Rudeness doesn’t look good on anyone. Over the past ten years or so, I’ve noticed people in the workplace seem to think being rude is fashionable. Well it’s not. Being rude is unfashionable. Rudeness can be seen as disruptive, disrespectful, and downright mean – and I’m not referring to hoarding snacks or looking at social media during a meeting. I’m talking about making others feel bad or look bad.
Rudeness is not assertiveness. Being rude does not reflect power. Rudeness, is a defense mechanism. Rudeness radiates loss of control. Rudeness is a sign of frustration. Rudeness can spread from the top down, impacting productivity – because guess what? Rudeness is a form of negative reinforcement and productivity decreases with negative reinforcement.
We are all guilty of being rude from time to time. With the amount of stress we have put on ourselves as a society, there is a lot of pressure. We’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, burnt out – the list goes on. However, we have a choice. We have a choice to be respectful. We have a choice to be kind. We have a choice to take a step back.
When you find yourself in a bad mood and wanting to take your frustration out on others, whether it be in an email or a conversation before you fire off do quick self-check in and unpack the way you feel:
- Are you frustrated, mad, stressed, overwhelmed? Why?
- Is that dig releasing aggression?
- For that moment, are you getting a high from being rude?
- Are you even aware you’re being rude?
- Is your heart racing, chest tight shoulders tense?
- On a scale from 1-10 how stressed out are you?
- Is being rude going to produce the results you need to succeed?
- Internally, how rude are you to yourself?
Try not to be rude, it looks bad and shows weakness and insecurity. If you’re still angry, after you’ve unpacked, move onto another task and come back to it later, take a walk, get some tea, look at something funny online. The point is to take a step back, look at your actions from a high level and bring awareness to your words and actions.