Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you — not because they are nice, but because you are. ~Author Unknown
We’ve all come across them — boorish human beings who can’t interact with others without stepping on toes or leaving behind uncomfortable feelings.
Too often, these folks never even realize they’re making life hard.
For themselves and others.
A 2017 report by the Associated Press found that three-fourths of Americans believe manners and behavior have tanked in our country. The frustrations of our modern lifestyle, isolation caused by technology, growing divides in economics and politics, cultural differences, and more are blamed.
Go out for dinner and look around — entire families are on their cell phones. Or hit the road and cringe when a monster truck cuts you off in traffic. then flips you the universal hand signal blaming you for being in the way. Or access Twitter or Facebook, only to have a stranger unfriend you because you don’t share their religious or political beliefs.
But I think the height of rudeness is when somebody asks a personal question … to one’s face … in front of curiosity seekers.
Recently, my car was in for service and I was in line to speak with a technician, when a total stranger stopped and remarked aloud that I looked familiar and wondered if I’d been in his high school class.
This was an old goat, mind you, and the waiting area was full, so I told him I doubted it.
And hoped he’d quietly move along.
He drilled me as to where I’d gone to high school.
Why would he care, since I didn’t know him (and obviously didn’t want to)?
Noticing all eyes on me, I lied.
I’ve since been told I should have retorted, “I fail to see where that’s any of your business,” or something to that effect.
Not very nice, but neither was the question.
He didn’t need politeness. He needed educating.
We don’t ask others if their teeth are dentures. Or why they got their tongues pierced. Or how much money they make.
We don’t ask how much another person weighs. Or whether they have breast implants. Or if they were around for Richard Nixon’s resignation.
Those who ask personal (read: nosy) questions deserve the same level of rudeness in the response they receive.