The Rudest Thing You’re Doing Without Knowing It
Manners matter—most people know that. People try to put their best foot forward with proper etiquette and good behavior. However, sometimes you may put your foot in your mouth without even realizing it. We present to you the rudest thing you’re doing all the time without knowing it.
According to experts, it is Telling a personal story of your own right after someone shared theirs.”
We often think that we are listening [to someone’s story] but we’re actually just considering how to jump in to tell our own story, offer advice, or even make a judgment—in other words, we are not listening to understand, but rather to reply,” Caren Osten, certified positive psychology life coach, wrote in Psychology Today.
You might try to use a related follow-up story as a way to establish a link between yourself and the other person.
But many people err on the side of monopolizing the conversation and making it about themselves. In fact, there’s actually a sociological term that describes someone who consistently turns a conversation back to themselves. Its conversational narcissist, coined by sociologist Charles Derber in his book The Pursuit of Attention.
Interrupting someone’s personal story may also invalidate their emotions. They could feel that you don’t care about how they feel regarding the situation they’re sharing.
Doug Noll, a professional mediator with decades of experience in managing and resolving conflicts, says ignoring someone’s emotions is just one way to invalidate them.
“Emotional invalidation is everywhere. Once you become aware of it, you will see it between parents and even very small children, between friends, at parties, and at work,” Noll says.
“If you watch closely, you will see the person flinch, withdraw, or become defensive. Worse, most individuals don’t know that they are causing harm or being rude.”
Also read: Tips For A Socially Distanced Wedding
But how do you become more aware of your rude behavior if you don’t know that it’s rude?
Unfortunately, that can be hard. Trevor Foul researches organizational behavior at the University of Maryland, told The Washington Post, “rudeness is interesting in that it’s often ambiguous and open to interpretation.”
“If someone punches you, for example, we would all agree that it’s abusive,” he explained. “But if someone comes up to you and says in a neutral voice ‘nice shoes,’ is that an insult? Is it sarcasm or something else?” The thing is, certain patterns play into what and when people see behavior as rude.
Experiments by Foulk and other researchers found people were more sensitive to perceived rudeness.
As long they have previously been exposed to rudeness themselves. The more someone has witnessed rudeness, “the more likely you are to interpret ‘nice shoes’ as deliberately rude,” Foulk said.
So, if you’ve never been slighted by someone interrupting a personal anecdote you’re telling, you may not realize that many people view this as rude behavior.