We teach people how to treat us by the way we respond to them. In many instances, people allow other people to get away with things then get mad at those other people. If you allow it, then you’re responsible for it, not those other people. I have a real life example to illustrate my point.
“Woman A” at work was on the phone one day and “Woman B” went to her desk to discuss a project. Granted, Woman A spends an awful lot of time on personal calls (“a lot” in my opinion), but that’s beside the point. So, Woman B clearly saw Woman A on the phone but continued to discuss this project. A short time later, after Woman B was gone back to her own desk, Woman A began complaining to anyone who’d listen about how rude it was of Woman B to interrupt her and continue to talk even after seeing her on the phone.
So, my smart-alecky (smartass) self asked her what she said to Woman B? Some of you know how I can sometimes be a little snarky. When I asked her that, she looked at me all glassy-eyed. She evidently said nothing to Woman B, who has a reputation for doing that to lots of people; she’s done it to me in the past as well. But, I am one of the people exempted from it. I no longer get that from her. When she has done it to me, I politely pointed out I was on a call and would get at her when I was done. She didn’t catch on at first but after I became a little stern, she got the message. So, now, she’ll motion to me – in a pantomime fashion – to call her when I’m done. Other times she IMs me to call her when I have a moment. It’s a simple solution to a simple problem.
When I questioned Woman A, she told me she thought saying something would make her equally as rude as Woman B. Poor thing. It’s no wonder she’s always complaining about people walking all over her and often treating her with wanton disrespect. Trust me. You most assuredly can correct unwanted behaviors without being rude. If you don’t stop unwanted behaviors, you have no one but yourself to blame for how you are treated.
We have a responsibility to let people know when their behaviors are offensive to us. Yes, everyone should look in the mirror and be mature and be aware of/correct their own behaviors that might offend others; however, that doesn’t always happen. We have to help the process along by point things out.
Of course, some people may still offend, even when they know how their behaviors impact you. Sometimes rudeness can be deeply rooted. If that’s the case, then you should read Lillian Glass’ Toxic People book. It has some great tips for dealing with those egocentric folks.