It’s one thing to be assertive by clearly (and respectfully) stating your opinion, or politely trying to persuade someone to see things your way. But I would hope that most of us agree that there’s just no good reason for being rude.
I think rudeness often comes when we think we’re better than others.
An example: I remember being with a client at an event where there were many business people and a lot of networking going on. There was a person who was considered extremely successful at this event and my guest wanted to speak to him because he served on a nonprofit board and my client had a connection to that organization.
So my guest went up and introduced herself and asked about this person’s work on the board, and the individual made it sound like the board work was terribly unimportant and he couldn’t possibly be bothered to talk about it with my guest. My companion was crushed and sad. And I was appalled, because the successful individual acted as though my guest wasn’t worth his time and attention. Rude is the only word I can think to describe it.
Are some people really better than others? I am not so sure. In reality, many of us are only one disaster or unfortunate event away from having our success taken away from us.
We’ve probably all had times when we were rude and then realized later we shouldn’t have been. This year, I will be mindful of being kind and listening to people without thinking that I’m better than them. A little kindness goes a long way.
– Sue Voyles