Author Topic: Encounters with Rude Strangers  (Read 932 times)

Chesleygirl

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Encounters with Rude Strangers
« on: November 04, 2017, 07:21:55 PM »
Am I the only one who deals with this? Encountering rude and/or toxic people in every day life, just going to the grocery store, standing in line at the theater or at a restaurant.  I found this book and am thinking about reading it:

http://sociology.yale.edu/publications/incivility-rude-stranger-everyday-life

"Has anyone ever pushed in front of you in a queue? Stolen your parking space? Talked on their mobile phone during a film at the cinema? In our everyday lives we all encounter rude and inconsiderate people. This unique book provides the first ever systematic investigation of typical encounters with rudeness. Through a meticulous analysis of over 500 events it maps out what people experience as rude, where and when this happens, and what takes place in the exchange between the participants. The inquiry further charts the emotional and social consequences of rudeness and victimization, with the results challenging the widespread assumption that bad behaviour is toxic to community life. In conclusion the study draws upon its findings and surveys a range of strategies for reducing the level of incivility in everyday life, identifying some simple and innovative solutions. Incivility will appeal to criminologists, sociologists and scholars of urban studies."


Miss Piggy

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Re: Encounters with Rude Strangers
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 06:24:09 PM »
Wow. No, those behaviors are really not all that prevalent where I live. Or maybe I just ignore them.

EMMoneY

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Re: Encounters with Rude Strangers
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 06:31:07 PM »
I deal with rude people every day.  As I've come to realize it is becoming more prevalent in 'me me me' entitlement environment, I've taken to ignoring it.  Set a good example and go on with life.   

kasperle

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Re: Encounters with Rude Strangers
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 06:52:57 PM »
In situations like these, I remind myself of the writings of the stoic Epictetus:

Quote
For it is better to die of hunger and so to be released from grief and fear than to live in abundance with perturbation; and it is better for [an acquaintance] to be bad than for you to be unhappy. Begin then from little things. Is the oil spilled? Is a little wine stolen? Say on the occasion, at such price is sold freedom from perturbation; at such price is sold tranquillity, but nothing is got for nothing.

This is a little dense, but he posits that it's better to live a life of peace than one in which you are constantly annoyed. At times, people will do things that annoy you. Instead of getting angry, consider it the price that you are paying to live your peaceful life. This always resonated with me.

(this except is from the Enchiridion, section XII. Note that instead of "acquaintance" he says "slave," which is just a wee bit dated).
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 07:02:00 PM by kasperle »

JLee

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Re: Encounters with Rude Strangers
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 06:58:14 PM »
I drive in New Jersey, so basically every day..

Freedomin5

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Re: Encounters with Rude Strangers
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 02:48:56 AM »
I live in China. Within the last week, a man pushed my preschooler off the subway platform in a rush to get on the train first, someone sat on me, spit on shoe, wiped their wet umbrella on me, ran into me on their scooter because they were driving on the sidewalk (and then yelled at me for being in his way)...and probably at least 50 other minor things that no longer registering my brain because I've been desensitized.

ooeei

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Re: Encounters with Rude Strangers
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 06:36:39 AM »
While this may not apply to you, it does apply to a number of people I know:

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole."

It's very interesting to me how many people living in the same places doing mostly the same things can have such dramatically different experiences. My aunt and uncle have always had horrible neighbors. Everywhere they've lived they have horrible neighbors, without exception. My parents are the opposite, they've never had a bad neighbor. Which is more likely, that my aunt and uncle just got super unlucky and my parents got super lucky over about 30 years, or that the way they treat/perceive their neighbors is different than each other?

I know people who always seem to have horrible coworkers out to get them, and customers who are rude as can be. Other people working at the same/similar places almost never seem to have these problems. I met a waiter the other day whose house recently flooded. His response was "Oh no it's actually great, we had an old house, now we get a new house!" I can count on one hand the number of people I know who would have that response. My roommate literally never has a positive experience with any customer service personnel and has to come rant/vent about how rude they were. I have a negative experience maybe 1/10 times, and even then it's just that the person couldn't help me, not that they were rude.

It does sound like from the description of the book that it talks about what you can do to reduce negative interactions, so that's probably a good thing. I suspect people control more about how they're treated in the world than most people think, not to mention how they perceive it. The Epictetus quote above seems like good advice to me.

Inaya

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Re: Encounters with Rude Strangers
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 07:34:10 AM »
It's definitely a matter of perspective. I figure that there are rude people and considerate people in relatively equal numbers. We just don't notice or really appreciate the quietly considerate ones who make life easier simply by not being jerks. It's why the jerk listening to their music without headphones stands out way more than the several other people who aren't doing it.
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fasteddie911

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Re: Encounters with Rude Strangers
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 02:05:02 PM »
I think people can be pretty selfish or self-centered, some more than others, and it can manifest itself into rude or inconsiderate behavior.  Though, I'll admit that maybe sometimes it could just be obliviousness.  I've worked in customer-facing jobs in the past which has provided good insight into how people can be and I'm probably a little more observant than average when it comes to people's behavior in my everyday life, but sometimes humans can be incredibly annoying. 

Freedomin5

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Re: Encounters with Rude Strangers
« Reply #9 on: Today at 08:14:53 AM »
It's definitely a matter of perspective. I figure that there are rude people and considerate people in relatively equal numbers. We just don't notice or really appreciate the quietly considerate ones who make life easier simply by not being jerks. It's why the jerk listening to their music without headphones stands out way more than the several other people who aren't doing it.

Agree. This thread was titled Encounters with Rude Strangers, so I didn't mention the other 5,000 people on the subway/bus who were just minding their own business and not being rude. I run into assholes every day, but not everyone I run into is an asshole.