Why are people so mean and rude?
It is a common thing to see, read, hear, or witness mean behavior. It should not be common. Online rudeness is so common that it has bled over into our offline lives. It is bordering on becoming the norm, and that simply needs to be corrected. Mean and rude cannot be the standard. Mean and rude must be identified, addressed, and corrected. It is a learned behavior, and can be unlearned.
Some will say that mean and rude are the same thing. I tend to think that rude is a lack of value of others, an unawareness of someone else’s feelings, and behavior (action and verbal) that is hurtful and disconnected. I believe that mean behavior is the purposeful and intended devaluing of another person. It has the direct and desired intent to hurt, harm, or cheapen the value of another person. Both are wrong behaviors. Both can be adjusted.
Mean and rude appear in bullying, racism, sexism, and several other behaviors that allow the person to disconnect from someone else. It brings negative thoughts into action, and rarely serves for the higher standard of interaction. It is in the words of speeches used to spread hate, fear, and doubt. It is in the actions of those who are in pain themselves, a way to make their pain transfer to someone else, anyone else. It rarely does so, but that’s for another time.
To identify why people are mean or rude starts with asking why the pain, fear, and doubt exist. That seems to be a good discussion starting point. Behavior is a mirror to spirit, and meanness and rudeness are closely tied to the pain of the vehicle. The lashing out is a call to inner pain, HEAR ME, FEEL MY PAIN, and it can and should be addressed then by those present. Acknowledge the pain, question the pain, help in the healing. Who hurt you? Why are you mad? Does this help? What is the reason why? Ask. There may be an answer. There may also be a resolution. It is always a mirror.
Identifying the reason is crucial to knowing if this is rude (unaware/disconnected) or mean (intended/connected). To know if causing pain is the goal is helpful. Why are you doing this? Do you understand what you are doing? Often, it is mindful retribution for an act unknown to the person on the receiving end of the behavior. It can be an open call to remember the pain of the person involved. It most certainly requires someone pointing out what their behavior is, and whether it is appropriate or not. Tell them that it is not.
What often happens is that the adults in the room do not speak out when these behaviors are happening, or when these behaviors are witnessed. I say adults in the sense that maturity allows for people to identify when their actions are mean or rude, and that modifies the behavior. It is only when emotional maturity is missing in the behavior or the environment that allows it to be unchecked and unmonitored. That may be as much part of the problem as anything else. The lack of people to check and monitor the behavior. It is then allowed to grow, strengthen, and even prosper.
Here is a simple resolution. Love the mean and rude people. Be present. Pay attention. Love out loud. Care enough to tell them what you see. Tell them how you feel, and how the person they are attacking feels. Care enough to not allow the behavior to continue. Be present. Present allows for marking the behavior in its clear element. As it happens. Care enough to not allow the behavior to be a part of your presence. That is the simple resolution. Be present. Point out the behavior. Identify its purpose. Love forward.
This behavior needs air to exist. Do not let it in. Do not let it out. End it. Love will win. Love it away.