Why are people so incredibly rude? So absolutely obnoxious that they make no sense at all? No clue what those answers are but I do know that I am finally so fed up with the nonsense of others (and even myself) that I am making a stand. It is not like me to make a stand that matters to anyone except myself so this is what makes this so cool. Conquering current and past victimization with nourishing solutions is my kind of day!!
Again, another phone conversation with another complete stranger that went so awry that I was left in complete bewilderment in the middle of the conversation. This nonsense has to stop. Why would we treat others with such distaste when we do not even know each other? Why would we choose to be so rude and impossible to deal with when we need each other to accomplish the moment at hand?
I was simply making a doctor’s appointment and when I inquired about the discrepancy of $150 in the price for the appointment, I was told, “the doctor does not know what he is talking about.” Okay, let’s think about that statement. She is saying that her employer, the man who pays her paycheck, is clueless to what he wants to charge for a particular appointment. This doctor has repeatedly told me the price of the appointment and I have paid the original price before.
Anyone who has owned their own business knows what I am talking about. As employers, we set the rates we want to charge. We make sure that we get our employees paid for their time on the job through a paycheck that they expect to receive, on time.
Yet, it is the employer (in this case the doctor himself) who supposedly does not know what he wants to charge his patients. An office clerk answering the phone supposedly knows better than he does and is willing to repeat out loud TWICE that her employer is clueless and does not know what he is talking about.
Take a deep breath before saying what I really think of someone who can be so rude to a customer and so dishonoring to her own employer who pays for her groceries and rent. Take a breath, long deep, and think before reacting.
Okay, deep breath taken. Inhaled my essential oil diffuser that was going at the time to help keep me calm. Took a drink of my handy dandy water with cucumbers and lemon slices.
I tried to reel in this negativity by saying, “I bet the price discrepancy puts you in as bad of a situation as it does me.” Sometimes sympathizing without blame can calm the irritated and rude. Not this time…
She kept saying really stupid stuff and kept trying to get off of the phone as quickly as possible. At one point she said that this was not even her “day job” and did not need to be dealing with this doctor’s misguided discussions with HIS patients.
I was informed that SHE would be getting off the phone and would be setting her employer straight about the situation. Humm, and who is it that is the employee and who is it that is the employer? Where did basic human respect go regardless of who was employed by whom?
Finally, I spoke up. I had taken my deep breaths and a drink of pure water so I could stay calm through such an off-the-wall conversation with a complete stranger.
Redirect the Rudeness
I said, “STOP, just stop and let’s finish this conversation without being so rude.” That was the coolest thing ever. That actually came out of my mouth.
Usually I take the onslaught of others wrath (even though it has nothing to do with me directly). I listen to complete strangers take out on me whatever their frustrations are. Then I get off the phone and wonder what just happened. Not this time.
This time, I spoke up. Stern and meaningfully, I spoke up and directed the phone call in a more purposeful direction. There was no possible way for me to change this person, but I had the right to complete the conversation without hearing such rudeness towards me and such disrespect towards her employer.
I certainly made no friends in this situation. The rudeness of other’s is not within my grasp to change. I am just done listening to it nonstop from almost everyone I encounter.
The “friends” that I do have would never think of speaking to me the way this receptionist did. They certainly would never be so disrespectful towards their employer. Well, okay, not in public anyway.
The cool part about the whole encounter is that I stood up for myself in a productive manner. I was not rude to her in retaliation. I stated an obvious fact that she was being rude (to me and to employer) and we still needed to complete the conversation before she could be released from the miserable experience of doing her job of having this conversation in the first place.
She was stuck having to complete the conversation in a more civil manner or literally hang up the phone on me. She chose to complete the conversation. She clearly was not happy about it but she did it. I was able to verify the appointment info with her. I was able to verify that the increase of $150 for the appointment was a fact. I was able to stay calm during the remainder of the call and give her the opportunity to do the same.
Success, although she was not happy about it.
My goals can no longer be for the benefit of pleasing everyone else. I do not, and should not, have to listen to blatant disrespect while simply making an appointment. I have no problem sympathizing with a hard day at work but I do not need to be the target of who to take that out on.
Stop the Onslaught
My point has nothing to do with this individual situation. It has to do with what we can do to keep the onslaught of personal attacks to a minimum which helps us move out of victimization.
Those of us who have been traumatized seem to get more than our fair share of people verbally smacking us at every turn. It makes us continue to feel like a victim.
Personally I am so sick of it all that I am willing to try new things to make a difference in my life to get the onslaught stopped.
- Isolation is NOT the answer
- Retaliation is NOT the answer
- Being overly polite to the rude people is NOT the answer
If there were a perfect step-by-step process to get out of the obnoxiously rude loop I would list the steps here. Everyone is so incredibly different that we all will have to find our own way through it.
My goal is to encourage those with trauma in their lives to keep seeking ways to get through it, to make a difference in our own lives so we can be calmer more caring people for others without being a doormat.
My immediate reaction was a desire to tell this lady how stupid she was for being so rude. Instead I was shocked at my response of a matter-of-fact solution. Stated she was being rude and stated we needed to complete the conversation in a more civil manner. She did not have to like it, she could chose what to do next, whalla!!
I immediately felt better about the situation and when I got off the phone I did not feel defeated. Instead I found something entirely off-the-wall to do to keep me moving forward instead of getting sucked backwards into the rudeness of the general public.
Nourishment for Success
Photo Class: yes, when I hung up from the phone call I actually took a 15 minute iPhone photo class to keep me focused on forward movement.
- I learned how to take a 3 second “photo/video” of my diffuser filling the air with cedarwood essential oil to clear my brain
- I learned how to make a “square” photo
- I learned how to put a filter on photos
- I dumped them all on to this blog to feel like I have forward movement
I chose to find a way to nourish myself instead of feeling like a complete failure over what should have been a 2-minute scheduling appointment. I stood up for myself during the phone call and then did an activity that created success.
Having had trauma in my life feels like it sets me up to be a victim at every turn. I refuse to allow that thinking. There has to be a way to rise above the daily onslaught of rudeness that makes me feel that way. There has to be a way of dealing with it without stuffing my feelings and letting it build up so that I knock the block off of the next person who comes along and choses to be rude to me for no reason.
We can all find a way through this. Sometimes that means trying to understand where another person is coming from and having compassion for them. Other times it is stopping people in their tracts and saying, ENOUGH!!
What successes have you had? How have you nourished yourself to move forward instead of getting sucked into victimization?
Maribeth Baxter, MBNC (Certified Mind-Body Nourishment Coach)