Thursday, 20 January 2011

Not rude enough

I find it hard to insult people. No matter how offhand or unhelpful or condes-cending someone is to me, I have trouble answering them in kind or showering them with abuse.

It goes against the grain to call someone fucking stupid or a mindless arsehole. Or even a useless prat. It always seems to me that upping the ante like that will be counter-productive. They'll get ruder, I'll get angrier, and nothing positive will come of it.

I tend to shrug off a disappointing response and either continue to be polite and reasonable or walk away from it. I also assume there's probably a good reason for their rudeness - they hate their work or they've got a blinding headache or they've had one too many awkward sods to deal with. Or all three. So I'm reluctant to pile on the aggravation.

Perhaps I'm too charitable by half, too sensitive to other people's feelings and too inhibited about expressing my own. On the other hand, perhaps those who're always ready to answer truculence with more of the same are too impulsive.

But people who blow their top easily soon get a reputation for being difficult to handle and best avoided wherever possible. They may get what they want in the short term, but in the long term their fiery reputation does them no good.

People who have violent spats in public just strike me as embarrassing and childish rather than assertive. "Act your age" seems more fitting than "Good for you." Of course we all secretly enjoy the spectacle of a no-holds-barred slanging match, as long as it's happening to someone else, but at the end of the day it probably doesn't gain much. In fact it's just fucking stupid.

28 comments:

Scarlet Blue said...

PFFFFTTTT.
Sx

Scarlet Blue said...

....sorry, just kidding....
Sx

Nick said...

Scarlet - And your point is?

Grannymar said...

I think that ranting and roaring says more about the person blowing their top than the person it is directed at.

Nick said...

Grannymar - My sentiments entirely. I always wonder what the ranting and roaring is a cover for....

e said...

There are some people that just bang on and have to be right. I'd rather be content.

Val said...

I hate it when people lose their tempers in public, ditto a lot of swearing in public, but as I swear like a trooper in my own home (but not very much, if at all, in public and very rarely in my blog or email) and have been known on occasion to have a temper tantrum in public (most notably in a dentist's waiting room when we lived in London!) I can't really criticise anyone else who does these things!

Wisewebwoman said...

"Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy" is what I ask myself when confronted with incompetence, stupidity or indifference.
Happy wins out most times.
And why lose it? It is a huge drain of energy.
XO
WWW

Eryl said...

I think I'm too lazy to lose my temper, or too slow. Often by the time I've realised that someone is being rude they've calmed down.

tattytiara said...

I always feel like arguing against a point validates it somehow, and like Eryl I think I'm a bit lazy too. Just too hard to care enough to put forth the effort of letting someone know they're wrong. Let 'em keep thinking they're right, what do I care?

Megan said...

I can't do it, either. Even when I know I'm right. I'd rather forget about it than fight about it. I guess I'm a total wimp. :)

Nick said...

e - My father was one for always being right, and he would rage away until we agreed with him. Pathetic really.

Val - Oh, we all swear in our own home, that's very different from shouting abuse in public. And if you curse some poor shop assistant, you can't make it up later like you can with a loved one.

W3 - Exactly, do I want to be right or happy? Like you, I find happy usually wins out.

Nick said...

Eryl - I think I'm too lazy and too slow as well. And often I don't even realise someone's being rude, I'm just not sensitive enough to insults.

Tattytiara - True, arguing against a point says it's a point worthy of serious consideration. And yes, who cares if they want to be "right"?

Megan - No, you're not being a wimp, you're just being sensible. I'm sure if it were something you saw as a serious issue, you'd come out fighting.

Roses said...

I don't want to have a screaming match, either in the privacy of my own home or in the street.

Besides, it doesn't resolve any conflict. No one listens when the volume is turned up.

Quickroute said...

I'm not one for P.D.A's (Public Displys of Aggression) - I hold it in as much as poss but I'm less patient as I get older.

Nick said...

Roses - "No one listens when the volume is turned up" Nicely put.

Quickie - Less patient, huh? Is that because other people are more annoying or just that you refuse to suffer in silence?

Quickroute said...

dunno..I think I might be picking up the NY attitude....

Baino said...

I'm not a public ranter but I find as I get older, I'm more likely to 'challenge' someone who's being rude. Not by telling them so but some sort of display of disapproval. Then the other side of me just shrugs things of and shows patience. Sucks being Libra.

Nick said...

Baino - A display of disapproval is an interesting alternative to being openly rude. But it's probably water off a duck's back unless the person is especially sensitive to disapproval.

nursemyra said...

This is why I spend so much time in the peace and quiet of my own home. Other people can be so annoying...

My verification word today is besskink. Cute isn't it?

Nick said...

Myra - Ah yes, the peace and quiet of one's own home! Except when Jenny's cursing the Jehovah's Witness who just called on us....

secret agent woman said...

I have spent years reigning in a temper and am much, much better at responding with patience. Or at best, mild annoyance. Still, once in a while...

(Never had spats in public though - too embarrassing!)

kylie said...

i keep reading this and not having a clue what to say....

i rarely say much and tend to be walked over but when i do say something i can be quite aggressive.

Nick said...

Secret Agent - Glad you've managed to subdue your temper. My father's temper could be terrifying and he never realised the effect it had.

Kylie - Oh, I hope you're not walked over, that wouldn't do you much good. Yes, I imagine you can be quite fierce if you want to, if there's something you feel passionately about.

Macy said...

Funny, every workplace I've been in has a truly scary being as head of department who keeps their job, whilst all around are losing theirs.
Presumably the trick is to be nasty enough to people at the right time.
Nah, I've not perfected that trick.

Nick said...

Macy - I think the reason is that the truly scary being keeps the place ticking over, so their job is safe, while the lesser minions are dispensible and can be hired and fired at any time.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm sure of it now, Nick. You are a saint. Everything you say is true, but most of us do not have the restraint to behave well when others are treating us badly. I can accomplish it only some of the time, and wish I were more consistent in my efforts along these lines.

Nick said...

Heart - A saint? (splutters incoherently and knocks over coffee) You must be thinking of someone else. I may be rudeness-averse but I have plenty of other failings. Just ask Jenny.