4 Tips for Dealing with Rude People
The world is full of rude people; it is an unfortunate truth. Some people are rude because they are oblivious, are having a bad day, or because it’s just their character.
The first two types or rude people are a little more forgivable, and if we’re honest, something we’re all guilty of from time to time.
The third type of rude people is frustrating and can really grate on us because it’s not a temporary rudeness and is often difficult to reason with.
It can be even more difficult to deal with these people when we have to work with them, they are in our family, or is a stranger we have a somewhat regular interaction with such as a store clerk or a passenger who rides the same bus as us.
Here are 4 tips for dealing with rude people:
1. Keep your composure
Rude people are often looking for an argument. They want to rile you up and drag you down to their level—that’s when they can flip it and get the better of you to get their way because they’ve made you lose your cool.
If you keep your composure, though, and don’t let their rudeness rile you up, you’ll avoid getting pulled into an argument.
To keep your composure, remember to breathe and don’t pick up the rope, so to speak, to get into a rude, tug-of-war. Here are some good phrases to try:
a. “Thank you for your input”
b. “I disagree. My perspective is…”
c. “I’m sorry you feel that way”
These phrases maintain your composure without making you automatically give in to whatever they are being rude about.
For the people who are having a bad day or are just oblivious, this might work to snap them out of their rudeness by presenting them with a polite option.
For generally rude people, this shows them how petty and unpleasant they are being and maintains respect and your integrity by not returning their rudeness to them.
2. Listen to them
People just want to be heard. They can get rude, frustrated, and even angry if they feel like no one listens to them.
Typically, this feeling goes beyond you and they just feel unheard in general. You can help the situation by just listening to them.
Listening doesn’t mean agreeing. It simply means giving them space to air their grievances, to vent their frustration, and to acknowledge how they feel.
Try some of these phrases:
a. “I understand why you feel that way”
b. “I’m sorry to hear that”
c. “That sounds frustrating”
It’s not much, but it can help break them out of their rudeness by letting them feel like their opinion matters, and sometimes that’s all they need.
For people who are just rude in character, this might not be enough, but it’ll make you the bigger person and more difficult for them to pick a fight with.
3. Respect yourself
When you respect and value yourself, it makes it harder for a rude person to get to you.
While some settings make it difficult to speak your mind completely, you don’t have to allow yourself to be treated with disrespect and rudeness.
There is a way to maintain your composure, to acknowledge that you heard them, but still stand your ground and not let a rude person walk all over you.
Just because this may be a person whom you have to be polite to; for the sake of your job, your family, or just the ease of your day-today; that doesn’t mean you have to take being mistreated. Here are some phrases to try:
a. “I don’t appreciate being spoken to that way”
b. “I don’t feel respected right now”
c. “I’d like to work with you on this, but this behavior isn’t helpful”
d. “I don’t respond well to being treated this way”
4. Remove yourself, when possible
Just like you don’t have to take being treated rudely, you also don’t have to stand there. Even if it’s your job, you can always remove yourself.
You can call a manager over, or after the rude customer has left take a quick bathroom break to remove yourself and decompress from the interaction.
In an office setting, you can simply say, “we aren’t going to reach a compromise right now, I need to excuse myself” and leave. You can come back to it after both of your emotions have settled.
If it’s a family member, try the same thing. It’s respectful and it keeps things from escalating to a point of no return where you start burning bridges you don’t want to burn.
It’s difficult to deal with rude people, but we all need to do it at one time or another.
It’ll be easier if you are able to use these tips and not sink to their level and maintain your self-respect and integrity.