What do you usually do when someone is mean or rude to you? As a foreigner living in a country with such a difficult language as Chinese, that can happen quite often, mainly is because of the language and culture barrier, that sometimes can be very frustrating. But when there’s no language barrier and you are just asking for something, some respect that you deserve, is really frustrating to be mistreated. I always try to be as nice as possible with people around me, with my classmates, my teachers, my neighbors, my clients…so I can’t understand why sometimes people forget about all that and are just mean or rude to me.
I’m very sorry today’s post started in such a different way, but I really had a bad experience today with someone that after ignoring my emails for almost a month, replied with a very mean letter. I guess that’s because he knew he was wrong and he didn’t like me pointing it out. Anyways, I replied to him in the most polite way and let’s hope he doesn’t take it as a sarcasm. I seriously don’t wish to spend much time talking about frustrations or bad moments, there are so many nice things to enjoy on life, that we should always have a sweet polite answer to people around us even when they are not polite to us.
I was thinking about all the many different ways people react in this kind of reactions and I could definitely write many posts about the topic. There’s no right or wrong way, there are just different ways to react in front of many different situations.
Some people will just reply on the same impolite and rude way. That’s happens mostly when we can’t control our anger or sometimes after we have been very patient for a long time. Remember that even the calmest person in the world will have some explosion moments. Even if we want, we can’t always be polite, because that would allow other people to think of us as weak and keep doing it. However, we should also pay a lot of attention not to end up being the mean one. There’s not never a good reason to be rude to people around us.
There are some other people who would reply in a sarcastic way. I’m sure most of us at some point have told something like: “I’m sorry, I didn’t know I was disturbing you” in a very sarcastic way, just meaning that “How can you say I’m disturbing you”. I think that this kind of reactions are common on women, even though I’ve heard many guys doing it too. While reacting on this way may be way better than in the same impolite and rude way, I wouldn’t advice it, unless you are the king or queen of sarcasm. Sarcasm can usually be taken in two ways: 1) They might not realize the sarcastic tone and take it as a normal answer or sorry, or 2) they might perfectly realize it and get even angrier, and seriously you don’t want neither of this two options.
Another very common and I would say even my favorite way to respond to a mean and rude person is to ignore the rudeness and be extra polite. I personally prefer this option and I’ve found out that is usually the most effective way to show you are superior to the other person, that you have some more education than the other person and specially I’ve found that is easier to get an apology this way. I think this happens because the person who was initially very rude or impolite to you, will be puzzled of such a sweet and polite answer, they’ll wonder why in the world will you be so polite to him/her after he/she was so rude to you. That will get him/her also to think and of course, finally realize that you are the better person by forgiving, forgetting and not paying back with the same reaction. I also think that rudeness can be like a chain reaction, the same way politeness can be, so do you want people keep being rude and mean to you or would you rather be nice to others so they’ll in return be polite and nice to you?
Another also very common answer to rudeness in general is to ignore. Since silence is sometimes the best answer, there are some people who don’t want to waste their time by answering to rudeness, they think that their time is too precious to be wasted in negativity. I think that’s a very clever idea, after all, who wants to keep talking or having any kind of relationship with someone who is mean to us? And some time if we have no other option but to keep being close to the mean person (if is a teacher, a boss, a superior in any kind of activity), is definitely better just ignore it and keep living, or your life can be a living hell.
I just wish all of you to take some time in your life to think about all the different ways we react in front of the very different situations we experiment in our life. If there’s something you regret doing, is never too late to ask for forgiveness or to start a new pattern. Propose to yourself to act in a different way next time someone is mean to you.