Some people are just not very nice. They don’t seem to have learned the golden life rule about treating others the way you would like to be treated yourself.
That bloke in accounts who lets the door shut in your face every single time. The kid who thinks ‘merge’ means ‘push in immediately’. That guy on the train with his legs spread across three seats (his balls are apparently that big). That mother at the school gate who turns slightly away every time you approach. There are so very, very many rude bastards out there.
They just don’t get the fact that life runs on little everyday niceties; they are Life Rude. Would it kill them to be kind?
So, how do we handle this unnecessary business without being rude right back?
1. Don’t reach for the PowerPoint
Tempting though it is to launch into a Modern Manners lecture complete with Venn diagrams, I wouldn’t go there. I remember cringing as a woman on the train once tried this with a big-ball-leg-spreader and she just sounded so whiny. The trouble with rudeness is that it is actually quite a trivial matter on its own. The more you sound off about it, the more inconsequential their rudeness seems.
2. The boxer approach
Depending on the type of day you’ve had, you could always just get physical. I’m pretty sure that squeezing yourself in next to that big-ball-leg-spreader and giving him a whacking-hard shove out of the way would make you feel a whole lot better. And imagine just walking up and decking that imperceptibly-snobby mum at the school gate. Oh, the blessed relief!
3. Cue your Look of Utter Contempt
Of course, I could never condone violence of any kind*, so instead I’ll recommend the non-verbal equivalent of a slap to the face. The Look of Utter Contempt.
This is the look you would give if you were the Queen of the World and they were some simple little serf prone on the floor in front of you beseeching you for their life. Your foot would ease out from your bejewelled gown to give them a smart kick to the face… oh, sorry, back on the violence again.
4. Cue your Look of Utter Distaste
If you get no luck with the Look of Utter Contempt, try the Look of Utter Distaste. This look is similar to what you might find on a face that has just discovered its attached foot has stepped in slightly-sticky dog poo, walked it through the newly-carpeted house, up the 27 stairs and into bed.
“What are you looking at?” says the loud-mouthed buffoon.** Cue your Distaste aimed directly at their eyeballs and say “oh, I’m looking at absolutely nothing”.
5. Beat them with niceness
When the looks and the brawling fail, it’s time to resort to being nice. Rudeness is always louder when surrounded by impeccable manners. Up your own nice factor, smile sweetly and bring them to their knees.
** I’m not entirely sure what a buffoon is but I’m pretty sure I would know if I was Queen of the World and writing this with my quill.
[Image by the delightful Suse at Revoluzza as always. Thank you for your marvellousness, Suse.]