Rudeness: Stop the Madness

Car AccidentRudeness has reached new heights. Lack of respect and courtesy has become a global problem. Who needs studies? All we have to do is leave our homes to see how rudeness has become a familiar and unwelcome part of each of our lives. It is so easy to be caught up in the fray of meanness that bombards us from every angle, and then we stupidly “do unto others.” It has spilled from our homes to our neighborhoods and into our workplace. Our manners are worse now than ever before and seem to be ramping up even as you read this…that’s the bad news.

The good news is we can stop the madness. Since yours is the only behavior you can control; let’s check our self! We may not be able to keep someone from being mean, rude, or uncivil, but our interaction or reaction to the offender may soften or eliminate future episodes. At the very least, it will keep our blood pressure from raising.  These tips can help:

  • Model civility. This helps to teach people – family and co-workers,  how you choose to be treated. Ignore your phone or computer email as you listen to another speak, follow up on promises, use eye contact and smile often, even when you pass a colleague in your organization. Even acknowledging a friendly face in the street may be just what someone needs to make their day better!
  • Be the first to apologize. Even a soft, “excuse me” after being bumped by someone, is typically responded to by the same gesture of apology. If it isn’t, you have just taught a lesson in civility!
  • Be aware of your own actions. Gestures, facial expressions, and tone of voice count for 55% of communication. Are yours misinterpreting you? Mirrors, and good friends are invaluable. Be brave enough to see and hear how you come across.
  • Take care of yourself!  Most incivility is due to the lack of patience on our part.  Studies show when we exercise, eat and sleep well, our outlook on life and our happiness level is high, which means our tolerance level is increased.

Rude behavior does not have to be the norm. It doesn’t take much to extend courtesy to others. Start somewhere, you may be surprised at how fast it catches on!




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