Defusing Rude Behavior

How to deal with impolite people.
Defusing Rude Behavior
(RetroClipArt/Shutterstock)
Bill Lindsey
11/18/2023
Updated:
11/18/2023
0:00
The fast-approaching holiday season may see you subjected to discourteous behavior. Here are several suggestions on how to react in a well-mannered fashion.

In the Workplace

It is possible that anyone with one or more coworkers may experience boorish behavior. Because filing a complaint with HR should always be the last resort, calmly advise the person you find their behavior unprofessional and report this to your superior. It’s best to set boundaries, be polite to those who are rude, and avoid them as much as possible. If a superior is frequently acting in an unprofessional or inappropriate manner, consider advising their boss.

On the Road

Time spent driving means being exposed to other drivers, not all of whom operate their vehicles in a safe, courteous manner. Make a conscious decision to set a good example by using turn signals, staying in the passing lane only long enough to pass traffic, not reacting to honking horns the second the light runs green, and remaining calm if another driver suddenly cuts you off from the parking space you are about to take.

Out in Public

Airports, malls, and public events can be breeding grounds for bad manners, making it important to be prepared to shrug it off and keep moving. Most boorish folks are oblivious they are being rude, while others revel in it, hoping to get a reaction. The best response in either scenario is to not acknowledge them. Just take a deep breath while doubling your efforts to not replicate their bad example.

At Parties

Holiday parties bring out the best and worst in people, especially when alcohol is added to the equation. Bad behavior at work-related events can ruin a career, so make a point of being prim, proper, and perhaps a bit boring. At all parties, stay far away from those who are clearly overindulging. Stick to club soda, dress demurely, and mingle politely. If you encounter someone being rude or inappropriate, smile and make a swift getaway.

Family Affairs

Holidays are a time to spend happy times with relatives, and in particular those who you’ve not seen for quite a while. But sometimes family gatherings include a relative who grates on everyone’s nerves. If they seem to revel in being cantankerous, spiking the eggnog, and critiquing everyone’s outfit, greet them warmly and then nonchalantly head for the opposite side of the room for the balance of the evening.
Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.