What Being Rude Will Cost You and Your Family

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” Forbes, 1972

Isn’t that the truth?!  Sadly, the truth is also that we don’t always treat others well.  We get caught up in ourselves, in our busy-ness, in our lists of things to do and even in our feeling better or smarter or more together than others. Before you know it, we are handing out sarcastic replies, snapping at the people around us, escalating situations with mean and hostile words, picking fights and putting everyone in their place.  It feels good in the moment… but then it often immediately feels horrible right after.  What’s most important is that this kind of behavior on our part doesn’t only effect us but it effects our family and others close to us.  Consider the results of an eye-opening experiment described in the book Everyday Emotional Intelligence:

“Participants who were treated rudely by others were 30% less creative than others in the study.  they produced 25% fewer ideas and the ones they did come up with were less original.”

It keeps going.  “You don’t even have to be the recipient of rude behavior; simply witnessing incivility has negative consequences. People who had observed poor behavior performed 20% worse than other people did.”

The lesson?  When we treat others rudely, they feel diminished, they can not become the best version of themselves and it breaks down the family unit.  We ask and expect our kids and spouses to help out, step up, resolve conflict… but are we helping them do that?  Are we providing the encouragement and emotional safety they need?  Or are we bringing in our own stress, anxiety, anger, discontent and pain to the home?  Are you snapping at your spouse?  Your kids see it and it hurts them. Are you treating servers, workers, customer service people rudely?  Your kids see it and it hurts them.  Are you lashing out at your kids or provoking arguments?  Your kids see it and it hurts them.  

When you feel off-centered, out of control, overwhelmed or anxiety ridden… step away.  Literally.  Go to another room and breathe deeply.  Take a walk.  Sit outside in the fresh air.  These are proven ways to lower your stress level immediately and will put a buffer between your emotions and your mouth.  

Remember that when you pull up at home after a long and chaotic day it’s the people inside of that home that matter most and deserve the best of you.

I understand that this sounds simple but it’s not easy.  I am always here to help.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!  Give us a call at (562) 537-2947.  

Written by Lisa Smith

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