Being polite isn’t always the best policy.
I’m not suggesting that it’s good to be rude, harsh, contemptuous, or difficult. Not at all. But if being polite, being nice, gets in the way of true cooperation, social manners may need to take second place.
I doubt if my father ever said an angry word to another human. He was the kind of person who tried to see the best in everyone. Who would never push his way to the front of a line. Who always let someone else go through the door first.
But there were occasions when the usual rules of courtesy didn’t work. Entering Lion's Gas Bridge in Vancouver, for example, where eight lanes of traffic have to merge into two,
or sometimes into one.
On one occasion, though, my father couldn’t break the habit of being polite. When it was his turn to mesh, he gestured to the car on his left to go ahead.
The other driver jammed on her brakes, expecting my father to slip into his slot.
Dad waited for her.
Both cars came to a standstill, waiting for the other to make the first move.