Rethinking politeness

Politeness may be beneficial when navigating social systems, showing deference and respect, and reducing anxiety with decorum. Yet it is also a set of protocols. It mediates personal interactions until you can no longer be sure exactly who somebody is: politeness can be a mask, disguising the real you.

The point is never the point

When people say "The point is…" it isn’t. To declare primacy, to center one idea, is to elevate and exalt one perspective, usually the speakers. Now the conversation is social politics: the point is to support the person by supporting the idea.