In today’s world, rudeness is virtually everywhere. When I say virtually, it is especially present on the many social media platforms that are a huge part of our lives. There are two types of rudeness: direct and indirect. As you can imagine, direct rudeness would be someone being directly rude to another person and indirect rudeness would be rudeness more on the passive-aggressive side. As a grown woman and a mother to boot, I particularly want to shield my children from rudeness. However, life had other plans and we can’t protect our kids from everything. They will at some point in their children be picked on, excluded, or bullied by other kids. One time in particular, she was being bullied by kids in her first grade class (yes, you heard that correctly- first grade!). These little girls told my daughter that they thought her freckles were ugly and that she couldn’t sit with them or play with them. I will never forget the first day that it happened. I picked her up from school in my car and I could just tell in her face that something wasn’t right. I asked her what had happened and she couldn’t hold her emotions in any longer and she literally burst into tears. Once I made it clear that I was going to have a talk with the principle and those girls’ moms, she began back peddling and down playing the severity of it because she her innocent and kind heart didn’t want them to get in trouble. She even tried to justify their behavior by saying, ‘maybe they have never seen freckles so it’s ok’. No honey, it’s not ok to pick apart someone based on their looks or anything else for that matter!
Instead of trying to sugar coat things to spare her feelings, I had to give her the raw truth and that is the type of parenting style that I have adopted. I am a realist by nature and although the truth may sometimes be difficult to hear and hurtful to the heart, we must hear it as pain is apart of life. When Avery didn’t get invited to one of her best friend’s birthday party or the numerous other play date gatherings this family in particular had had, I overheard my husband tell her that ‘they probably forgot to invite you’ because he wanted to spare her feelings. I pulled him aside and told him that I was going to give it to her straight and this was going to be a learning experience, albeit painful. I told her that the little girl’s mom didn’t like me and that is why she wasn’t invited and it had nothing to do with her. I had to explain to her that rudeness comes in so many forms and unfortunately there are parents out there who are teaching their kids that it is okay to be rude, to make fun of someone, and to play ‘mean girls’ to other kids. I had to also explain to her that it isn’t just kids who can sometimes be rude to one another but it is usually adults who do it far more. What did this particular mom have against me? Absolutely nothing that I could think of. I had made every effort to be nice to her, make small talk, and simply be kind and she gave off the vibe that she wanted nothing to do with me. Her body language, demeanor, and facial expressions said it all. To be completely honest with you, this mom was not a person I would elect to be friends with anyways- I simply wanted my daughter to be able to play with her daughter since they loved each other so much.
Coming from a psychology background, I always seek to understand behavior rather than get royally pissed. She was insecure and very negative and all of the behaviors I observed of this woman screamed insecurity. I am literally the exact opposite of that; I am very confident but not cocky, and extremely positive and up-lifting. When someone who is insecure is in the presence of someone they feel inferior to, they sometimes use rudeness as a way to feel better about themselves. Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength. They think that if they strike first in the form of being either directly or indirectly rude, that they are now the queen B. I have seen this behavior in every setting you can imagine- while I was in the Navy, while I was a stay at home mom, social media, mom groups, military wife life, and even Crossfit gyms! I started a new job in the past few months and I was not looking forward to the high possibility of experiencing rudeness from other women and not long ago, I actually read an article where there was a study done that showed that women experience rudeness from women more than men with men and men with women. What freaking gives ladies? On a very happy note- from the moment I walked into my new amazing job, I have experienced nothing but amazing support, encouragement, and kindness from the wonderful women I work with.
So again, what gives? Why is it that some places of work and amongst some social groups there are such high amounts of female to female rudeness? Who knows, however, I did notice a pattern amongst the women I personally have experienced rudeness with and it all boils down to insecurity. When a person feels insecure about something that is triggered by another person’s presence (say for example an unhealthy woman and a fit woman), they will oftentimes project that insecurity onto that person and be rude to them in order to appear above that person.
The pattern that I have noticed is that insecurities are often revealed through rudeness. If you listen closely, you will get a glimpse at the hurt, fear, and insecurities they are attempting to conceal with their behavior.
Just because someone is skinnier, prettier, smarter, or has more money than you- it doesn’t take the attention away from you and that is oftentimes what rudeness is about. Insecure people feel that others will judge them and they will feel below another person when they are around someone who appears better than them. Insecure people hide behind their insecurities and are willing to do damn near anything to appear better than a person that they feel inferior too. What are they willing to do? They are willing to be rude, exclude, talk shit about that person, and take jabs wherever they can at another person in order to feel above them.
Think about it- have you ever seen a truly happy person be rude to another person? What do you see the overly confident and happy women doing? I personally see them empowering other women and trying to uplift them. I see confident and secure people being kind, polite, and warm to others around them. I see compassionate people who have overcome struggles be the first to make sure everyone in the group is included and that nobody is left out. I see the strong people deal with rudeness by taking the high road instead of stooping to their level (it can be so challenging and instead of trying to hurt back, I just try to understand them). Who are the rude ones? They are the ones who have tremendous amounts of personal work to do. They are the ones who have enough emotional baggage that they let it blind them of basic human kindness. They are the ones that project their fears, insecurities, and emotional issues out onto others in the form of rudeness. So what now? Does it make you feel better to know that rude people and their actions have literally nothing to do with you but it is actually their problem? It definitely doesn’t make it sting any less but it does bring me a little bit of peace to know that it isn’t about me, it is about them.
As for myself and how I will raise my children- I will teach them that when other people are rude, it is about them, not us. All we can do is pray that they find peace and take the initiative to heal their wounds because after all, hurt people hurt people. How will I deal with the never-ending interactions with rude and insecure women? I will continue to kill them with kindness. It takes so much more energy to be rude to someone than it does to be kind to them. Rise above and have some compassion for these people who clearly have so much work to do.
Do I consider rude people weak? As a matter of fact yes. I think that not working through your issues and taking them out on other people is incredibly weak. So, to the rude people of the world- I hope you become aware of the underlying causes to your behavior and work through those issues. Projecting your issues onto other people to hide what is really going on inside of you isn’t fair and it is frankly beneath you. See a therapist, read some self help books, make a habit of shutting down conversations that involve hating on others, and focus on your strengths are instead of comparing your life to anyone else’s.
To my kind hearted folks- pray that the rude ones find peace and kill them with kindness. However, if it makes you feel better to tell them to fuck off, then by all means do so! Never be afraid to stand your ground but remember to avoid stooping to their level.