18 November 2010

Getting Over Rude People

For the most part I encounter really wonderful, pleasant people in my life and I feel very lucky to be around them. Those who I don't think I'll get along with I just don't bother interacting with and things seem to work out just fine. Every once in a while though, I'm either put in a situation when I have to deal with someone who is rude or catty or someone I don't even know acts rudely towards me or another person for no good reason. I always try to be really nice and polite so these situations really upset and irk me, leaving me flustered and thinking about it for the next few hours. and i HATE that, because it makes me feel so crappy! and it's not even something that I personally have done, it's this other person who is projecting some sort of nastiness or negativity into the world.

The other day when I went to lunch with my grandma, aunt, and uncle, we talked a little bit about the Enneagram. The enneagram is really, really, interesting and I encourage you to look into it more, but for the sake of being short and sweet I'm just going to tell you that it's basically a diagram of 9 different personality types, each of which has specific traits, goals, and ways to stray from a healthy lifestyle. I am a type 9 personality, which is described as people who are "accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. At their Best: indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts." My aunt is also a 9, and she told me about how 9s often have the problem of taking in too much of everyone elses energy and losing sight of their own. I think that might be why these negative people bother me so much and why even hours after, I'm still thinking about the things they said or did.

I just don't understand why some people can be so rude or cruel, not even necessarily to me but to anyone. I've never even understood people who don't say "thank you" when you hold a door open for them or don't smile back when you, a stranger, smile at them out of random kindness. Obviously these instances aren't the ones that leave me mulling over rudeness like I am now, but they still bewilder me. My parent's raised me to be kind, compassionate, and polite, and to return smiles and hellos and pleases and thank-yous. I suppose I'm lucky because so many people out there take simple kindness for granted, but I can't imagine raising my own children any other way. 

When I sit there (like I am now) thinking about the way the person was rude or abrasive, I just keep asking myself questions like, "why would they act that way?", "what did I do to make them want to do that?", "why can't they approach the situation in a more mature way?", "what have I done wrong to make them not like me/be rude to me?" and that is so not necessary and just sends me in a big circle of questioning and feeling guilty and sad and I didn't even do anything in the first place. It's so stupid. I should be able to just brush it off and get on with me day. So, that's what I'm going to try an work on. Letting those rude comments, notes, and remarks roll off my back and realize that it's not me, it's them. I just feel lucky that I have my wonderful family, boyfriend, and friends who are always supportive and kind.

On that note, I can't wait to go home to my wonderful family in one week from yesterday :) Sorry about the long, ranty, and kind of grumpy post... just had to get it out of my system! I will be back tomorrow with lots of fun stuff including my review of Looking for Alaska and Stewie and my second date. Have a lovely friday blogger friends. Also, if you feel like it, post in the comments what you do when someone is rude or catty to you. Do you get flustered about it like I do? or are you better at brushing those things off haha.

Lots of love


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  2. When people are rude to me, I have the tendency of being twice as rude right back. Probably not my best trait. I can say it definitely does not bother me when people have bad things to say about me, or are just catty in general. This may, however, have something to do with the fact that I've gotten a lot of it over the years and have developed a thick skin. Or, maybe I'm just getting old and not caring comes with that territory.
    I've never heard of the Enneagram before, but I'm going to go Google it right now and see if I can't figure out what personality type I am. :)

  3. How to handle rudeness...what a great question! I tend to first, perhaps for only a millisecond, check in with whether I have done anything to cause the rudeness. Once I decide I haven't, my aim is to keep true to my own code of behavior and see the rudeness as being all about the other person. Depending on my mood (am I stressed out? relaxed? etc...)I might think, "Gee, what a crummy life this person must have to be so rude," and hope my being kind back will help them. Or, I might be seething with hostility and grit my teeth to be as polite as possible, in hopes my politeness makes them think twice about their own behavior. Or, if I am in a gutsy mood, I might say, even to a stranger, "I do not deserve to be spoken to that way."

    Sometimes, rudeness isn't just rudeness. It is actually verbal abuse - whether it is coming from a friend, relative or stranger. Verbal abuse is when someone treats you as though you exist only as an extension of themselves and you don't have the right to be your own person. They try to define you in a way that serves their own needs. Even a 30 second interaction with a stranger can have qualities of being abusive, and that can get into our psyches and hit us really hard. I think this is a good website for learning more about that - www.verbalabuse.com

    You have such a great blog, Emily!

  4. Insightful connection to the Enneagram! and the need to separate your own energy from that of others at times. Visual imagery can help - grounding (cord into the earth, thinking of your feet, etc.) protective bubble around you with lovely energy inside, etc. This is also an F (as in MBTI) thing - in two ways. A value system about how things ought to be and a desire for harmony around you. And that takes you back to the Enneagram again. I could go on - but will stop there - more later as you like.

  5. I love this blog. I wonder how to get over rudeness. I send Happy Birthday greeting to my nephew and we get no reply. But what bothers me is that he replys to everyone else. Just a thank you would be nice. I wonder what I did. His mother also says that my husband's x is the aunt ! Huh? Then changes her mind after and says no no you are....I just got so frustrated . How do I just ignore those comments