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Why Are We So Rude?

BY: Judith Rasband • Mar 13, 2019

Rudeness is part of the ongoing casualization in the world.  Unfortunately, as a culture, we are dropping established standards of behavior, becoming more casual and therefore less disciplined.

Self-control is practiced less and less.  Hence, sloppy dress, sloppy eating habits and weight gain, sloppy house keeping and public littering, sloppy accounting, road sage, sky rage, office rage, sideline sports rage and so on, including cursing in all arenas of activity and shouting on cell phones.

No one is immune to this epidemic of rudeness.  Both men and women are at fault, although women are less likely to get physical.

At the same time, people no longer hold themselves responsible or accountable for their own bad behavior.

Rudeness is part of the continuing self-obsessive, narcissistic, “me” attitude and the world’s general contempt for all rules.  As a people, we’ve decided the way to get what we want is to simply demand it, rudely.

These days, everyone everywhere appears to be hot under the collar.  I just wish they were wearing a collar:

Case in pointI have tracked the “business casual” dress downtrend for decades.  The first generation of young people to go through school without a dress code gained no knowledge, experience, or ability in dress.  Without this, they have no value for the influence of dress on their open behaviors, including their language, which becomes rude and crude.  With no value, these young people were not about to learn how to dress politely or professionally when they entered the workforce.  To save face, they demanded casual dress in the office and pushed the level of dress down to business sloppy, sexy in your face.  To anyone today dressed and groomed nicely, they challenge with a sneer, “Why you so dressed up?”  This is not a question, but a way to put down the nice dressers and make them feel uncomfortable like they are the ones out of place.  It’s working, to the degree that people are told not to come to work in “good clothes” anymore, and to the extreme that in some offices, the man who comes to work in a pressed shirt and tie gets the tie cut off at the throat.  For rude!

With dress relaxed to the point of sloppy and often scantily, it is predictable that relaxed manners and moral decline will follow.  Foul language is simply one among the many symptoms of a decline in civilized behavior.

Following my recent seminar presentation to a national convention group, among the largely positive participant evaluation cards was one largely not repeatable.  It included the statement, “This is post-modern deconstruction.  Get used to it Babe!”  This comment is so true and enlightening as it reflects the attitude of others committed to lowering all standards of civilized society.  We are living through the gradual deconstruction of formerly harmonious and polite ways of dressing, grooming, speaking and behaving.

Where is rudeness taking us?  Rude language and verbal abuse strikes a blow at the sense of connectedness that any society needs to function harmoniously.  It signals that the world is in decline, heading toward an uncivilized society.  And what is the point of modern technological advances, if we are no longer civil to one another?  As goes civility, so goes society.

What can we do about it?  Re-educate society as to the value of becoming a nice people again, look nice, think nice, feel nice, act nice, and people will treat one another more nicely.

In homes and school, we need a return to teaching good manners and moral behavior.  The world needs renewed attention to, for example, polite speech and a responsible dress code.  Only with practice will our population recognize the value of good speech over free speech.

In the meantime, create your own rudeness reduction mantra.  If tempted to rudeness, repeat to yourself a phrase such as, “I choose not to be rude. I choose to look and act like a nice person.” Say it, do it, time and time again.  You’ll be glad if you did.

“Never respond to rudeness.  When people are rude to you, they reveal who they are, not what they are.  Don’t take it personally, be silent.”

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