While many people that you will interact with on a daily basis will be friendly and polite, it is not uncommon to come across rude and disrespectful people too from time to time. Whether it is at work, taking public transportation, or simply going for a walk – not everyone you meet will always be friendly!
So, how do you respond to people who might be rude or disrespectful to you? The best thing that you can do is to remain calm and keep your cool. Falling into the trap of becoming equally-rude will not help anyone.
That being said, it is not always easy to do the right thing when you come across these people in your day-to-day life. So, let’s go over a few useful tips that you can use the next time you interact with someone who is disrespectful or rude to you.
Don’t Assume the Worst
It can easy to label someone who is rude or unkind to you right away. But, it is important to remember that no one is perfect, and everyone has bad days. Think about a time when you may have been a little disrespectful to someone. You wouldn’t want someone else to judge you based on one poor interaction, would you?
You never know what someone might be going through. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt, even if they are disrespectful toward you. In doing so, you are more likely to remain calm and kind. That kind of attitude may even rub off on the rude individual, and make their day a bit brighter.
Remove Yourself From the Situation
Often, when someone is rude to us, it can be tempting to stick around and argue, or at least defend ourselves. Unfortunately, that rarely solves any of the drama, and often makes it worse.
Things people say can be hurtful and discouraging. But, walking away and dropping the conversation can keep things from getting even worse. You will likely even keep yourself from saying something you might later regret.
Walking away allows for emotions to calm down instead of escalating. If the rude person is someone you know, you can always talk with them later when they are in a more stable state of mind and you can have a respectful conversation.
You Can’t Break a Habit
Some people are rude once in awhile because they are having a bad day. For others, it’s a real habit. They are disrespectful because that is simply how they have acted for a long time. Unfortunately, it is a hard habit to break, and you can’t force someone to change their ways.
It is important to understand that if someone is habitually rude, you should never take it personally. Again, disrespectful talk can be very hurtful, and it can be very hard not to feel attacked and take it personally when someone is rude to you. But, if someone is struggling with their rudeness, they likely say things without even thinking. You can’t put too much stock in those words, so don’t let them bring you down!
Be an Example
Rude behavior is contagious. With that in mind, it is important not to respond to a disrespectful person with more disrespect. As hard as it might be at first, responding to rude behavior with kindness and positivity – can be just as contagious!
Whether you are dealing with a friend, co-worker, or even a waiter at a restaurant, always choose kindness and compassion over disrespect and rudeness, no matter how that person may be treating you. Instead of letting their bad attitude change the way you act, let your positive one change the way they are acting. Again, you cannot force change when it comes to someone’s rude behavior. But, leading by example can make a big difference.
Offer to Help
Consider someone’s rude behavior from an analytical perspective. Why are they being rude? Are they having a bad day? Did something happen to them? If it is someone that you know and someone that you are comfortable with, you might consider asking them if they’re okay?
Habitual rudeness is one thing, but if someone usually has a positive personality that has suddenly changed, it is likely due to a negative experience or stressful time in their life. Sometimes, offering to help or lending a hand in some way can be exactly what that individual needs.
People often use rudeness or anger as a way to mask the hurt and struggle that they are feeling inside. Breaking down that barrier by offering your support can be the first step in that individual turning things around for the better.
Understanding the Difference Between Rudeness and Harassment
There’s a fine line between someone being rude to you and someone harassing you. While it is important to remain on an even keel when dealing with rude people, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) accept any kind of harassment.
If you feel personally threatened or that you are in a hostile environment, you must stick up for yourself or report the incident to the proper authorities. Typically, your instincts will let you know the difference between rudeness and harassment.
When it comes to dealing with rude and disrespectful people, it is best to avoid drama as much as possible. Stay firmly-rooted in your own emotions and actions, and don’t let the actions of others drag you down. Instead, work on being a person that can bring those people up!
You will undoubtedly cross paths with rude and disrespectful people now and then. Whether you know them personally or not, “dealing” with them doesn’t require much. By staying calm, showing kindness and letting your positivity shine through, you could do more for those people than you realize.