Just came across a line in a listening exercise transcript and I'm really having trouble understanding it. Why would 'being polite' be 'thinking about'how I would like to be treated by others?

“There are table manners.

That is where you eat properly and politely at the dinner table.

You don't shove food into your mouth.

You don't reach over other people's plates.

You don't talk with your mouth full.

All of these things are common sense.

Being polite is mostly thinking about how you would like to be treated.

You wouldn't want people to be impolite to you.

It is not polite to point at people.

It is not polite to burp out loud. ”

Thanks in advance!


3 Answers 3


From what I can tell, I think it's supposed to mean that you should think about how you want to be treated, and act that way towards others.


The idea is that if you act toward others the way you would like them to act toward others you will naturally be polite.
You would need to think about how you want to be treated and then act in that manner.

  • Thanks, David. I got it figured out now. =) yay
    – LolliPoppy
    Apr 3, 2019 at 19:58
  • 1
    However, many expectations are culturally determined, and what is polite in one culture may be impolite in another, and in the latter case you would not be treating others as you wish to be treated if you violated their values by doing what you feel comfortable with. So I don't think the specific behavior is always a matter of common sense.
    – KayCee
    Apr 5, 2019 at 15:27

Actually, it means the way you behave at the table, talks a lot of your appreciation you have or not toward people. It means how's your character while executing the most common practice during the day: eating.

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