Top 10 Tips for Dealing With Rude People

by Laura Kronen on March 30, 2015

rude peopleWe encounter them often.  People that seem to think the world revolves around them. Even some people who are downright rude. Here are ten simple tips for dealing with people who rub you the wrong way.

1. Get a hold of your anger first.  Never lose your cool. Count to 10 and take a few deep breaths before responding. It changes everything.

2. Don’t take it personally.  Many times it has nothing to do with you.  Someone is just having a really crappy day. When someone’s rude—especially if they’re making personal comments about you—it’s easy to get upset. But you have a choice about how you react. Take the power out of their rudeness by choosing to treat it as their problem, not yours.

3  If the person is really out of line and you don’t feel threatened in any physical way, confront it and try to diffuse the situation. People have their own reasons for being rude. Perhaps they’ve had a bad day, or they’re in a hurry and think there isn’t time for manners. Perhaps they don’t even realize how rude they’ve been. You won’t know until you ask! Stay calm and simply ask why they are acting in the manner they are. The answer may surprise you. Major exception is if you are dealing with a stranger, the best solution is to walk away. The last thing you want is to get yourself into trouble. People are tense and stressed out and can flip at any time. Say one wrong thing and you could end up fighting for your life. If it is a decision between confronting someone and being safe, by all means, be safe.

4. Understand that some people are just not nice.  Don’t expect the behavior to change.  That’s just the way he or she is. Some people are rude simply because they’re always rude. Once rudeness becomes a habit, it can be difficult to shake off even if they truly want to behave better. Habitual rudeness should never be taken personally; it’s just a pattern that’s hard to break. 

5. Objectify the situation.  Look at it from different angles and perspectives. So somebody was rude to you. What did they do or say? Was there any sense in it? If you view the situation objectively, you’ll realize that most rudeness is senseless, so just ignore it. On the rare occasions when there’s logic behind the rude behavior, staying objective lets you address the root of the problem instead of the rudeness concealing it.

6. Ask the rude person how you can help them.  Help them release their pent up emotions. Some rudeness is a simple case of bad manners. Often, a person who’s rude to you does so because they feel frustrated about something—and if it’s within your power to resolve their frustration, you may see them switch from rudeness to gratitude in seconds. A word of warning, though: only offer help if you can provide it immediately, as an offer of help “later on” can add to their feelings of frustration.

7. Elevate your authority with someone.  You are not a doormat, do not allow yourself to be treated as one.

8. Maintain your dignity.  Other’s actions should not make you feel less about yourself. You can’t make someone be polite if they want to be rude. In fact, trying to force a change in their behavior will often make them behave worse instead of better. Sometimes your best option is to accept that their rudeness is not your fault and let them find their own solutions.

9. Opt out of the interaction.  You do not have to get involved and it might not solve anything. Rudeness is hurtful, but removing yourself from the situation is the fastest and surest way to avoid more rude behavior from the same person. Walk away, even if they’re still talking to you! If they’re a stranger, you’ll never have to deal with them again. If they’re a friend or colleague, they’ll soon learn that being rude to you gets them exactly nowhere (and maybe that will prompt them to be nicer next time).

10. Reflect on times you were rude to others (and I’m sure it has happened once or twice), Maybe not today, but there’ve been times when you were rude. And you’re not a bad person. So next time somebody’s rude to you, remember that they’re human just like you, and rudeness alone doesn’t mean they’re a bad person either.

The takeway: Don’t let rudeness make you respond with more of the same. The best way to defuse rude behavior is to stay friendly and helpful, giving the other person a chance to calm down and adjust their behavior to match yours.



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