Guess what. There are rude people everywhere. I can guarantee you that each day you will encounter someone who is rude. For most of us, we don’t get out of bed and make it our goal for the day to be rude to someone, it just happens. It can happen because we are frustrated, or angry, and so we take that frustration out on someone else, and it comes out as rudeness. Sometimes we are just careless, and don’t even know we are being rude. What constitutes rude behavior might not be rude for someone else.

There are many ways to be rude, and I think if we try to be careful, we can avoid it. This links with what I said in an earlier article, that you need to be prepared each day and decide ahead of time how you will react when certain things go wrong. That way you won’t have an explosive reaction, you are already prepared. (Rude drivers cutting you off, or someone stealing your parking space!)


Some of us are being rude all the time, without realizing it. It’s in our best interest to watch what we say, and be kind to others. Really, we have no idea what is going on in other people’s lives. We have no idea of their struggles, or where they are emotionally. We have no right to judge. A really powerful statement I read once was, “if we threw all of our troubles in a pile, and then saw someone else’s problems, we would gladly take our own troubles back.”

Dictionary definition of rude:

How are we rude? Here are some different dictionary definitions of rude:

Rude – being in a rough, or unfinished state; lacking refinement or delicacy, uncivilized; marked by, or suggestive of lack of training or skill; intentional discourtesy; a rude, mean-spirited person

As you can see by the list below, there are lots of ways to be rude, and you might not even be aware. Believe me, the rest of us notice. There are a few rude behaviors on the list below that I absolutely LOATHE!  Have a look through the list below, and see how you might qualify as being rude:

1. Being late

It is so discourteous to be late. It shows you have no value about another person’s time. Getting stuck in traffic can sometimes be avoidable if you left early enough, but the usual fact of the matter is you’re late because you didn’t plan accordingly. Set your clock earlier, if you keep finding you are always late. Make an effort to get up earlier in the morning, so you have more time. Do things ahead of time, so you save even MORE time. There really isn’t an excuse for being late at all, unless you are physically trapped somewhere. Stop offering excuses why you are running late, and take control of your life. No-one else will organize your life for you.

2. Interrupting

I’m sure all of us readers can instantly think of a friend (or family member) who always interrupts. It’s so RUDE! It portrays to us, the talker that your listener isn’t really listening to you at all. How rude is that! If you have something you need to say, wait your turn.

3. Being Passive Agressive

You might think someone being direct is rude, but it’s another whole level to be passive-aggressive. Talking around a person and being indirect with them instead of confronting them with patience is far more offensive. Besides, everyone recognizes passive-aggressiveness when they encounter it, you’re not fooling anybody.

4. Gossiping

Talking about someone behind their back instead of to their face is gossiping. If someone tells you a story about someone and the story involves them as well, that is a story. The minute you repeat that story to someone else, its gossip. Gossiping has far reaching and negative consequences that you might not even realize. This habit should be nipped in the bud. Don’t be the office’s star gossiper, or the family’s star gossiper – believe me, it’s a title you do not want to have.

5. Ignoring (Silent Treatment)

Ignoring someone indicates you have a total disdain for them. Even if it’s not true, that’s what ignoring conveys. Not only is it rude, immature, inconsiderate, cruel, and petty, it’s emotionally damaging. Ignoring someone is the ultimate insult. You may not like the person, you may have a reason you don’t want to talk to them, but to ignore them is probably one of the worst things you can do. No-one should ever be treated this way or put up with this type of behavior. This type of behavior is considered narcissistic.  It is a deliberate way to hurt and punish someone, and they are obviously too selfish to care about your feelings.  Ignoring someone has terrible side effects:  a) It causes emotional trauma and stress, b) It causes psychological stress, c) It may have some serious side effects, d) It can cause behavioral changes, and e) It can destroy relationships. If you’ve been ignoring someone, deal with it today, and don’t EVER do it again.

6. Littering

There are so many ways to litter. And not just throwing things out your car/truck window, but your office space at work. Do you leave a mess on your desk? Empty wrappers, cups, dirty plates, napkins? Leave a mess in your office kitchen area? That is littering – and it’s RUDE! Trust me, your co-workers notice, and you’ll be known as the office slob. Do you really want to win that title? Grow up, and start being responsible with your habits.

7. Driving Slow

If you can’t drive the speed limit, it is my opinion you shouldn’t be on the road. Not only do you cause traffic jams, but your behavior is going to make a lot of people very frustrated. Do you really want to be the cause of road rage incident, or worse yet, an accident? Pay attention, and focus on what you are doing – DRIVING! Obey posted speed signs, and give other drivers a break.

8. Being continually on your cell phone

It is very annoying to be spending time with someone, but they are continually glued to their phone. It makes you feel unimportant, or even a third wheel, that they are more interested in doing something else rather than spending time with you. If you are not expecting an important phone call, put your phone away and leave it put away. Give your company your full attention. That is being respectful.

9. Blocking the aisle in a store, or any hallway

We all have to grocery shop at one point, and there is nothing so annoying as having people stop in the middle of the aisle, blocking you from going past. Seriously, pay attention to what you are doing! Be respectful. Most people don’t want to be grocery shopping, they just want to get in and get out, but you are making it impossible to do an already yucky chore. Move aside, watch where you park that buggy, and move out of the way when you see someone coming who is obviously in a hurry.

10. Being obnoxious on social media

Sure, you can say what you want on your own twitter/facebook/Instagram account, but it really shows what kind of person you are. Are you kind? Mean? Spiteful? What you post says a lot about you. Be conscious about what you’re posting, and if you have a strong opinion about something, be careful how you express yourself. You can lose a lot of friends by what you post, and not only that, future job prospects.

11. Sending an RSVP at the last minute

If someone invites you to a party, or a wedding, it is respectful to reply on time. They need to make food arrangements to have enough for everyone invited. Put the shoe on the other foot – would you want 50 people to respond to you the day before your party? No. For weddings, the caterer needs to know well in advance how much food to prepare. Would you want 10 people to suddenly not show up, when you’ve already paid for it? Nope. Be respectful – and always respond to an RRSP within 48 hours.

12. Talking exclusively about yourself

It is really easy to fall into the trap of talking about yourself. You may have some really good entertaining stories, but that doesn’t mean you need to monopolize the conversation. When someone else is telling a good story, you do not need to top theirs. It’s rude! Part of being a good conversationalist is asking others about themselves, and really listening. I had a crush on a really cute guy for over a year, and then he finally asked me out on a date. The whole time, he talked about himself. By the end of the night, my interest in him was zero.

13. Not making introductions

If you are talking with a friend, and another person walks up and those two friends of yours don’t know each other, introduce them! There is nothing that says, “You’re unimportant” more than being ignored in front of a stranger. Always give an introduction. If you’ve forgotten their name, just ask. Don’t worry about it being embarrassing, and don’t wait for the friend who just showed up to say, “hi, I’m ______”, all it does is re-inforce your rudeness for not introducing them right away. Make everyone in your life important enough to warrant an introduction.

14. Asking prying questions

Is it really any of your business? Do you REALLY need to know the answer? Or are you just fishing for gossip? Just because you want to know something does not give you the right to ask. Personal questions are a no-no, unless it is your best friend. Do not ask anyone sensitive questions about when they are going to have children, their finances, or priorities in life. If someone wants to share that with you, they will bring it up.

15. Telling little white lies

It is never okay to lie. EVER. Get that into your head right now. Little white lies may seem innocent enough, but if you’re caught, trust might never be regained. Don’t tell someone you are busy, when you are at home reading a book and having a glass of wine. Be truthful. If someone invites you out, and you don’t want to go, just say, “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to decline”. You don’t have to offer a reason. Lying to someone is never okay, even if it’s to make them feel better. Trust me, they won’t, especially if they find out. If you never lie, you never have to remember a story, and you don’t have to live with the guilt that they might find out.

How rude are you?

So…… the big question. Are you guilty of being rude? If you answer honestly, I’m sure every single one of us found something where we could make a few improvements. I’ve identified a few places where I’m rude, and I’m going to work on changing those things. One thing I noticed – I interrupt – a LOT! I just get so enthusiastic about what I want to say that I just blurt things out. That is not an excuse though, I realize it’s rude. I have a friend who is always interrupting me, and it drives me nuts. It happens almost every conversation, and now I’m at the point where I don’t even want to talk with that person anymore. Now that it’s been done to me, I can see the extent of how much I must drive other people crazy when I interrupt THEM! Oh dear.


This is what I’m working on. How ’bout you? What’s your rudeness?

Now, what are YOU going to work on today?



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