This is the last part of the new series on how to deal with rude people – especially your co-workers, associates, customers and managers. Be sure to read parts 1 and 2 first if you haven’t.
- Part 1: How to Deal with Rude People – Tips #1 – #4
- Part 2: How to Deal with Rude People – Tips #5 – #10
- Part 3: How to Deal with Rude People – Tips #11 – #15
11) Maintain your dignity
As mentioned in Tip #2 Don’t Take It Personally, no matter what the rude person says, you should never let him/her make you feel any lesser about yourself. Neither should you back down, lower your worth, or self-depreciate in his/her presence. Be sure of who you are and what you stand for. Stick to your values, your integrity and your beliefs. Maintain your personal boundaries and guard it.
If the person ever tries to trample on your boundaries, don’t be afraid to confront (Tip #3 – Confront if need be). You deserve better, and it doesn’t matter how important the job is or how valuable the client/deal is. There’s nothing more valuable than your integrity and it’s up to you to honor that.
12) Raise your consciousness where you cannot be affected
I love this quote by Rene Descartes:
“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.” – Rene Descartes
Rude people vibrate at a certain level of consciousness , namely lower levels like fear, anger and pride. As I mentioned in You are the Average of the 5 People You Spend the Most Time With, your consciousness level is partly affected by the type of people you’re with. When you interface with rude people, it’s normal that their state of consciousness rubs off you and drags you down as a result. The longer you stay in this state, the more negative you’ll feel, and the more likely you’ll descend to similar rude behaviors too (whether in retaliation or not).
If you’re affected by their attitude, that means you’re vibrating in a consciousness state that makes you vulnerable to their offense. An analogy would be the dog whistle. Do you know that dogs can hear a much higher frequency range than humans? Humans can’t hear the sounds produced by the dog whistle because it’s out of our reach. Likewise, when you’re in a totally different conscious level, you won’t even feel the “offense”, if there’s even any.
This is why people who are in lower levels of consciousness constantly feel victimized or undermined. It’s not necessarily because people are victimizing them; it’s just that they’re in the state where they perceive everything to be an attack on them. Similarly, people in high levels of consciousness don’t feel attacked even if people do try to attack them. They’re just in a state where it’s not reachable. That’s why you often hear how Buddha/Jesus/Krishna/enlightened beings remain unaffected no matter who tries to tear them down.
13) Connect with people who can help
Just because you’re going through a tough time doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Seek help from people around you. Even if it’s just having a listening ear, it’s better than bottling it up. Talking to someone will also help you get added perspectives on the situation. Who knows, you might get help where you least expect. Some people whom you can reach out to:
- Friends & Family
- Team members
- Senior managers
14) Opt-Out of the Interaction
If you’ve tried all the tips from tip #1 to tip #13 and none of them work at all (or to little effect), perhaps it’s time to opt out.
The bigger question that leads to the decision of opting out is whether there is a reason to stay or not. Don’t leave just because you face rude people. Leave because there is no reason to stay. Do you like this job? Is the work meaningful? Do you see prospects? Does this job give you opportunities you cannot get elsewhere? If it’s a yes to any of the questions, it’s better to find other ways to deal with the situation than to leave.
As mentioned in the beginning of part-1, rude people are everywhere. If you expect to leave just because of some rude behavior, there’s no telling if you won’t face this elsewhere. What’s more, it reflects poorly on you and how you deal with situations. Conflicts with people happen all the time. It’s more important to learn to handle them than avoid when they happen. Furthermore, people come and go all the time. Most likely you won’t be facing this rude person 1-2 years down the road. If you see long-term prospects in the job you’re doing – prospects which you want, it’s not worth it to leave on a whimsical desire. Learn to deal with it – read over tips #1-13 of this article thoroughly and apply them. These tips have real value in them and they work. And then there’s tip #15, which is the last tip of this article.
15) Think about the times when you were rude to others
You know, it’s normal for us to point fingers at others when things happen.
- “Hey this person is so rude. How dare he/she do this to me!”
- “This is unacceptable behavior. I’m going to bring this up to seek redress.”
- “I can’t believe this person is so unreasonable. I hate him/her.”
I like to think that sometimes, what we face in life are an echo to how we’ve been to others. If there’s some rude person bothering you right now, rather than feel angsty toward that person, maybe it’s good to take a step back and think about the people you’ve been rude to in your life. And there will be people you have been / are rude to, even if (a) it was just a one-off incident (b) you felt it was justified (c) you didn’t think it was rude, or (d) you weren’t aware of it. Say that customer service representative you felt peeved at because he/she didn’t handle your request the way you want. Your colleagues, when you got angry at work over something. Your parents / housemates / friends, when you had a bad day at work and you became snappy as a result. Or just anyone you lost your cool at before.
Why were you rude to them? Was your reaction justifiable? Did you ever make it up to them? Are you still taking them for granted or have you changed your behavior? If you haven’t, is it perhaps time to treat them better?
As long as we’re rude to someone, it’s good to reflect on our own behaviors than point fingers at others. We may think our actions are justifiable, but on the receiving end of our attitude is someone who feels that we’re rude. Surely it’s not fair to make someone else feel lesser just because we were not able to manage our emotions ourselves. As in the Golden Rule, we should treat others the way we want to be treated.
This is part of the Dealing with Negative People series:
- Handling criticism:
- Giving feedback/criticism:
- Dealing with hate:
- Dealing with negative or unsupportive people:
- How to Deal with Energy Vampires: 8 Simple Tips | Manifesto
- 8 Helpful Ways to Deal with Critical People | Manifesto
- 8 Tips to Tackle Naysayers | Manifesto
- How to Deal with Rude People (series) | Manifesto
- How to Deal with Dishonest People
- How to Deal with Unsupportive Friends and Family
- 14-Day Kindness Challenge
Image: Finger tips