Dealing with Rudeness and Gossip

Two young girls sharing secrets
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To be or not to be…

Every day we are exposed to rude people who think they are more important than we. They might be drivers, customers, pedestrians, employers, colleagues or any number of other individuals we encounter on a daily basis. It would be easy to counter rudeness with kindness if it always worked.  It does not.  We are often pitched to and fro by the actions and reactions of others. And being the civilized people we all are, it is difficult to know exactly how to respond without being rude ourselves.

I am often haunted by my own past rude behavior. That behavior kept me downnot the person I was rude to or gossiped about, but me. In a recent radio show, I discussed the differences between successful and unsuccessful people.  One of the items I shared was that  successful people talk about ideas, while unsuccessful people talk about other people.  Gossip is gossip – even if you are the one saying it. It becomes a practice of patience to deal with others who gossip to you or about you. It would be easy to tell them to STFU, but that would be rude. So we need to learn to twist and turn to maneuver away from the topic of gossip and if you hear gossip – do not share it. It’s none of your business. Now if it’s about you? I would say to go straight to the source – and I have, but you may have a hard time controlling your anger and then rudeness would prevail. And so would gossip.

Let it be your fire

The bottom line is that if you are successful, if you are a change agent, if you like to take risks or try different options, if you are an innovator and a developer, people are going to talk about you. We could guess why – and it could be a number of reasons – usually it is just because they don’t know any better – they are ignorant. Use that as your fire – your impetus – to keep succeeding, keep risking, keep innovating.  Not everyone can be that or do that.

We all fall down

We have all had moments of failure. Failure is where we grow, where we learn what we need to do differently in order to succeed.  Failure is often the option, as much as we would like to make “Failure is not an option” our forever mantra, we should learn from challenge and failure and then move forward with assuredness that we will rise above and that heavy challenges are only muscle builders for our next endeavor.

How to Deal?

1. Walk Away. It is not worth your time and it’s none of your business what other people think of you. Imagine how freeing that statement really is.
2. Let Go of it. Holding on to falsities, vagueness, and meanness has no purpose and no place in your future.
3. Learn From It. Maybe there was some truth – if so, the truth sometimes hurts. If not, now you know who your friends really are and how you do not want to be, act, or react to any given situation.


Many people will be rude and “uncivilized” for the rest of their lives and they will also be miserable. Know that happiness doesn’t dwell in a rude or black heart. That can be your out – and it’s not worth your time. If this is a common practice for yourself, perhaps it’s time for some introspection. It’s ok to jump the tracks of your current path of behavior – it’s ok to be better than you are. There is always a better way.  Find it.


by Rayanne Thorn

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  1. Your approach to life, career and recruiting always has a holistic feel–love it. I especially liked the thoughts on letting the negativity be your fire as it called to mind some words that author Stephen King wrote in his book, On Writing: “If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.”

    Like King, you seem to have the right answer when it comes to dealing with negativity! Great article.

    • Hi Jake–
      I love “On Writing” – brilliance from the incomparable Stephen King. Thanks for reading and commenting here.
      I write because I have to and I am often compelled to expose my soft and tender underbelly. It’s great to get this kind of feedback…
      Onward and upward, eh?


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