Dealing with Rudeness

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,189
    Dr. P.M. Forni discusses how to deal with rudeness.

    Hi! I am P.

    M. Forni of Johns Hopkins University. And today we are talking about what to do when people are rude. And now we are talking in particular about rudeness as a quality of life issue. Rudeness is the opposite of civility. Civility is attention, is awareness of others. We are civil when we are aware of others and be restraint, respect and consideration into the very fabric of that awareness. In civility of rudeness instead is lack of attention, the lack of ability of trying to transcend our immediate needs and desires to tend to the needs and desires of others. There are at least two major kinds of rudeness, unfocused rudeness and focused rudeness. The former, unfocused rudeness is the rudeness of the people who are equal opportunity offenders. They are rude with everybody, but they are doing that without knowledge. They are the people who jump into the elevator without letting you get out. They are just disregarding others without however targeting them personally. Then there is focused rudeness. The focused rudeness is the rudeness that comes in your way when a co-worker who is envious of your success tries to put you in a bad light in a conference with your boss. It is the rudeness that comes with infamous finger on the road. It is focused, it is directed to you, and it's the one that is hurting more than the previous kind. Rudeness is bad for your self-esteem. It erodes self-esteem. It adds to stress, is bad for relationships, is bad at work and it is a constant source of stress. And stress is pervasive in our lives so we don't need more stress. And unfortunately rudeness increases our levels that are already high. Whenever we are at the receiving end of an act of rudeness, our levels of stress go up. There are several causes of rudeness. Major causes of rudeness are stress, anonymity, lack of time, and the pursuit of our personal, professional goals. Stress and anonymity are really major ones and we see them working together in traffic on the road. We are late for work and so we are stressed. We are late for picking up our children at school. And we are in an anonymous environment because the driver in the other car is not really human being, it's a faceless entity protected in the steal cocoon of his or her car. And both of us think that we can get away literally with anything. Then there is yes the pursuit of our personal goals. We are so task oriented. We are so goal directed that we often engage in a mad rush for the attainment of our goals at work. And as we do that, we don't think that we have the luxury to slow down for this whole purpose of being kind and considerate to others. And so our behavior suffers. And then time, we don't think we have time but the reality is that we don't make time. And in order to be kind to others we need to make time. And so we need to reprogram ourselves in order to be better citizens, better friends, better family members. And find the time for human encounters.