“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting some battle.”
Life throws us numerous curveballs all the time. These can be anything, starting with excruciatingly difficult decisions, to traversing the murky, complicated matters of the mind. For a child in a social situation, I think one of the biggest curveballs is how to react when someone is rude to them. And when I say rude, I mean all-out rudeness, not simple sarcastic comments.
If you observe carefully, when a child is being verbally bullied, you’ll notice that they really don’t know how to react for a moment. If they are more extroverted, they might become defensive and learn how to be rude in return. Or if they are shy (like yours truly), they might just hold onto the hurt of having had to face such a situation and wonder why the other person is being so mean.
Either way, rudeness is something that throws us for a toss, even as adults.
As I grew up, my strategy of dealing with impolite people changed subtly – as a child, I would be too tongue-tied and embarrassed at being singled out to be able to reply back. Now that I’m slightly more outgoing, I can almost always reply back in a way that ends the conversation effectively or at least shows my nonacceptance of the impolite behavior.
From my experience so far, I found that there are four golden rules or steps you can take:
1. Talk to the person.
Make it clear that you do not appreciate the person’s behavior. This would be the most mature way of dealing with a rude person, and works wonderfully with people who are mature enough to understand your boundaries. Tell them frankly what you do or do not consider rude, and hope that they are grown-up enough to respect that.
2. Appear unaffected.
If talking to the person does not help, sometimes it’s best to not show that you’re hurt. This takes time and becomes easier once you learn about the person’s habits and attitude (so you know what to expect). You also realize that some people are rude for the sake of being rude, and that you really shouldn’t give any weight to what such people say.
3. Remember that anyone being rude is usually trying to hide some insecurity they have about their own self.
This is without exception – when a person feels they are at a loss as compared to others around them, they might take the negative route of dealing with it by lashing out at others. It has helped me immensely to keep this point in mind…that when someone is being mean, most of the time they aren’t trying to attack you personally. They just think you won’t react as much and they need a vent.
4. Be Mature. Being rude in return seldom helps.
It leads to nothing but more irritation. So stay calm and deal with the situation in a way that does not give the rude person the satisfaction of having got to you.
Basically, it’s more about how you deal with the impoliteness rather than how someone was impolite. Because while people may be facing rudeness all the time, what differs is the way in which they react, and that’s what makes the difference between letting the event ruin your day or shaking it off and marching onwards.
So keep calm and wave the haters away.
Sanchari Banerjee is a twenty-something girl going through life with a mind full of curiousity and a heart full of love. And a sarcastic sense of humour. You can find more by her over at her blog ‘The Serious Butterfly’.