And while it's great to show that you're a considerate person, when you lose your true self, you begin to feel inauthentic and like your connection to others is fake. Keep in mind that pretending to be someone else usually doesn't work out like you hoped.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who has written hundreds of articles about relationships, trending news and entertainment, numerology and astrology.