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11 causes of rudeness

Rudeness diminishes and demeans others. It is taking without giving.

Unfocused rudeness is done in obliviousness.
Focused rudeness is mean-spirited. Continued focused rudeness can be bullying or harassment.

Rudeness damages others by creating stress, eroding self-esteem, creating problems in relationships, making things difficult at work and escalating into violence. Rudeness leaves us vulnerable to self-doubt and anxiety. People who are treated rudely can withdraw or become aggressive.

Acts of workplace rudeness, of incivility are a serious threat to our quality of life. Productivity is inevitably compromised.

What causes rudeness?
1. Individualism and lack of restraint—I’ll do it my way. When we care little about what others think of us, we think little of them. We feel less bound by respect and restraint.
2. Inflated self-worth—People who are self-absorbed don’t value others except as a means to fulfill needs and desires.
3. Low self-worth—People who are insecure may become defensive and hostile.
4. Materialism—The quest for money and possessions to be happier often is futile and frustrating, resulting in less kindness to others.
5. Injustice—People who perceive they have been treated unfairly can become demoralized, depressed, indignant or outraged. The injustice may be a feeling of envy—it’s unfair that you are smarter, better looking, wealthier than I am.
6. Stress—People who are overworked or overwhelmed with things to do can react from stress.
7. Anonymity—We move among strangers on the streets; we don’t know our neighbors.
8. Not needing others—“We are content in electronic isolation. This is not exactly a strong incentive to work on our social skills….We want the feeling that we can connect with them without the burden of having them at our door.”
9. Anger
10. Fear
11. Mental health problems

---Source: The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude by P.M. Forni
This is Forni’s second book on civility. He’s a leading authority on civility.

Civility does not mean one ignores rudeness---I’ll get to that.


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So, is it a positive if I recognize myself in some items on the list?

I think it is a positive to admit one is rude at times and recognize the reason(s). Perhaps that helps us remember at the moment we are being rude---to just stop.

I suspect the people who don't see themselves at all in the 11 causes of rudeness---those are the ones to be wary of.

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