People seem to be more impatient. Getting ahead whether at work, in traffic, or at the grocery store is often the main goal with disregard for one’s fellow companions. Waiting in line or for any service is seen as an annoyance. On the highway, people drive as if there is always an emergency. Cutting in line, swerving between cars, not paying attention when someone is talking to you, and walking down the street talking loudly with your cell phone glued to your ear is actually rude.
I am all for the freedom of self-expression and following your inner guidance, yet it seems we have misconstrued the authentic expression of our True Self with the high jacked notion that self expression means anything goes and that it is not only acceptable but admirable. Somehow, we have come to believe that doing whatever serves us in the moment no matter what affect it has on others is a right with an attitude of “I can say anything I want, behave anyway I want, and do whatever I want and you need to accept me this way.” This is often accompanied by, “If you don’t like it…it’s not that I need to change…you need to work on your issues.” Yikes…doesn’t that feel yucky?
Guess what….this entitled self-serving attitude is dismissive and wreaks havoc on
relationships and is certainly not a way to win friends or influence people.
It is easy to see that projecting blame, anger and rage onto others does not create friendship nor does it create harmony. You may brush off being impolite as inconsequential. Yet actions such as inconsiderateness, lack of empathy, disrespect, rudeness, insulting and offensive remarks, belittling, gossiping, patronizing, taking advantage of or intimidating people are behaviors that often inflict irreparable harm to others and poison your relationships.
Why be Mean?
You may think that the only way to protect yourself, your beliefs or to feel safe is to disregard or mistreat others in an attempt to distance yourself from those different than you. You either retreat into withdrawing your attention or go along with the ego’s belief that the best defense is to be offensive. Intolerance of other’s views, opinions, religion, way of life, and taking advantage of their vulnerabilities are indicators that you are reacting from a place of fear.
A misguided perception is the idea that being rude, demeaning others, retaliating or bullying means you are stronger or better than another. It is actually a sign of weakness and low regard for oneself. The level of disrespect for others reflects the level of disrespect you have for yourself. When you diminish others, you diminish yourself. The way to bolster your self-esteem is through appreciation and consideration of others and taking the moral high ground, which fills you with inner regard and respect.
Going along with the Crowd
Your need to belong is strong. Everyone needs connection and relationships. Human interaction is required to ensure survival and is necessary to activate brain development. Socialization is how you learn. So why would you engage in behaviors that push people away? Your very need to belong is one reason you may adopt crude behavior and go against what you feel is morally right in order to be accepted in a group.
The influence of the community you live in, the people you work with, your family of origin and your social groups are all powerful forces. Your actions mirror what you see others do. As a social creature you tend to adjust your values to the “norm.” So, what is the current “norm?” Have you noticed more tolerance for bad manners and impolite behavior? Is it really okay to text at the dinner table, to not listen when someone is talking to you, to gossip, interrupt, disrespect or embarrass someone? These actions may not seem to have much consequence in the moment yet they create distance and resentment in those at the receiving end of your behavior. Dis-respecting, dis-approving, dis-empowering, dis-missing, dis-daining, dis-regarding, dis-engaging, dis-couraging, dis-paraging, dis-tancing, dis-crediting, and dis-heartening actions dis-solve connection.
When you “Dis” someone, you Breed Contempt and you Lose Relationship
“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners, lack of consideration for others in minor matters, a loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.”
~ Robert A. Heinlein
Everyone wants to find meaning, to make his or her life matter. Harmony and peace propagate from everyday actions of caring. If you genuinely want self-respect, love and connection in your life, kindness is the cure. Kindness is consideration and concern for others. It is the act of spontaneous generous goodwill toward your fellow humans and brethren, and toward all of nature’s creatures, including you. Benevolence comes from the heart.
Remember the popularity of Random Acts of Kindness? Doing small deeds and acts of kindness is powerful; they promote a sense of deep well-being inside of you as well as others. The way to world peace is through compassionate action. Generously give praise, use kind words, and acknowledge people. Be considerate of others beliefs, viewpoints, and differences. Be present, be patient and listen with curiosity. Drop the "Dis" and engage, approve, regard, empower and give credit to others. Cast off your pride and learn about good manners and what behaviors promote great relationships. Kindness Matters!
Check out The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: the Golden Rules of Respectful Behavior for a list of what promotes fabulous connections and what is unacceptable behavior.