How to react to public rudeness. Consideration is given to whether the rudeness is just observed or if you are the recipient.
They show up everywhere. Rude people are in check out lines, on the streets, and sometimes in our homes. Dealing with these people can be difficult and, at times, exasperating. The say things that are offensive. Their behavior can be atrocious. Rude people butt into lines in front of you. The list of rude people and their rude deeds can be endless. Some days it seems even longer than that. So, the question becomes: How do we respond when people are rude in our presence.
We encounter rudeness in two ways. It can be done directly to us, or we can witness it happening to someone else. These two areas require differing reactions from us. The second one is somewhat easier to deal with than the first. So, it will be considered first.
We are out in public and see someone being deliberately rude to another person. First, examine your connection either to the event or the people or both. If you are just a bystander who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, you will want to be very cautious as to how you proceed. After all, you have no way of knowing if this a continuing saga in their lives or a fresh incident. You may poke your nose in and get your nose poked. It might even come from the side you are trying to assist. So, the best possible reaction in this case is to just watch the situation and stay out of it unless their is a clear indication of danger for one of those involved. If it appears that violence may be on the horizon, call for professional help. Any type of police will do. They are better trained to manage what might evolve than you are likely to be. They also have permission to use a measure of coercion to stop violence.
If we know the people involved in the rude incident, a more active involvement may be warranted. If the perpetrator is a relative, you certainly may want to intervene and call for an apology. In the case of one of your children being guilty of this, use it for a stern teaching session with consequences. For a more removed young relative, call for their parents or use the threat of their parents if they do not comply with your orders. If this fails, deny being related and walk away like you are disgusted. It will not fix the problem, but at least no one will hold it against you. For a spouse who is the problem, you may want to draw on the experience of your past to determine the best way to proceed.