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Polite People Choose Joy

How you do present yourself in stressful situations?

A key characteristic of a polite, well-mannered person is that they are typically found with a smile most of the time and project a positive attitude in virtually all circumstances.  

Feeling joyful is quite often, a choice, and studies have shown that polite people are typically joy-filled people. Those who focus more on the positive side of situations tend to surf through challenges with greater ease. Most polite people make a conscious choice to be happy and to smile more often than smirk or frown. 

When sad, frustrating or hurtful situations present themselves, polite and joy-filled people take time to process the appropriate feelings and then choose to step forward toward focusing on the bright side, for even the most dire circumstances present a positive consequence that begs to be discovered.

Jacquelyn Flesner is a Certified Etiquette Trainer and Founder of The Etiquette Network. Please visit our website for more information about our programs! www.TheEtiquetteNetwork.com 

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Roger February 26, 2013 at 10:37 PM
While there is merit in being positive, your piece has interchanged joy and happy. These terms are not the same. I don't want to misunderstand, but I think you mean happy every place you have used joy. Right, or not right? No, this is not just semantics.
Kathy Richardson February 27, 2013 at 02:37 PM
I agree with Jacquelyn that trying to concentrate on the positive side of any situation is worth the effort even in the most difficult situations. There are people among us who seem to prefer pointing out that the "glass is half empty", so that staying positive can be a full time job! Thank you, Jacqueline for encouraging us to embrace joy!
Tara Smith February 27, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Agreed, even though it can be difficult and we can all be at fault for letting our dark side sometimes show, it can be done!
Roger March 01, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Jacquelyn, am I right about having mixed happy and joy? We know them not to be the same, and continue to wonder why you chose to mix them in your piece. We await your answer. Thanks.
Jacquelyn Flesner March 01, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Thank you for your persistent concern, Roger. I have intentionally chose the word JOY as opposed to HAPPPY and do not find that I have "mixed them" in my statement, although I can respect that you may see it differently. There are multiple definitions for each word, and some would even define them as being interchangeable. In fact, Merriam-Webster defines JOY as "a state of happiness," so according to many liguistic experts, you may, in fact, be squabbling over semantics as the terms are often interchangeable. As for my personal perspective, I find JOY to be in agreement with the fifth definition for JOY according to Dictionary.com which defines the word "to feel glad; to rejoice," and in agreement with the second definition according the The Free Dictionary which translates as "the object of satisfaction." I find HAPPINESS to often be fleeting, yet in those instances when I may feel unHAPPY, I choose to be satisfied (content) and to REJOICE that there is greater good being accomplished somewhere of which I may be unaware. My earthly plan for life leads me to be HAPPY or unHAPPY, yet my knowledge of a Plan much greater than mine is what guides me to be JOYFUL in all things. Hope that helps you to better understand my perspective and hopefully to respect it even if it may differ from yours. Grateful for your comment, Roger! Extending Grace, Jacquelyn
Jacquelyn Flesner March 01, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Thank you for your comment, Kathy! Extending Grace, Jacquelyn
Jacquelyn Flesner March 01, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Thank you for your persistent concern, Roger. I have intentionally chose the word JOY as opposed to HAPPPY and do not find that I have "mixed them" in my statement, although I can respect that you may see it differently. There are multiple definitions for each word, and some would even define them as being interchangeable. In fact, Merriam-Webster defines JOY as "a state of happiness," so according to many liguistic experts, you may, in fact, be squabbling over semantics as the terms are often interchangeable. As for my personal perspective, I find JOY to be in agreement with the fifth definition for JOY according to Dictionary.com which defines the word "to feel glad; to rejoice," and in agreement with the second definition according the The Free Dictionary which translates as "the object of satisfaction." I find HAPPINESS to often be fleeting, yet in those instances when I may feel unHAPPY, I choose to be satisfied (content) and to REJOICE that there is greater good being accomplished somewhere of which I may be unaware. My earthly plan for life leads me to be HAPPY or unHAPPY, yet my knowledge of a Plan much greater than mine is what guides me to be JOYFUL in all things. Hope that helps you to better understand my perspective and hopefully to respect it even if it may differ from yours. Grateful for your comment, Roger! Extending Grace, Jacquelyn
Outraged Citizen March 01, 2013 at 05:34 PM
This blog entry is the worst kind of pop psychology. It also presumes a proposition that is fundamentally flawed. Our etiquette trainer would have us believe it’s as simple as positive thinking. If one chooses joy, no matter the situation, this choice lifts one up from the doldrums with the side benefit of politeness. Our etiquette trainer also teaches us that polite people are inherently joyful. Given these scenarios, why would anyone not choose joy or to be polite? Here’s where I believe our etiquette trainer runs afoul. Our etiquette trainer posits that anyone is “quite often” free to choose joy at any moment in time. This must also include those with clinical depression. How weak these individuals must be to face a challenge and not choose joy. There are many more factors at play to how we react to things than this supposed simple “choice.” Second, our etiquette trainer ties politeness to joy. This posits that polite people must choose joy – as stated in the title. Logically, this statement does not stand on merit as it assumes that those mentioned above that do not choose to be joyful cannot be polite. Can we honestly make that broad of a statement?
Mike Jones March 01, 2013 at 05:45 PM
I'm choosing joy today.
Erin Faulk March 01, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Joy for me, too. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Amanda Gillooly March 01, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Outraged, what is the advantage of being miserable? Is that what you are advocating?
Outraged Citizen March 01, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Sigh, apparently my lack of communications skills left readers confused. I take full responsibility with hopes of remedying the situation. Amanda, I do not prefer misery over joy. That was not the point. The first point is that it’s not always as simple as choosing joy. There are many factors, like clinical depression, that prevents some from choosing joy, especially during difficult times. It’s not that these people prefer misery; they in many cases cannot see the other side – joy. This contradicts our etiquette trainer who positioned choosing joy as a simple choice that all should be able to make. This is an example of the worst kind of pop psychology because it basically says you can have all you want through positive thinking and that’s just dreadfully simplistic. The second point is that our etiquette trainer ties politeness to joy. This is done in the title, “Polite People Choose Joy” and this concept is supported through the posting. This left me to ask the question, if a person is unable to choose joy, does this mean they’re not polite? Based on the logic presented by our etiquette trainer, the answer must be yes. This flawed logic is overly broad and cannot hope to stand to the most basic scrutiny. Amanda, I hope this answered your questions. Respectfully and hopelessly joyless, Outraged Citizen
Mike March 01, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Excellent article! Always look on the bright side of life. I try to adhere to this philosophy, even when things are difficult.
Amanda Gillooly March 01, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Outraged, OK. I see your points. Thank you for clarifying. If I don't speak to you, I DO hope you have a good weekend!!
Walt March 01, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Why are people bothering to argue about this? You're just responding to thinly veiled commercials for the Etiquette Network, the writer's business venture.
Jacquelyn Flesner March 01, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Thank you, Mike. I am as well! Extending Grace, Jacquelyn
Jacquelyn Flesner March 01, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Wonderful, Erin! We need more JOY! Extending Grace, ~jacquelyn~
Jacquelyn Flesner March 01, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Thanks, Mike! The 'bright side' is the right side! Extending Grace, ~jacquelyn~
Jacquelyn Flesner March 01, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Thank you for your concern for those who have responded, Walt. I might encourage you to consider that I'm not directly attempting to 'advertise' but rather to educate on topics that I find valuable. Thereby, when readers have a need for someone in my profession, they have come to know and understand my perspective in order to help them determine if they choose to do business with my company. This is really no different from, say, a Dermatologist having a segment on a local morning show in order to educate the audience on the dangers of skin cancer. The doctor, while not directly showing a 'commericial', is rather providing the public with valuable information so that, if and when the viewer has a medical need, this doctor has become one that the viewer can trust (assuming that the viewer has agreed with the doctor's positions on most topics). I hope this helps you to understand why I invest my time in posting on the Patch! Have a wonderful weekend! Extending Grace, ~jacquelyn~
Jacquelyn Flesner March 01, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Good afternoon, and I'm sorry that you find so many things to be "outraged" by, enough that you would make that your screen name. There is really no need to argue with you, as we obviously do not see eye-to-eye on this topic. However, if you're referring to the 'mentally ill,' I must say that since I'm not a Doctor of Psychiatry, I am unable to determine what someone with this disease can or cannot "choose." If JOY (or happiness) is a difficult choice, then I might stand to reason that being polite might also be difficult to some. I can only share my experience with one mentally ill woman during my last visit to NYC who actually attempted to spit on me while I awaited cash from a money machine near where she was sitting. Since spitting is anything but polite, I'm going to go with your premise that she was unable to CHOOSE to be polite due to her mental illness. In any healthy-minded individual, I would simply state that she CHOSE to be rude and agressive. Might she be polite in other scenarios? Possibly. So, maybe we can meet in the middle and assert that, aside from mental illness, JOY is a choice. It's quite unfortunate that you felt the need to call my post "the worst kind of pop psychology." Had I been in your position and felt the same about someone else's blog entry, I may have chosen to express my thoughts in a more tactful way than did you. Wishing you much success in escaping your 'hopelessly joyless' state! Extending Grace, ~jacquelyn~
Jacquelyn Flesner March 01, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Thank you for participating in the discussion, Amanda! Extending Grace, ~jacquelyn~
Tara Smith March 02, 2013 at 12:25 AM
So, what I am about to say may seem a little off-topic, but hang with me here, ok? So, I do a lot of walking because I do not have a car to get around, at times it deems to be VERY difficult, it fact, frustrating. However, sometimes I wouldn't have it any other way. Why do I write this? It has in fact, made me a lot more of a joyful, peaceful person. Of course, circumstances with everyone can be and are different and the definitions of joy can get somewhat intertwined. So, with that being said, I am only writing from my experiences. Jacquelyn, if I may quote you, having to walk everyone allows me to be able too, "process the appropriate feelings and then choose to step forward toward focusing on the bright side." It's made me a lot more of an open-minded, more perceptive person. Thank you Jacquelyn for sharing your insight!
John Linko March 02, 2013 at 12:38 AM
As someone who has worked with people in crisis (and those who help them) for a long time, I can say these things: 1. Keep an attitude that is consistent with maintaining strong, loving relationships with those who love you. There is lots out there about faith and trusting in God, but I also understand that a lot of people are turned off by that. I've found the following valuable: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiderata 2. Compassion fatigue is real. Look it up. That commercial for the show "Criminal Minds" makes lots of sense. What you think, you become. 3. Grace and Joy are great things in abundance, unless you are trying to navigate Pittsburgh roadways during the early to mid afternoon. I have a nagging feeling that many of those people embracing joy are doing so while driving in the left lane, below the speed limit, and refusing to yield. I could go on, but maybe later in another forum. Now smile, dammit!
John Linko March 02, 2013 at 12:45 AM
Mike - was that second sentence written with tongue firmly planted in cheek? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ
Mike March 03, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Ah.... No.
Walt March 04, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Jacquelyn - I understood why you post on the Patch when I made the original comment. That was the reason I made the point that people shouldn't argue over the posting.

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