How to respond when someone is rude to you

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What happens when you don't respond to rude people

The first thing i would like to make clear in this article is that you should be nice and kind to everyone. In my previous article 5 reasons those who mock and humiliate you are mentally unstable i explained how rude people are the ones who are full of insecurities and self doubts.

A typical psychologically balanced person will be nice and kind to others and this is how you should treat most people. However the problem happens when you come across a rude person who treats you badly.

In such a case if you didn't do anything and just went home feeling frustrated then shortly this frustration and anger will turn into self destructive emotions such as shame, inferiority and even depression.

When we suppress such emotions they affect us badly and result in a serious loss of self esteem. This is why the doing nothing approach when dealing with rude people never works unless you can really harm the rude person but you chose not to do so because you are a better person.

In addition to that a rude person will find it much easier to become rude to you over and over if you didn't take an action or respond back in a way or another. Bullies for example like to pick easy targets and if you are the easy target then you are going to get bullied over and over.

How to respond when someone is rude to you

  • 1) Increase the cost of rudeness In order to respond properly to a rude person you have to put yourself in his shoes. If his actions resulted in serious consequences then probably this person will think twice before ever doing this again. The bigger the consequences the less likely this person is ever going to be rude again.
  • 2) Be very assertive, right away: Assertiveness is a skill that allows you to respond to people ,especially rude ones, in a confident, firm, authoritative and non-aggressive tone. When you become assertive people know that you are not an easy target. In addition to that you won't go home feeling bad because you didn't take actions
  • 3) Escalate as high as you can go: Did an employee talk to you rudely? Then seek the manager , the manager of the manager or even the president of the company. Don't ever let go of your right to be treated with respect else you will live in shame
  • 4) Learn the proper language: Sometimes rude people use subtle ways to express their insecurities such as sarcasm. Learn the proper language well so that you can respond back to that person in his own twisted language if needed
  • 5) Be ready to continue to the end: Some rude people would want to be rude to the end. Make sure that you are ready to invest time and effort until the end to make sure that you will get your rights back

When should you forgive people

You should always forgive people especially if you can harm them. If for example a poor man in the street was rude to you then don't break him by responding back rudely especially that he probably knows that you can cause lots of problems to him.

Be kind to all people and don't get into the assertive/slightly-aggressive tone unless you make sure that the person was being mean on intention. Also beware of perception mistakes for you can easily see something that doesn't exist just to confirm a belief that you already have.

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