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10 Smart Ways to Deal with Rude People

10 Smart Ways to Deal with Rude People

If only there were a way to make all the rude people go and live on an island together so we didn’t have to deal with them!

But wait a sec. There are smarter ways to deal with rude people! Here are my top 10.

1. Remember, sometimes the rude person is you.

Maybe not today, but there’ve been times when you were rude. And you’re not a bad person. So next time somebody’s rude to you, remember that they’re human just like you, and rudeness alone doesn’t mean they’re a bad person either.

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2. Don’t take it personally (even if it’s personal).

When someone’s rude—especially if they’re making personal comments about you—it’s easy to get upset. But you have a choice about how you react. Take the power out of their rudeness by choosing to treat it as their problem, not your problem.

3. Find out why.

People have their own reasons for being rude. Perhaps they’ve had a bad day, or they’re in a hurry and think there isn’t time for manners. Perhaps they don’t even realize how rude they’ve been. You won’t know until you ask! Stay calm and simply say, “I think that’s pretty rude. Why are you treating me like this?” The answer may surprise you.

4. Be objective and analyze the rudeness.

So somebody was rude to you. What did they do or say? Was there any sense in it? If you view the situation objectively, you’ll realize that most rudeness is senseless, so you can cheerfully ignore it. On the rare occasions when there’s logic behind the rude behavior, staying objective lets you address the root of the problem instead of the rudeness concealing it.

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5. Don’t join the drama club.

Do you feel like yelling at the rude people around you? Don’t. Joining in the drama will only escalate the situation. Whether you’re dealing with a drama queen who’s doing it on purpose, or an inconsiderate oaf whose rudeness is unintentional, keep your dignity intact by not letting rude behavior provoke you into a tantrum of your own.

"Let it drop and walk away." 10 Smart Ways to Deal With Rude People

    6. Let it drop and walk away.

    Rudeness is hurtful, but removing yourself from the situation is the fastest and surest way to avoid more rude behavior from the same person. Walk away, even if they’re still talking to you! If they’re a stranger, you’ll never have to deal with them again. If they’re a friend or colleague, they’ll soon learn that being rude to you gets them exactly nowhere (and maybe that will prompt them to be nicer next time).

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    7. Consider offering help.

    Some rudeness is a simple case of bad manners. But often, a person who’s rude to you does so because they feel frustrated about something—and if it’s within your power to resolve their frustration, you may see them switch from rudeness to gratitude in seconds. A word of warning, though: only offer help if you can provide it immediately, as an offer of help “later on” can add to their feelings of frustration.

    8. Understand rudeness as a habit.

    Some people are rude simply because they’re always rude. Once rudeness becomes a habit, it can be difficult to shake off even if they truly want to behave better. Habitual rudeness should never be taken personally; it’s just a pattern that’s hard to break. Which brings us to the next point—

    9. Don’t try to force a change.

    You can’t make someone be polite if they want to be rude. In fact, trying to force a change in their behavior will often make them behave worse instead of better. Sometimes your best option is to accept that their rudeness is not your fault and let them find their own solutions.

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    10. Fight rudeness with kindness.

    Don’t let rudeness make you respond with more of the same. The best way to defuse rude behavior is to stay friendly and helpful, giving the other person a chance to calm down and adjust their behavior to match yours.

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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