Rudeness – a dissection
Eric Hoffer said rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
Dictionaries define rudeness in nature as a wild or unrefined state and in humans a manner that is rude and insulting. When a person is rude, s/he is socially incorrect in behavior. Rudeness is lacking in refinement, grace, civility and good manners.
Some synonyms for rudeness are bad-mannered, crude, ill-bred, lowbred, and uncivil.
An example of rudeness
Lydia is the financial officer of a property estate belonging to a formidable land-baron and property developer. During an intensive audit of the debtor’s accounts – a task she postponed for five months during her unfortunate state of burnout and depression - she detected an account which did not show the key-deposit that was payable by the tenant in number nine of Villa Elite, one of the baron’s most luxurious complexes.
She checked the account of the previous tenant of the specific apartment, too aware of the fact that some tenants ignore the rules and make direct payments into the estate’s bank account without giving their surnames as well as the name and number of the apartment they rent. In these cases the amount could easily find its way to the wrong account. The account of the previous tenant was, however, in order. A direct deposit representing the correct amount that was payable, or any amount deposited at the time the tenant took occupation, was also not in the suspense account – an account containing deposits that were made without any references and to be allocated when a tenant does the appropriate claim.
Being the financial officer and not the leasing-agent or the caretaker, Lydia regards telephone conversations with tenants as a waste of time and a dangerous emotional trap. After many years in the hard and cruel world of financial management, she knows all the lamentable explanations of people with accounts in arrears. Her responsibilities as the FM (Freaking Money-dealer) of the company don’t allow her to get emotional involved with its debtors.
She thus sent the tenant a SMS (text message): “Please provide without delay proof of your payment of key-deposit for nr 9. Thanks. Lydia @ Villa Elite.”
Within seconds after sending the message, the tenant was on the phone, talking to Lydia with a voice loaded with anger and disdain.
Tenant: I’ve paid my key-deposit.
Lydia : Ma’am, it could have been allocated to the wrong account. As soon as I receive a copy of your receipt I will be able to trace it.
Tenant: Where do you think I will find a receipt after six months?
Lydia, ashamed because her work is behind schedule, created the necessary silence for the tenant to hear her own ridiculous question.
Tenant (more angry): I’ve paid that money and I’m not going to waste my time looking for the receipt.
Lydia : Can you remember how and where you’ve paid it?
Tenant: I think it was cash and I gave it to the caretaker.
Lydia : Did he give you a receipt?
Lydia : (Allowed the silence to grow, confronting the caretaker in her mind, although she will utter her thoughts carefully and politely when she speaks to him: “How many times did I remind you of the fact that the acceptance of any money by the caretaker is against our policy? Now we face the damn crisis I told you we will face because of your self-righteousness.”)
Tenant: Perhaps he did, I can’t remember. But I’ve signed the contract and I’ve moved in, and that means I did pay the deposit.
Lydia : No, ma’am, signing our lease agreement merely means you agree to pay the deposit, and giving you the keys to move in, means we trust you.
Tenant: Listen, I paid that damn deposit, and if you can’t find it, it is your problem. I don’t have time for this f#@*$*g s#*t!
Lydia (suppressing an explosion of anger and frustration): Ms Smith, this is actually your problem and not mine. If you can’t provide proof of payment, I have no choice but to proceed with legal steps.
Tenant: I don’t have time for this s#*t....
Lydia (had enough): Well, ma’am, I too, don’t have time for s#*t. Goodbye!”
Within three minutes the tenant’s attorney was on the line.
“I’m So-and-So, the attorney of Ms Lea Smith. She reported.... I don’t want to hear any stories, just answer the following questions. Did my client sign a contract with you?
Lydia (as always astounded by the arrogance of attorneys): Yes, she did.
Attorney: Did you give her the keys?
Lydia : Yes, we did.
Attorney: Now that means she paid the key-deposit.
Lydia : No, the contract is not a proof of money received. It is an agreement that money will be paid by the tenant and received by us.
Attorney: I don’t agree with you, lady.... (And he repeated everything he already said in a more unacceptable, arrogant, rude manner.)
Lydia : You are wrong, sir. Our company issues legal receipts for money received, and don’t regard the contract....
Attorney: Listen, I’m not interested in your stories...
Lydia : If that is the case, sir, goodbye! (She replaced the receiver with a vengeance.)
After having a cup of hot coffee Lydia diarized the tenant’s file sedately. Although taking legal steps is not one of her favorite tasks, she will be delighted to hand Ms Smith over to the company’s official debt-collector.
- Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength. ~ Eric Hoffer
- To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable. ~Barry M. Goldwater and Jack Casserly, Goldwater
- Whoever one is, and wherever one is, one is always in the wrong if one is rude. ~Maurice Baring
- Arrogance is a mixture of impertinence, disobedience, indiscipline, rudeness, harshness, and a self-assertive nature. ~ Swami Sivananda
The opposite of rudeness is politeness –
- Politeness is the art of choosing among one's real thoughts. ~Abel Stevens
- Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are. ~Author Unknown
- There can be no defence like elaborate courtesy. ~E.V. Lucas
What does the Bible say about rudeness?
I believe we will agree that it takes humbleness and meekness to be not rude, but always polite and good-mannered.
- Proverbs 29:23 - A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
- Matthew 5:5 - Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
- Matthew 23:12 - And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
- Colossians 3:12 - Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.
- James 4:6 - But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
- 1 Peter 5:5 - Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Please judge the example case in the comment section. Your personal experience of a similar case will be highly appreciated.
More about rudeness -
- How to Talk to Rude People
There are so many potential sources of stress in our lives: our jobs, money, family, politics. Dealing with a rude person nosing into our affairs is usually the last thing we need, and yet it happens so often....