The habit of steering social interactions harmoniously.

There is also the subset of graciousness in accepting help, complements, or appreciation, which some people have particular trouble with. Graciousness in accepting criticism or correction is also a tough one (see humility perhaps).

I’m impressed when I read 19th Century lit of how some of the more admirable characters go to great lengths to be gracious to difficult people or to figure out ways of smoothing over unnecessary conversational tensions. Some formal varieties of etiquette, e.g. ways of speaking before royalty or in court, Robert’s Rules of Order, etc. serve as crutches that may make it easier to converse with grace.

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices


Virtues possibly in tension


How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere


Inspirational quotes

  • “He that takes a benefit as it is meant is in the right; for the benefactor has then his end, and his only end, when the receiver is grateful.” ―Seneca
  • “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” —your kindergarten teacher