Growth and Development

How to Deal with Rude People; Who Don’t Know They’re Being Rude

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Rude people come from all walks of life. They are dang near unavoidable and in your lifetime you will have come across a lot of rude people. But often at times, these people who are nasty, disgusting, and downright disrespectful, might not even know they are being rude. And whether you are non-confrontational or reactionary, rudeness is just something we might feel to not just let slide by. We also might want to know how to deal with it because we may deal with it at work, school, or in other social settings. Here are some ways to deal with the ones who may not know they are being rude.

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Kill ‘em with Kindness

The old adage. Responding with kindness to disrespect is something a lot of people do. By doing this, you’ll choose to respond to the rudest treatment with extreme kindness. It’s a personal preference and this may not be the go-to reaction for you. But here’s something to ponder — your kindness can be a teachable moment for them. If someone is explaining something very rudely and are unaware that they are being rude, you being nice might help them realize their behavior. They might examine their own personal interactions with people, and check themselves. They might ask, why is this person so nice, let me be nice in return.

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Walk away from Rude People

If you feel it, or even sense a hint of someone being rude, walk away from them. Why raise your anxiety and subject yourself to rudeness if you have an opportunity to walk away from it? It can take a lot of courage to just up and remove yourself, but always remember you do not have to deal with it. In situations where you can’t just completely leave, like at a meeting or with a classmate, make a habit of excusing yourself. When you see the person or if they ask for something.

For instance, a girl who sits across from you and is unknowingly rude is asking a favor from you. Tell her you’re occupied and make an excuse to leave her presence, like going to the bathroom. If you’re approached again, decline and say you have other commitments. As mentioned above, you’re setting a boundary for yourself and your demeanor will show the person you have no desire to interact with them. And if that person is perfectly sane, they might see the actions of their ways, and try to figure out why.

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Go Elsewhere and Make Complaints

It’s the holiday season and a lot of us will be out shopping as we search for the right gifts for our relatives. As we dwindle down into Christmas, there will be sales, crowds, and holiday shopping which means you won’t always run into the nicest people. As we see with Black Friday sales, people fight, push, and shove each other over the last item. Your best bet is to avoid them or call for assistance.

One time I was shopping at Target, and this woman literally had two carts full of items and was blocking the aisle. I said “excuse me,” and she ignored me. What did I do? I went around to the other aisle and came back around and made it through to get what I wanted. A similar thing happened again at a different time with another customer and I called on an employee. That employee moved the person’s carts and even told her she should not be blocking the aisles. Of course, she listened then and apologized to me and anyone else she blocked. Sometimes people need an authority figure to recognize their rudeness. When you have the chance to get someone of authority involved, do so.

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Tell them they’re rude

Sometimes none of the above can work for you, and you have to tell someone they are being rude in order to feel some sort of closure. I’m personally like this. If someone bumps into you or steps on your foot and you’re bothered by it, tell them if you have to. Because they probably don’t know they’re being disrespectful or nasty. And there are people out there that might feel genuinely remorseful to learn they offended someone by something they did. This is not to advise you to start a confrontation, but as we’re on the subject of people being unknowingly rude, you have to.

This happens to the best of us. I bumped into someone with my bag once, and I didn’t know. Once on the train, a woman behind me told me my bag kept hitting her, so I positioned my bag in front of myself so it wouldn’t hit anyone else. I would not have known unless she said something.

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Return the favor (somewhat)

At the very least and last option, reflecting the rudeness of someone being rude to you is the quickest way to let them know they are being nasty. Now again, this is not a green-light to be rude or start unnecessary fights. But feeling disrespected might make someone who is being rude, wake up.

Years ago, a bank teller rolled her eyes and loudly sighed when I asked for a card to remember my account number for the future. When I noticed that, I loudly told her “Oh ok, just forget it. I’ll just ask another bank teller to do this.” Immediately she was visibly offended by my reaction. When I proceeded to go back to the line to wait for another teller, she said she could write it out for me. Why did it take that for her to realize her attitude?

Employing this method of dealing with rude people should be the last resort, mostly because you don’t know how someone will react. But if it’s safe to give someone a taste of their own medicine, particularly with my incident at the bank, use it. And if you know how the above gif scene ends, then you know how Rosa from Orange is the New Black dealt with one character’s rudeness. Don’t go out and do it of course 🙂

How do you deal with rude people?

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