As much as people like to make out that London is an impolite city, we at Secret London disagree. I personally see lovely acts of kindness every day. But sometimes a “thank you” will go unheard, your wasted sorry will get lost in the back of a fellow commuter’s neck and people won’t appreciate your attempt to hold your breath on the tube… These are the struggles of being too polite in London.
1. You have the urge to say ‘sorry’ every time you as much as brush against someone on the underground. Which is every other second.
2. Heck, you have the urge to say ‘sorry’ for just nearly touching someone.
3. Or when someone else treads on your foot.
I’m so sorry for existing right now.
4. Heaven forbid if you can’t squeeze yourself small enough to let someone off the carriage
5. And, when it’s your turn to get off, the moment you let one person pass that’s the whole carriage emptying out before you can leave.
6. It pains you to hop off the bus without saying thanks to the driver.
7. You feel a pang of guilt when you lie to the Red Cross chuggers about ‘being late’ for nothing.
8. You’d be devastated to find your Uber rating less than 5 stars.
9. You always leave a tip. Even if it means not eating the following day.
10. And if you don’t leave a tip, you not only think of the best way to avoid eye-contact with your server after paying the bill, but also go to bed convinced that Karma will get you and you’ll be hit by a bike tomorrow.
11. You begin to smile far too early as you approach the man handing you the Evening Standard and the eye contact becomes quite awkward.
12. You can’t simply ‘ghost’ terrible Tinder dates. Instead, you fabricate a story of how you’ve actually met someone else who is, in fact, of another gender and that it was nothing to do with the date’s personality but, in fact, their sex. (But really they were more boring than reduced-salt air-popped crisps)
13. You stick your hands up apologetically to the driver that cuts you (the pedestrian) up on the zebra crossing.
14. If a tourist should ask for directions, it’s likely that you’ll end up at Trafalgar Square with them 20 minutes later. And you’ll probably give them a bit of your best tour guide spiel on the way too.
15. You say ‘thank you’ when you get out of the lift.
16. On more than one occasion, you’ve missed getting off at your stop on the tube because you were too polite to break off the conversation you were having with your colleague.
17. You apologise for being drunk. Even if you’re not that drunk.
18. You apologise for not finishing your meal at a restaurant and feel the need to list a thousand reasons to the waiter why the food was delicious, but you’re just so full.
19. Your politeness has actually started to negatively affect your social skills.
Feature image: RedKid Generator