There Is No Excuse For Being Rude

Published by Rachelle Disbennett-Lee
Monday, December 3, 2001


There is never a good excuse for being rude. Nothing gives us permission to treat someone else poorly. Even if we are choosing to have a bad day, that is no excuse to drag someone else into our bad attitude.

I was traveling to Minneapolis departing from the Denver Airport. I arrived two and half hours early to deal with the tighter security. After confirming my ticket, my next step was to get into the security line for access to the terminal. That is when I met Ms. Rude. She was checking ID's before letting anyone walk through the metal detector. When I approached her, she glared at me. She bellowed, "You can only have two carry-ons and they have to be neatly packed. Just look at this mess." She then informed me that I would have to go and buy a bag to consolidate all my things before I could board the airplane. She made some rude remark, as I stepped out of line, about not being able to read.

She was correct. I did have three carry-ons and in my haste to be out the door at 5:00 am my leather bag wasn't neatly packed. I didn't think this was the end of the world and all she needed to say was I needed to repack or figure something else out. What I ended up doing was going off to the side, consolidating everything and got back in line with just two bags. Lucky for me Ms. Rude was on break and everything went smoothly from there.

For whatever reason, Ms. Rude decided to treat me poorly. I know it was nothing personal. How she treated me had everything to do with her and nothing to do with me. I also knew that I wasn't about to give Ms. Rude my day. I could have reacted to her poor attitude, perhaps argued with her, and maybe even gotten in a bad mood myself. But, I made a choice not to. Even when others are rude to us, that is still no excuse for being rude. Who is in control of our emotions and reactions? If I reacted to her, I would have just given her control over me. I simply refuse to do that. I was polite back to her and went about my day with a happy attitude.


You are in control of your reactions and emotions. Being rude to others because we are in a bad mood, or someone has been rude to us, is no excuse. We make a choice every moment how we will respond to our environment. It isn't up to someone else what our reactions will be. It is up to us. We can choose to be sucked into their drama or we can choose something different. For me, being rude takes too much energy. I would rather be polite and pleasant and leave happy.

Now, I am not saying this is easy. Before we can even get to the point where we can respond this way we have to become aware of how our environment is affecting us. That takes some practice. Many of us simply respond out of habit. We first need to become aware of our habit of being unconscious and in response mode and wake up. Once we are conscious of how outside stimuli controls us, we can make a choice to be aware and proactive.

Are you responding or reacting to your environment?

Daily Success Formula

Rudeness + Reacting = Unconscious living


"Ideological differences are no excuse for rudeness." Judith Martin
Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee


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