Garath W. Henry

Words of Wisdom: Ryan Holiday via

In Quote, Social Style on July 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

via: Ed Yourdon's photostream

Today I was going through some of RSS feeds that I read, and I happened onto a post by Ryan Holiday about rudeness.   The post states…

Try not to get upset by people’s rudeness. Notice: how it never seems to come from someone who has ‘earned’ the right to be rude. In other words, this attitude (or stupidity) has not served them well. It has held them back and punished them. So you pity it, place it properly in context with the costs, or pretend not to care but don’t feel resentment if you can help it. Because they’ve borne more of the burden than you.

I believe there is lots of wisdom in this short but eloquent post.

I’d like to add my own thoughts to this.

(1) Anyone can be rude.  It is part of living in an open society that values free speech.

(2) Anyone can be rude to someone who was rude to them first.

(3) It takes some real class, and dare I say style, to be kind to someone who is rude.

I’m not saying that people should just look the other way whenever someone is rude.  There comes a point when you need to take a stand absurd and inappropriate behavior.

The trick is to take that stand in such a way that you respect the dignity of the rude person while letting them know that you disapprove of, and will not stand for, their rude behavior.  Doing that is showing that you have grace, tact, class, and style.

Put Another Way:

We teach by example all the time.  Even when we don’t intend to do so.

If we stoop to a level of rudeness (even as a response to rudeness) we teach something.

If we elevate our behavior by respecting the dignity of someone who has behaved in a way which is rude we teach a very different something.

One is clearly better.

  1. True enough – I think it comes down to ignorance being most often a product of ignorance, and in the face of ignorance we should be motivated to educate, by example as you’ve said, rather than retaliate.

  2. Duh… That should say “I think it comes down to _rudeness_ being most often a product of ignorance”. Need more coffee… 🙂

  3. […] is really what I was talking about here when I wrote about how I think people should respond to rude behavior with class and style.  Mr. […]

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