I recently came across a questionnaire in which more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents reported people being rude or insensitive to them once a month.
No less than 70% indicate that they experience this at least two to three times a month!
Now you might say, “So people are rude sometimes, big deal,” right?
Sure, some people are rude.
But I couldn’t help but think that most of us don’t want to be rude most of the time. Could it be that we are sometimes unintentionally offensive?
Naturally. I think we can all agree that sometimes we unconsciously step on toes.
With this in mind, today we’re diving into eight rude things you might be doing without even knowing it.
1) Phubbing (also called phone disconnection)
This is a big one.
This term, a combination of “phone” and “snubbing,” refers to ignoring someone because of our phone.
And let’s just be honest. I did it, you did it. We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another. Checking our phones when they ping or vibrate is almost unconscious for most of us.
In a studyMore than 30 percent of participants reported being “phubbed” two to three times a day. Yes, two to three times a day!
You may think you can just quickly see who sent you an email or message. But what message are you sending to the person in front of you?
Essentially it says, “What’s on my screen is more important than our conversation,” and according to a study from Baylor University it can seriously damage our relationships.
Sure, there are emergencies, but how often are those emails or text messages actually so urgent that you have to deal with them on the spot?
If you don’t understand this, well done. If you’re like most of us, the next time you feel the urge to check your phone while in the middle of a conversation, take a moment to think about the message you’re sending.
2) Giving unsolicited advice
How many times have you said, “Well, if I were you…” without being asked for your opinion?
We all have.
Although we may think we are only being helpful, giving unsolicited advice can often be perceived as pushy or even rude.
It may sound harsh, but unless someone asks for your advice directly, it’s usually best to lend a listening ear and offer support rather than immediately offering solutions. It shows respect for their ability to deal with their own situation and implies confidence in their judgment.
Sometimes what people need most isn’t a solution, but a patient listener who validates their feelings.
3) Being too loud
One of the top workplace complaints, as highlighted by a Paychex Survey is that colleagues are too loud.
This is a simple one, but another one that many of us are guilty of without realizing it.
Rarely do we find ourselves so loud, but it’s easy to get carried away in the heat of a conversation or when excitement takes over. In these moments, we may not be aware that our voices are being raised and overshadowing others around us.
This lack of awareness can create an uncomfortable environment for those who are not part of the conversation or are involved in their own activities.
For many of us, it is time to be more aware of this.
4) Failure to introduce others
Have you ever been in a social situation where you feel like a fish out of water when you don’t know anyone around? It’s an uncomfortable feeling, isn’t it?
Now imagine that you are the person who can ease that discomfort, but you don’t.
When you’re in a social setting with a mix of familiar and unfamiliar faces, it’s common to introduce people to each other. Not doing this may not seem like a big deal, but it can make others feel ignored or overlooked.
If you can relate to this, make sure you take the initiative to introduce everyone the next time you are at a social event. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way toward preventing unintentional rudeness.
5) Accidentally dominate the conversation
Recently I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and he said, “Man, this guy just loved the sound of his voice!”
I know the ‘man’ and he is generally polite and quite reserved. I was surprised that someone said something like that about him.
It got me thinking: isn’t this a common trait that we all exhibit sometimes without realizing it?
Imagine you are at a meeting and enthusiastically talking about your recent trip or your promotion at work. You are so pregnant in your story that you don’t realize that the people around you barely get a word in edgewise.
We’ve all done it.
However, if we don’t allow others to share their thoughts and experiences, we not only miss out on potentially enriching conversations, but we can also come off as rude without even realizing it.
6) Showing up late
This one’s pretty simple: Being late sends a clear message: “My time is more valuable than yours,” even if that’s not our intention.
According to experts like psychologist Linda SapadinThis damages our relationships because people feel like they can’t rely on us.
It comes down to?
Punctuality is important. It shows respect for the time and efforts of others.
Maybe you’re not guilty of this. If so, kudos to you. If you, like many of us, strive to be not only on time but also a little early.
7) Not making eye contact
In the age of smartphones and constant distractions, maintaining good eye contact seems to have become a lost art. But why is this so important?
Simple: eye contact is one of the most powerful ways we convey respect and consideration to others.
Studies have shown that eye contact can help build stronger relationships. On the other hand, avoiding someone’s gaze, especially during a conversation, can come across as disinterested or even rude.
The point is not to stare the other person down, but to show that you are sincerely involved in the conversation.
See, many of us think we do this, but the truth is we often overlook it. The next time you’re in a conversation, be more aware of it. Check yourself.
If you do it naturally, fine. If not, you know there is room for improvement. It’s a small change that can significantly improve your communication skills.
8) Give a clean handshake
I will always remember my father emphasizing the importance of a firm handshake as a teenager. He would say, “Your handshake is your introduction before you even say anything.”
And he was absolutely right.
A firm, confident handshake reflects assertiveness and sincerity, while a limp handshake can convey disinterest or lack of confidence. It’s a mistake that’s easy to make, perhaps due to nerves, distraction, or simply not recognizing the strength of our grip.
However, the impact of this small gesture is far-reaching.
It is a subtle way to show commitment and respect.
it comes down to
It is essential that we are aware of our behavior and how it affects others.
We all unintentionally come across as rude at times, but with a little effort and self-awareness, we can avoid many of these social missteps like the ones we discussed today.
Until next time.
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