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Is the world getting more and more rude? I honestly think so. Or is it that we just aren’t as empathetic as we used to be? Our patience is always wearing thin. Our feelings for others are often spared. The fact that we don’t even have time for ourselves, let alone for others might be a variable. If you talk to anyone, most people are in agreeance that our society is getting more and more rude with each generation. Either it is the lack of respect or it’s entitlement. Whatever it is, it’s really hurting people and it needs to stop. That means it needs to start somewhere, and I say we can. We can make the world a bit better of a place to live when we learn how to deal with rude people and NOT being rude back to them. Rude + Rude = A very sad and scary place to live. In this post, I am going to show how to deal with rude people and doing it without responding with rude behavior back, but loving or at least polite gestures and words. Let’s look into this a bit deeper.

Understanding Why People Are Mean

Adopting an elegant lifestyle means that sometimes we have to look at the bigger picture. We all know that taking the high road can be such a struggle, but after the storm dies down, we are always happy we did. But to take the high road easily, we need to examine the situation a little closer. Empathy is very important trait here. Why are people rude? What makes them feel entitled to belittle someone? How are they not embarrassed by their actions? For example: I was talking to a friend who said that she went to eat lunch with a friend outside and a homeless woman came up to her and asked for money to eat. When she insisted that she didn’t have money but would pay anything at this store for her lunch, the homeless woman was angered and her crazy ways was making everyone in the situation very uneasy. Basically she didn’t want the money for food, she wanted it for something else (which I am pretty sure you know exactly what it was for!) My friend was utterly stunned and in response to this loud and somewhat frightening experience, she started to raise her voice and in a way she regretted she rudely told her to leave her alone. Now when she looks back at that situation, she regrets her actions and wished she could have been nicer. She wishes she gave her more grace. Why?! You might be thinking, because clearly that woman was rude and didn’t deserve a penny. But I don’t see it that way. When someone is rude they are usually taking it out on you or someone else who is completely unrelated because that is where they think they can gain control. I see this with children too, which truly breaks my heart. People who are rude or give an attitude, generally lack any kind of control at home. Whether it is an abusive parent or controlling and demanding spouse to someone who feels like their voice is not heard. When you are able to take yourself out of the equation and realize that they are not actually angry at you, but they are angry at their own life, but take it out on any unsuspecting people, it makes you feel a bit of empathy for them. However, to make it clear I am not justifying or making excuses for them because I think it is terrible the way people treat others and it needs to be addressed, but us as elegant women, we can be the ears or the arms to hug them because they are not angry people, just misunderstood. Possibly now that we can understand why people are rude, it can make it just that much easier to not feed into it, but disperse the anger. That way of responding to their rudeness can make a change in the air and possibly they might change their ways too. Sometimes people are mean because it is a cry for love and attention.

How to Not Become a Rude Person

These are a few ideas that I really find help when you want to avoid being the rude person. It is so easy especially when you let your emotions take a hold of you. But with these few simple rules, it can be avoided easily. Remember, how you are perceived by people is who you are in their eyes. Don’t take this to say it is shallow, but sadly, that is how it is in this world (and don’t try to deny it!). Think about this quickly. If you come across as crude, that is the image they will have of you. It’s much harder to change it after! So just be nice in the beginning and you won’t have to worry about it!

Don’t be entitled.

This is simple. You are not any better than anyone else out there. Period. Regardless of money, career, social status or any other way of being ranked, we are all on the same level. It is so imperative that you understand that being entitled is one of the worse characteristics to embody. Being an elegant woman means being humble at all times. Here’s a list to look at to see if possibly you are have entitlement issues.

Always be empathetic.

It is easy in this world to just think of a person as a transaction at your job, or just someone in your way at the grocery store. But when you actually realize that they have life problems. They might be dealing with financial issues or marital problems, it can really help to humanize them. Instead of sighing when they add more groceries to the conveyor belt at the grocery store, you can empathize with them that their sick mother-in-law is at home with them and they are trying to remember what she likes to make them feel more at home. Empathy is such an important trait to have because it really can help put things into perspective. It helps to give people the benefit of the doubt which every one deserves. Live by the golden rule:

Do as to others as you want done to you.

  An elegant woman is empathetic towards everyone, hoping that if the roles were reversed, they would do the same.

Be patient.

This is one of those virtues that we should be practicing daily. It is so important, not just being patient with others, but also with ourselves and our loved ones. However, it is not just about being patient, it is also how you are act while you are waiting! You can’t be waiting and having a sassy attitude. You need to be the elegant kind of patient. It is more calm, more relaxed, more truly tolerant. People can see it in your eyes when your faking patience, but when you can genuinely master patience, it is a great tool to not escalate a situation. If you only learn one thing from this whole post, for your own sake, learn how to be patient. This will not only help others around you, but it will honestly help you for the rest of your life.

Don’t be selfish.

Being egotistical will get you nowhere. I realize that some people are more selfish than others and it is something that will always be an inner battle. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about what will I benefit or what good will it bring me, but that is put to a stop so fast because I know the repercussions are much worse. Being selfish hurts everyone, including yourself. How many times have you done something without thinking of others and then you regret it later? I have done that and I hate myself afterwards. Luckily, I learn from my mistakes and I have become a lot less selfish! But when you are selfish and choose not to change it, that is when rudeness sets in and you are oblivious to the fact that you are hurting people.  

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How to act when you’re WITH the Rude Person

This is so incredibly embarrassing. You’re out to dinner with a friend who snaps at the waiter and expects their drinks faster or turns back their dinner twice because of trivial problems. She complains that she wasn’t treated with the respect she deserves and just keeps humiliating everyone at the table. This happens more than you think, but when you are a nice person, it can really take you back and make things very awkward. The thing that is hard that you don’t want to be associated with them. That’s understandable. But at the same time you don’t want to single them out. Sometimes that can be worse. So here’s how I do this. For example, I am at the restaurant with my friend who has tendencies to be a bit harsh. I like to be very polite on my first encounter with the waitstaff. So that sets a precedent of how you are. People notice this. When they start to say something inappropriate I either try to change the subject and dismiss it. Possibly try to diffuse the situation. But do remember, that you cannot control other people. You can only control yourself. So when people are being rude, just be nice, no matter what. Here are some of my methods!

Methods to Respond/ Deal with Rude People

Kill them with kindness.

I honestly believe in this strategy because it never makes you look like you’re being rude (as long as you’re not being passive aggressive). Potentially it has the ability to change the attitude of the person being rude too. Many times people don’t even realize that they are being rude. So a subtle hint such as this can be all that is needed.

Ignore the snarky comments

I know this one is difficult to do. Especially when they are little digs. But by giving into them is only fueling the fire which is never a good idea. Plus you don’t want to stoop down to their level. It never looks good on you.

Don’t take anything personally

When people are having a bad day or are mean spirited they might try to say anything they can to hurt and bring down others. It is not necessarily true at all. Their goal is to have other people hurt like they are. If you allow them to hurt you by taking it personally, it will actually start to harm you and that is not what you want.

Understand the bigger picture

We really don’t know why they are acting this way, but there is usually a reason. Like I mentioned earlier, you see this in children especially. The ones that are bullying other children are usually the ones that feel that they have no control over their own lives, so they take it out on others. Try to be the more elegant and mature person and see that life for everyone is different. You might be that one person that they are taking some frustration out. Accept that and be that person for them. Even if it is a stranger, but you are strong enough to take it. Return their hate with love.

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”

Luke 6:27

How to Prevent Being Unintentionally Rude

Sometimes this happens from time to time, especially when we are not in the best of moods that we can accidentally take it out on innocent people. This is something that happens to the most elegant of people. We are all emotional beings. We possibly take out our anger and misplace frustrations. It’s so important to avoid it though because you will usually regret it afterwards.

Try and separate yourself

Separate yourself from the situation. You can’t go around yelling and taking it out on people who aren’t involved. I understand that it happens from time to time, but you can’t make it a habit. If you’re angry at your mother, do not take it out on your husband or friends.

Find ways to let your anger out

It’s inevitable. We will all be angry more than once in our life. But that isn’t the problem. It’s natural. But what needs to be done is figuring out what helps you to take that anger and remove it from your heart. It’s terrible to walking around in pain and it will only help you if you can find a strategy to help remove in a healthy fashion. It’s imperative to be able to control your emotions and if that means finding ways such as exercise or writing. Whatever it is, as long as it helps to keep your emotions in check.

See yourself in everyone

Sometimes people like to think of everyone as their mom or dad. That can help with the way you treat people if you think of yourself. This is just another way of being empathetic, but just a little different than above. Instead of giving someone attitude, because you see yourself (or your mom or  your dad) in everyone, you will naturally give them a little more grace.

Remember your elegance

Don’t forget that you are striving to be an elegant woman. It is something that you consider important and that means to every length. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. No. But flat out yelling or being disrespectful to someone is just such a big no-no that you wouldn’t even consider treating anyone. We all go through times when we slip and don’t care, but remembering that you’ve adopted an elegant way of life, it will prevent you from saying something you’ll regret later.

Read people’s faces and gestures

If you have excellent social cues then you will know when you are being mean or nice, if you are starting to be inappropriate or just boring them. Their eyes may roll, their eye contact becomes far and few between. They might not even be interested in what you’re saying and everything in response is generic “ya, mm hmm”

More you do it, the easier it gets

This is true! The more you handle situations with poise and a gentle demeanor the easier it becomes to keep doing it.  It’s just like the saying, practice makes perfect!  

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Can you tell someone they are being rude, politely?

Absolutely. But it must be done in the most gentle and pleasing ways. You can’t just come out and say it with a rough undertone. It needs to be light and sweet. It can’t come off judgemental and condescending. In order to achieve this without any consequences is to be very honest. It’s no news that being genuine and true to yourself is the only way in the long term people will respect and love you. It’s the same with telling someone they are rude. If you don’t beat around the bushes and just come clean with a sweet tone then it won’t be too hard for them to take. To tell you the truth, most of the time they don’t even know they are being rude! They might think they are coming across as just fine. After being told this, they might change without any hesitation because that is not their intention. You might be surprised! However you want to tell them, just keep in mind the few things that really matter.
  1. Sweet undertone
  2. Honesty is always best
  3. Kind disposition the whole time
  4. Respect and loving
  5. Have examples ready for them if they need it
  For something fun, you can try and take a test here to see if you’re considered mean.

To Conclude

If you have to go out in public, chances are you are going to run into people who are rude and just plain mean. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stoop down to that level. Being an elegant woman means to be kind to everyone. But there are times when they aren’t returning the favor. You can’t take it personally. Try to understand why are they are being mean in the first place. Is it lack on control at home? Is it that they are feeling belittled? Whatever it is, it is your job as an elegant woman to have the benefit of the doubt. Just accept that they might be going through a rough patch or that they have had just the most horrible day and you are just their next innocent victim. You are strong enough to take it and to be that someone that they might need. Dealing with rude people is just a fact of life because someone is always unhappy about something.