Question winner of the week? It was a biggie! I get a lot of emails about boys, but man oh man…this month your burning question is…
How do I deal with rude or toxic people?
First, let’s define “rude” and “toxic.”
- Rude: Refers to bad behavior or just plain bad manners. For example, children are taught to say “please” and “thank you” or they are considered rude.
- Toxic: Signs You’re Surrounded by a Toxic Person: You’re emotionally affected by their drama. You dread (or fear) being around them. You’re exhausted or you feel angry while you’re with them or after your interaction.
In this blog post we will deal with the “rude” person. The next post will deal with those delightful “toxic” people. The bottom line with dealing with anyone is this: We cannot control other people. We can only control how we REACT toward other people. Like the woman in the Anne Taintor image above? We have the power to control how we want to deal with any situation. So let’s go over several common “rude” occurrences and ways to deal with them in an empowered way.
Scenario #1: Random Rude Person: The rude person may just be having a bad day, frustrated by the toxic people around them or…ahem, just a bit of a jerk. Usually they are casual acquaintances you rarely see or strangers you run into as you go about your day. So how do you deal with Random Rude Person? The best way really isn’t that much fun. But it is the most practical and sensible way. Ignore them. Put your attention on something else. Immediately. This works with most everything. A person makes a derogatory remark to you, jumps ahead of you in a line, makes a lot of unnecessary noise, etc. You get the picture. It’s not worth it to give this person the time of day.
Scenario #2: What if someone invades your space? For example, you are at the grocery store. You’re trying to pick up something and someone reaches and grabs something else while touching you or pushing you away? A firm “Pardon, Me,” works well. It’s a hoot when someone reacts to this with “Oh, no problem.” Have a little chuckle to yourself.
Scenario #3: Can being overly nice serve to disarm a rude person? Oh…yes it can.
A stranger angrily confronts you about something. You have no idea what because it’s so sudden. This scenario is a bit scary because of the sudden nature of it. A sweet “Pardon Me?” will usually disarm most of them. This has happened to me several times this year…a real anomaly, but this tactic has worked like a charm. The person has backed off, a little guilty. Like I said earlier…you never know when someone has had a bad day, gotten bad news or something has set them off. Usually it’s better to just be nice, polite and mannered. I know it isn’t fun and a bit “old fashioned,” but it’s a great way to help keep your life as drama free as possible.
Scenario #4: Here’s a BIGGIE – The Clueless Rude Person: What happens when someone actually points out their own rudeness by interacting with you about it?
I had just pulled into a parking space to pick up a salad for lunch. I get out of the car and start walking toward the restaurant. Out of the right corner of my eye, 4 women start running. Obviously and obnoxiously trying to beat me to the door. They beat me to the door and the last lady sort of holds the door open for me. As we line up to the counter, she turns around, all giggly with her friends and says to me:
“Well, you know we have a limited amount of time for lunch.”
To which I said:
“So do I.” Right in her eyes, no emotion.
She jumped about 2 feet in shock and started talking to her friends. Now THAT was fun. Miss “My lunch is more important than anyone else’s” was highly embarrassed. Being direct and unemotional is a learned skill we should all develop because it’s so effective. It may or may not change another person, but by knowing this skill you will get much less crap from other people. The links below will help teach you these skills. These skills will also help you with another group of people. The Toxic People. They will be addressed in the very next post. So get studying! Love, Goddess
Sources to help learn the art of confident, direct and unemotional crap calling:
- Learn How to Say it From a PRO: Miss Manners’ Basic Training: The Right Thing to Say
- A Resource Full of Ways to Become More Confident and Empowered: Bitch Lifestyle The Manual
- Fun YouTube Example of Dealing With Rudeness by TR Television
© S Stevens Life Strategies