“Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. … the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”~ Don Miguel Ruiz
How do you feel about rude people?
You are going about your day, steadily moving from one task to another and then suddenly, the unexpected happens; someone pulls their car abruptly in front of you, causing you to slam on your breaks, interrupts you repeatedly while speaking, gives you a condescending look, bumps into you without apologizing, or outright blurts something to hurt your feelings.
If it is someone you know, you can usually call attention to the transgression and get it resolved fairly quickly. But what if it is someone you don’t know well or don’t feel comfortable confronting, how do you deal with them then?
1. Don’t take it personally
I know this is easier said than done. After all, how could you not take it personally, when it is happening to you? Look at it this way: It is happening to you, but it may not be about you.
Take, for example, the couple who has an argument before heading to work, who then at work, lashes out at every co-worker in sight. Clearly, they are taking out their morning frustrations on their colleagues who weren’t present for their disagreement.
2. It may be a habit
It could be that the other person doesn’t know they are being rude. My friend’s father has a habit of not greeting a room when he walks into it. He enters a room, picks one person out and starts jabbering away as if all others don’t exist.
For the invisible ones, this can be seen as rude. But if you know him, you would know that this is what he does, with everyone, no matter where he goes. It is not personal.
3. Confront the person
If it is a relationship that you want, you might consider letting the other person know how their behavior made you feel. This isn’t always easy to do because some people are just not easily approachable.
They quickly become defensive, forcing you to shut down any conversation that might lead to a resolution.
Not being able to confront someone often creates a barrier to intimacy, meaning, we no longer feel comfortable discussing anything of substance with that person; especially how we feel.
4. Stay away
If you are dealing with a stranger, walk away. The last thing you want is to get yourself into trouble. People are tense and stressed out and can flip at any time. Say one wrong thing and you could end up fighting for your life. If it is a decision between confronting someone and being safe, by all means, be safe.
One my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou is “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” If you get nothing else from this article, get this. You cannot change another person. Here, I’ll say it again, you cannot change another person.
And if you are trying to, you are wasting your time. Sure, there are those times when someone sees the light, has a change of heart, goes to the mountain top and becomes transformed by divinity. But for the most part, you will be disappointed.
Rude people have a right to be who they are just like you have a right to be who you are. Leave them alone.
6. Be above the fray
Decide that you are not going to get dragged down into the other person’s drama. Yes, this is a decision. It may not feel like it, but it is. If you don’t react immediately to what they have said or done, you will give yourself more of a chance to choose your response.
This can be difficult to do, as everything about you might want to fight back in the heat of the moment, but with practice, like everything else, you will get better at restraining yourself. Calm yourself down, take your time and choose your next move with clarity.
7. Objectify the situation
Look at the other person’s behavior as something that is separate from them. The benefit of doing this is it will create some space between your reaction and that other person’s, and it is in this space you can decide how you want to respond. Without this space you are more prone to react defensively, saying or doing something you will later regret.
Try to be kind to those who are rude to you. Being kind does not mean that you tolerate one abuse after another. It means that you respond to the other person politely, even if that means politely excusing yourself.
And lastly, remember that we are all here on this planet just trying finding our way. We are doing the best we can at this thing called life.
People can only act at their level of consciousness, empathy, and awareness, but ultimately, we all want the same things, love, peace, harmony, success, connection and joy. And we all have moments when we are rude.
How do you deal with rude and negative people? Share your “secrets” by commenting bellow or by posting your lovely comment on the PurposeFairy Facebook Page. And if you’ve enjoyed reading this post, feel free to share it with your loved ones 🙂