Let me start by saying, without a doubt, I can be rude and at times enjoy being rude. I am straightforward, opinionated and sometimes an ass. There are times when I am rude accidentally and other times purposefully, but the other 99.999% I feel I am pretty decent (my wife may think differently). There is no good reason for being rude, but when being called on it, we all try to justify the behavior, which usually makes a bad situation worse. So, with my infinite wisdom I have come up with seven rules for being rude without alienating others.
Why are we rude?
Before I go into the seven rules, I think it is a good idea to cover why we are rude.
Upon reflection, I realize that I am most rude on purpose when I am impatient. If I am in a rush or if people or things are moving too slowly I activate rude mode in an attempt to get things moving.
Being opinionated, I sometimes subconsciously turn on rude mode in order to force my views on others. I consciously become rude when I encounter things that I cannot and refuse to accept. Like bad behavior and stupidity.
I think being egotistical and rudeness actually go hand in hand. I don’t know anyone who is egotistical and not rude.
Sometimes we just don’t know any better. Not being rude is definitely a learned behavior and some cultures are more rude than others. Behaving a certain way without regard for the effects it will have on others usually is perceived as rude.
Being decent all the time is hard work. Especially when things are stressful. Usually, when a person is called out for being rude, they make the effort to set things right. If they were not such a lazy ass to begin with, no apologies would be necessary.
The Rude Rules
Ok, now that we know why we are rude, let’s explore how we can continue our poor behavior without getting punched in the face or blacklisted from society.
Rule 1: “The truth will set you free”
Actually, it won’t, but at least you can rationalize your poor choice of words or bad behavior. You are more likely to be forgiven when you tell your friend that they suck at sports, video games or dating if it is actually true. They may hate you at the moment for being an ass, but hopefully they will acknowledge how pathetic they are and forgive you.
Rule 2: “Right is right”
We all know that concepts like right and wrong are subjective, so this rule is tough to follow. Giving someone the finger is guaranteed to make you look like an illiterate dochebag, but if you are responding on the grounds of moral superiority or righteousness then you may sway others to your side. Nothing can save you if your bad behavior is petty and unnecessary.
Rule 3: “Don’t kick the dead horse more than people can stomach”
Sometimes you can get on a roll and your rudeness flows like the Dark Side of the Force through the veins of Emperor Palpatine. In a heated argument or evening rush hour traffic, once you get started, it feels so good you don’t want to stop. It is ok to kick the dead horse two, three, four, even five times. But once you see its intestines oozing out of its back, it is time to stop. People can only stomach so much before a chain reaction of opposition beats you into submission.
Rule 4: “Some days must be sunny”
For those of you who grace your friends and family with a daily dose of rudeness, it is a good idea to sprinkle some days with sunshine. Everyone loves a good hard rain, storm and typhoon, just as long as it is not every day. If sunshine is not your thing, take your cloudy personality offshore for a couple of days a week. Heck, if you have it in you, try being seasonal. Your friends and family will appreciate the time off and prepare themselves for your return.
Rule 5: “Proper timing is an art”
Don’t waste a great sarcastic comment or insult because of poor timing. Not only will it go unappreciated, it will only lower your social capital. Certainly, thoughtless comments and reactive behavior can provide you with mild satisfaction, but a well thought out and planned comment or action at just the right time can become something for everyone to enjoy. The person on the receiving end of your behavior may be pissed to high hell, but if done right, he’ll thank you for including him in a crowd pleasing performance.
Rule 6: “Apologies go a long way”
If you blurt out a rude comment or accidentally crack a fart in the middle of your friend’s punchline, don’t be afraid to be quick to offer an apology. Sincerity is not necessary because others will automatically assume that you acknowledge your wrong doings and forgive you. Well, “forgive” is a strong word, how about “overlook” your behavior? People can tolerate some rudeness, but if they feel that you are hopelessly clueless, they will write you off and kick you out of the playground.
Rule 7: “Redirection and misdirection works like magic”
I know people who have mastered the art of rudeness. They have the uncanny ability to do and say very inappropriate things and come out smelling like roses. Just don’t be standing near them because you may end up looking like the culprit. You could even be across a crowded room and be slapped by an offended woman whom you have never met before. How is this possible? Where can I learn this witchcraft or sorcery? Making others think your words or actions come from someone else or from nowhere at all is a skill that can only be mastered through years of trial and error.
If you can incorporate the rules above into your daily life, you may have a chance to live alongside friends, family, co-workers and others in society. If you know someone who’s rudeness has pushed him to the brink of alienation, share these rules with him. It is frustrating that being rude is so much easier than being cordial and polite. We have to work so hard just to get along with each other because we need to, not because we want to. The fact is, we do need to get along with each other and it is worth it. So suck it up folks.
FYI, this is NOT a serious article.