That’s Just Rude!
Exploring the Rudeness Matrix
By Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor
Paper or Plastic? Sound familiar? Do you know what else is
familiar? How many of us have been at a checkout counter where the
clerks are talking to each other and ignoring us, the customer Rude, wasn’t it? The fact is, rudeness in our society is reaching
We’ve all been on the receiving end of rude behavior. Sometimes, we
may even be guilty of it ourselves. So what exactly constitutes
rude behavior? Is it always intentional? Can you be rude by not
taking action? Can it be an accident?
Fact: The offended party is the sole judge of whether
something is rude or not. One person’s rude might be another
person’s habit. For example, I might think it’s rude to constantly
crack your knuckles, while you may feel great when you're doing it.
To get a clear understanding of the term rude, let’s look at its
Lacking the graces and refinement of civilized life; uncouth.
Lacking education or knowledge.
Not exactly words you’d want to be used when describing you, huh?
To make rudeness easier to identify, understand, and (hopefully)
avoid, we’ve classified rude behaviors into the form of a matrix.
On the X-axis, we’ve distinguished between whether the rudeness was
passive or active. In other words, was it from something you did or
from something you didn’t do? On the Y-axis, we’ve distinguished by
whether the action was accidental or purposeful.
Accidental Rudeness by Omission is inadvertent rudeness
caused by a lack of action. Examples include:
Accidental Rudeness by Commission which is inadvertent
rudeness caused by something you did. Examples include:
Intentional Rudeness by Omission is purposeful rudeness
caused by a lack of action. Examples might include:
Not returning voice mails, email, or phone
Purposefully leaving a mess with the intention
of having others clean it up.
Intentional Rudeness by Commission is perhaps the worse
offense of them all. This is rudeness delivered on purpose and
caused by an action you took. This is industrial strength rudeness
that is intended to send a message.
As you can see, for such a little word, “rude” is a big topic.
Let’s strive for a “rude out” – a day without any rude behavior.
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