How To Politely Handle Brazen Rudeness
How do you react to rudeness? Do you respond by being rude back? Do you call the person out about their rude behavior? Or do you simply ignore the person?
–Arlene, Philadelphia, PA
A little bit of tact goes a long way in handling blatant rudeness.
¬† ¬† ¬† Should politeness and manners really require great effort, or should a person be unconsciously instinctive? Quite frankly there are times when we're irritable because we're stretched for time, grouchy from not enough sleep, or grumpily struggling with some mundane task, and we're plain and simple not feeling considerate of others. There are times when anger gets the better of us.
¬† ¬† ¬†You received an unpleasant email or phone call, a door was was slammed in your face, another driver cut in front of you. Whatever the provocation, when someone is rude it can push us over the edge, but don't let it get under your skin. Don't let it boil your blood to the point where you become intolerant and retaliate. Think rationally. You have three choices:
- Respond with rudeness: What do you do when someone is rude to you? Fight fire with fire? Tweet with an even more offensive retort? No, social media tweets are not an artform, but simply a way to let off steam. Don't bother with sarcasm or aggression as it won't help you professionally. If the person is habitually rude, at another time when you've simmered down, talk to him/her about texting during meetings, or being perpetually late for dates.
- Call him/her out on their rudeness: ¬†If you confront the person about their rudeness, do it humorously or politely. Use tact. "How are doing?" "What's up with you?" It goes without saying that you wouldn't confront the person in front of colleagues or socially.
- Ignore the rudeness: Especially if it is a single incident, thoughtlessness, or sheer ignorance, such as picking their nose. Exception would be if it was an ongoing problem that needed to be addressed. In that case the issue will only fester and get progressively worse if ignored. So, it would be better to have a polite conversation.