The Social Epidemic of Rudeness

It amazes me how rude people are today. I am sure that this type of behavior has always existed. Maybe I was raised different. Growing up I noticed that my parents always showed consideration for those around them. If we were driving in the parking lot of the grocery store, they would always stop the car to allow pedestrians to walk. If they walked into a store, they always briefly held the door for the person behind them. The strangers who receive my parent’s kind gesture were always appreciative and demonstrated this with a hand wave or a thank you. I grew up thinking that this was the proper way to interact with others while in public.

The scene of social interaction has changed in the past twenty years. Instead of improving – things have gotten considerably worse. The amount of rudeness we can encounter on a brief outing is enough to make you want to scream. It seems that the appreciative people are slowly becoming obsolete. They are being replaced with people who feel it is their right to do and say whatever without consequences. Some older ones will look at young adults and view us a disrespectful. Ironically, the individuals I am referring to do not belong to my generational group (late twenties), rather these are so-called mature ones who should know better.

In a nutshell I feel that some older people can be rude, and down-right nasty sometimes. Not only do some older ones look down on those of us in our twenties, but they act as if it is a sin to utter an “excuse me,” or “thank you.” As noted, I was taught from a very early age to be nice and respectful to all. However, I have noticed that rarely is niceness returned. There have been countless times when I have entered a grocery or retail store and held the door for the person walking two feet behind me. Instead of the person grabbing the door and saying, “thank you,” they never touch the door, walk right pass me into the store, and never utter a word.

Meanwhile I am standing like a fool holding the door. Do these people think I am the official door holder? I especially hate it when people cut in front of me while I am in a store looking at an item. Many times there is only about a foot of space between me and the shelf. Rather than going behind me, a passerby will walk directly between me and shelf (nearly bumping into me), yet never say, “Excuse me.” Did they not see me standing there? On the other hand, what about the person who sees that you are in the middle of backing your car out of a parking space – instead of pausing, they keep walking behind your vehicle as if they have a death wish.

Incidents like these are too common. The irony of the situation is that whenever I speak up and politely express my irritation, some of these rude people look at me like I am the one with the problem. It is almost like they feel they have the right to show rudeness, but I do not have the right to be mad. I often wonder what goes on inside a rude person’s head. Do they wake up in the morning and decide to be nasty? Is it taught? Regardless of its origin, I am tired of dealing with rude people. I pray that I do not snap and run into one with my car – or grocery cart.

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