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How to Deal with Rude People

Have you received nasty emails that make your heart sink?

Have you been hurt by someone else’s words?

How to deal with rude people and what to do when people are rude to you?

If you know me well enough, you know that I don’t like to argue with people. But being that gentle and soft also caused me to have low self-esteem as a kid. I would remain silent when my classmate told me that I’m arrogant in my face. I would remain silent when other classmates said the things I’m playing during the breaks are childish. And I would remain silent when my teacher called me a nerd.

Being silent is okay in some situations. But I was allowing myself to feel unloved and hurt by other people’s comments. There are better ways to deal with rude people and their comments even if you are that gentle, kind-hearted being.

Here’s How to Deal with Rude People and Nasty Comments

1. Understand Why They Are Being Rude

Sometimes, you need to have empathy for others, especially when you are communicating with people online.

There was one time, a reader was commenting on my other blog. She was using pretty harsh words like “anal”, “cocky” and “repulsive”. It didn’t feel good to see these words. But I don’t believe that people, in general, are out to harm others. So I wrote to her and tried to understand her perspective.

I realized that our:

Worldviews are different.

She believed that harsh words need to be used to get her message across. She believed that by criticizing me, she was actually helping me. She didn’t believe in sugar-coating. She just wanted to give me direct, honest feedback about my book and my blog post. She didn’t intend to hurt me with her words.

I, on the other hand, believe in encouragement. I believe that I can get my message without using any of those harsh words. I shared with her my childhood experiences, and let her understand how my dad’s criticisms (even though are of good intention) didn’t motivate me to be better at all. Instead, it made me feel worthless and hurt as a teen.

And in the end, it was a happy ending. She had similar experiences as a teen and we became connected on that level.

So start by understanding the other party first. They might have their own stories or problems that aren’t resolved.

2. Be Brave and Speak Up

Everyone’s definition of harsh is different. Some people have a more direct and aggressive communication style. They might not think that they are being rude. They might not know that their words had an impact on other people.

I do love people who are straightforward and honest. But if someone else is stepping over your line and making you feel uncomfortable, it’s your duty to let the other party know. Tell them how you feel. Share your values with them. Stand up for what you believe in. It doesn’t matter if they accept your perspective or not.

Simply, be brave and speak up.

Sara Bareilles’s song, Brave, sums it up nicely:

You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up



3. Just Walk Away

There are situations when people are beyond rude. They are angry and destructive. When you are in situations like these, walk away. There’s no need to argue with them or get them to see your point of view.

I’m a huge fan of Survivor. But there was one episode last season which was so unbearable for me to watch that I almost didn’t want to watch the rest of the season. I had a hard time watching Will lashed out on Shirin and making personal attacks on her. Regardless of what other people did or said to you, no one deserved to be attacked verbally like that.

But having said that, it was even harder to watch Shirin sit there and receive the attack. She could have walked away. I know she suffered domestic abuse as a child, but she’s an adult now.

She wasn’t the kid that was abused by her dad. She’s no longer helpless.

She had the choice to stay there and be lashed out at or walk away. And she chose to stay there until Mike took her away.

It was extremely painful to watch because it felt as though she was just sitting there, watching herself being lashed out at by Will. She could have done something. But she didn’t love herself enough to stand up and walk away.

And that reminded me of the times when I hadn’t been that loving to myself, allowing myself to be the victim of circumstances.

4. Love Yourself

Do you know why rude people can hurt you?

Because you let them do so.

The other day, I was reviewing my mastermind group’s video and the theme was about “Setting Higher Standards”. Setting higher standards for most people is about defining what they need to have or do. For example:

  • I need to exercise every single day.
  • I need to spend x amount of time and focus on this work every week.
  • I need to save $x amount of money each month.

But the mentor said one thing that makes me think further. He said that setting higher standards is not just standards you are looking for but also…

“What are you NOT going to settle for?”

Even though he’s talking more about the business aspect like who you would not partner in your business, I can relate that to personal relationships and self-esteem.

If you love yourself enough, you would not allow rude people to be in your life. Other people’s words and comments won’t be able to hurt you as you don’t believe what they said as truth.

After watching that video, I realized how low my standards for myself were. Being empathetic is good. But there are times I need to stand up for what I believe in and there are times I need to walk away to not be treated badly. So I started writing a list of things I would not settle for and the type of people I won’t be friends or business partners with.

If you don’t want people to be rude to you, love yourself first, and set higher standards. Why would people be kind to you when you aren’t even kind to yourself?

Featured Photo Credit: Too Loud / Jerrold Bennett