Sisterhood Agenda

How To Deal with Rude Behavior – the Decent Way

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Rude behavior is very common and dealing with rude people is something that all of us should learn. You can encounter rude behavior in the workplace, in the supermarket, in PTA meetings, even at home. Don’t some people really just tick you off?

In this article, you will find out how you can get out of a scenario where you are being disrespected or receiving rude and unpleasant behavior from someone.

When is it the time to speak up? When is the right time to confront them and say “No, I don’t deserve this”?

Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

First, when can you say that a person is being rude to you?

Being rude is a display of disrespect.  It’s when someone displays behavior that is totally uncalled for and breaks acceptable social expectations.

Rude behavior can also be a display of violent, aggressive, or offensive behavior, either verbal or physical.

Rudeness can be displayed with an insult, name-calling, or humiliation in front of others. Sometimes, it can be sarcasm or a sexually suggestive joke.

Often times it can be such as a small thing, like not saying thank you when someone gave you a gift or did something for you.

There are different levels of rudeness.

And, there are also certain considerations to be made in terms of culture.  In some countries, there are certain actions that they consider rude when for us it’s just normal. For example, in Japan, it is rude to NOT make a noise while you drink soup or stick your chopsticks in rice.

According to an article from Insider, there are different types of etiquette as in the UK.  for example, it is considered rude not to leave a tip for the waitstaff when you dine out. But in Japan and South Korea, they consider it rude to tip the staff- they actually feel very insulted.

Now going back to different levels of rudeness…  There are some types that you can just ignore and look away from. But there are types of rudeness that can scar you to your core; it’s an insult to your integrity.

Now, that is something you have to handle because if you don’t, they will do it again and again thinking it’s okay and that you accept it.

Why are there deliberately rude people?

Photo Credit: Alex Green, Pexels

Let’s try to understand where they’re coming from.

There are several causes to why people behave the way they do. In the case of rude and disrespectful individuals, these are some of the most common reasons:

  • They have low self-esteem and lots of insecurities

According to best-selling author, Paulo Coelho, “How people treat others is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.”

They feel shitty, and they deflect it on others in order to appear invincible.  Insecure people have serious powertrips.

  • They let personal problems get in the way of their life

This person might be going through something and this is how they cope. This only applies to people who have short-term rudeness. This does not apply to people who are deliberately rude since day one each and every day.

  • They had a rough upbringing

How people are raised plays a crucial role in one’s character. That’s why in school, bullies were often bullied at home. They bully others to feel adequate and for revenge, although indirectly.

It is possible that they just don’t know any other way to treat people because it’s the only way they’ve been treated.

  • They have past trauma or personality disorders


A person who has a narcissistic personality disorder or someone who is a sociopath is not capable of empathy. They just flat out don’t care.

  • Burn out or stress 

Stress and exhaustion take a toll on a person’s entire well-being.  It can change their personality from kind to rude.

  • Low EQ   

People who have low Emotional Intelligence are delayed in terms of emotional maturity.  This is actually not their fault. They lack consideration and awareness of the repercussions of their actions. They don’t think.  They just do or say what they want.  They’re not even aware if they’ve been hurtful towards others.

Now to my next point:

How do you deal with rude people?

If there’s something you learned from the information above, sometimes, you have to put yourself in their shoes. Okay, I know this will raise some eyebrows but hold on as I get to my next point.

They’re the ones who are rude so why do you have to understand them? Why?

Human compassion often means taking the higher ground. Does this make sense to you?

You cannot confront someone who is unaware of the results of his/her actions.

Here’s what you can do

  1. Try to reassess the situation and understand the person if there’s no way around it. Proceed to number two.
  2. Keep your calm.  You cannot think clearly when you are upset. Take a walk and ask yourself: “Will this matter next week? Will this even matter tomorrow?”
  3. Don’t take it personally. A person’s behavior is his/her problem within themselves and it’s not about you. However, think about it on a case-by-case basis. If a person is intentionally attacking you proceed to number four.
  4. Call out the person and confront him/her in a civilized manner and be prepared for the consequences. This should be the last thing that you should do so do it with careful consideration.

Do this only if: the person has crossed a line, harassed, or abused you verbally or physically. If you are frightened, seek help from human resources if it happened in the workplace or seek help from the police if this happened outside of the workplace.

Let’s say it’s not as worse as harassment but you just cannot let it slide:
Set a one-on-one meeting and talk to the person.  Make sure to bring a neutral person to arbitrate the conversation. If you cannot catch the person to have a one on one with you, ask for help from others and do an intervention.

Rude behavior is something you cannot solve overnight, don’t set any expectations after you talk to the person. Once you find out the reasons, see if the person is willing to compromise. If you forgive them, don’t forget to remind them in case they slip up!

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