Thursday, July 25, 2013
Thursday Thoughts - Rudeness - accidental or deliberate
Monday's post made me realize just how rude a person I can be. If someone calls me to talk business (usually bill collectors) I cut them off and don't let them finish talking. I won't make eye contact with cashiers. I don't answer them when they say hi to me. I brush off their questions or don't respond with more than a noncommittal sound. All of those things are actually quite rude, and I'm rather ashamed to admit I'm doing them.
How many of us do these things without thinking about it? How many of us go through out day without taking a moment to think of those around us? We may try to, but how many of us actually manage it all the time? I'm willing to bet not a single person on this planet can do that. Everyone has their off moments, no matter who they are.
What can we do to prevent ourselves from having these moments as often as we may have them? For starters, pay attention. You're not going to get anywhere with your focus solely on your cell phone or your iPod. You need to acknowledge that there is a world going on around you and interact with it, no matter how difficult that may be for you. (It is very difficult for me with my social anxiety, which is why I'm inadvertently rude to a lot of people.)
Speak to them as if they are people, not automatons. Treat them as you'd like to be treated were you in their place. You wouldn't want someone to come in, bark orders at you, and then ignore you the rest of the time. Or you wouldn't want someone running into you and screaming at you that it's your fault for being in their way. Yes, I've seen both of these happen. I've had them happen to me. I've done them to other people. It's not a pleasant realization but it's one I've had to come to.
We are a society enveloped in a world of insta-gratification. Instant coffee, computers moving quickly to get us what we need, ATMs to get our money, text messaging and phone calls for instant access to our peers. We need to slow down and remember there are other people in this world than just us and they need the same respect and courtesy that we would demand for ourselves.
So get off your cell phones, unplug your ears, slow down, and think about the people you're interacting with. The more courteous you are, the better you make their day. Isn't it worth it to make someone smile?