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Beat everyday rudeness

Dealing with the grump factor

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life

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Everyone gets a bit grumpy or off at times. But sometimes it seems that we are being bombarded with utter rudeness from all corners. Well, there are ways to deal with it without getting too frazzled. We know it’s tough! Here are some common scenarios and what you can do to help yourself:

Getting the wrong change from a busy and abrupt sale assistant

This can be quite stressful, especially when every cent counts. The first thing to do is to step away from the counter and carefully count your change. If you definitely got short-changed, go back to the shop assistant and explain the mistake. Be as smiley and friendly as possible, even if the shop assistant is not. If the assistant denies that you are owed the change, stand your ground. If worst comes to the worst, ask for the manager. The manager can easily check the till to see if it is balanced.

Someone pushing into you

You’re dashing down the street or hanging on to that tiny strap on the train when you feel a big shoulder push into you. Ouch! It hurts! Usually when this happens, the person has flown right by you and all you can do is rub your sore shoulder. There’s probably not much else you can do, except give thanks that your life is not so busy and frantic that you injure other people going about their business. Bear in mind that if you are stuck with the pushy person on a train or bus for example, it’s best not to get into an argument. You’ll just end up more stressed!

People commenting on your clothes

You overhear people at the next table commenting on your choice of outfit. Or maybe people in school are commenting on it. What to do really varies on the situation. If you are just out and about, and people are making strange comments, you can just walk on by and ignore them. If it is a regular occurrence in school, work or college though, then the situation needs a more assertive approach.

  • If it’s happening with the friends you hang round with, see if you can approach one member of the group and ask why they are takin’ the piss. Maybe they think you don’t mind and that it’s all just a laugh, but if you tell them it upsets you, they’ll probably stop.
  • If it’s a crowd of bullies at school, then your approach will have to be different. Check out our advice on dealing with bullies and have a think about telling someone who can help, like a teacher or your parents.
  • If your workmates are making fun of your clothes, this is totally unacceptable and unprofessional. You have the right to be free from this type of hassle at work. As hard as it may be, pluck up your courage and arrange to speak to your boss about the situation.

Catcalling and whistling

You’re rushing down the street, minding your own business when you suddenly hear whistles, catcalls and other sexist terms directed at you, your body and even your clothes. This can be rather unnerving and unpleasant and most people don’t enjoy it. If it is just a one-off incident and you won’t be passing by the same place on a regular basis, ignoring and walking on is often the best strategy.

On the other hand, you may definitely get a reaction if you ask them to cut it out. Oftentimes they will be so surprised at someone engaging with them, that they will be stunned into silence. If you are stuck walking by this place on a regular basis, there probably isn’t much you can do aside from wearing your iPod and trying to ignore it. If the catcallers are working on a job, you could ask to speak to their boss and see if that has an effect.

People cutting in line in the queue or in front of you while you are driving

The first is very annoying and frustrating and the latter one can actually be dangerous! As with every other scenario, what to do really depends on the situation. If the person who cut in front of you looks flustered and absent-minded, it probably won’t be too difficult to tell them politely that you were there first. If they seem aggressive and pushy, ask yourself if it is really worth the hassle to save two minutes. If a car cuts in front of you on the road, remember that your safety is paramount and getting into it with another driver can be dangerous. Plus, they will usually have sailed on ahead of you anyhow.

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Published January 8th, 2013
Last updated October 28th, 2015
Tags stress rude manners
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