How to deal with rude people?

All men are created equal [1], but not all customers, colleagues, bosses, neighbors, and strangers are equal. Some are nice, some are rude and obnoxious. They do not deserve our time (one of the most precious things in life) and energy.


If possible, decide to stay away from the rude

Celestine Chua shared that she rarely deals with rude people because whenever she encounter someone rude, she shed them away.

Keep calm and use #pandaTFBH to deal with rude behaviors/words of others

Be nice to others, but have no expectations that other people will be nice to us. Don’t expect too much that the rude behavior will change.

On 20160716, we had a lovely late lunch at The Bank Bistro + Bar. Little Prince played happily at the weekend-only playroom which is normally a private room. Then, after finishing his meals, Little Prince wanted to play again and found the room has been turned messy by a boy, perhaps slightly younger than Little Prince, who threw away the toys everywhere and almost hit Little Prince, according to Honey Panda. Initially, I replied to the boy’s questions, but when he started to destroy the bendy bus that Little Prince played, overtook Little Prince’s turn to slide down the slide, I ignored him. While silence sometimes work to deal with the rude, it did not work in this situation. Tension started to build up [2], but we had planned to enjoy our eat+play activity as a #pandaHappyProject. I have been patient especially to little children, but the father who was not bothered on his son’s behavior, annoyed me a little. Later Little Prince was holding a toy playing a music and the rough boy snatched him, I firmly said, "Stop it!", Little Prince copied me, though in a gentler tone, and the boy copied me to. Sigh, shaking my head in disbelief. I also firmly told his father who just sat at the sofa playing mobile apps for his younger son, "Sir, could you please guide your son not to be so violent? I appreciate that, thank you."

Cherish the nice. Watch our words. Be professional.

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than what others say about him." ~ Audrey Hepburn.

When person A says something bad about person B without context (e.g. A’s intention to warn me), we can tell that person A may do the same on us. A may suffer from jealousy or habitual badmouthing of others. While we can think emphatically of A for his lack of self-esteem and self-cultivation, sometimes it’s best to avoid A in the future, in order to be kind with protective shields.

On 20160721, a neighbor of mother-in-law, perhaps of similar age range to parents-in-law, told Little Prince that Little Prince’s father is useless, for coming home late. In reality, Honey Panda has been working hard to bring the bacon home and supporting his parents financially. I didn’t like it because Little Prince was impressionable. Perhaps, the rude neighbor’s son is more useless than Honey Panda, hence he made such a remark. Perhaps, the rude neighbor had no chance to learn to be cultivated [3]. However, I also have the right not to be friendly to people like him, I’ll show neither unhappy (angry, insulted) nor happy face when bump into him (hopefully, it will be less frequent) and endure [4] from directly responding because mother-in-law is worried about conflicts [5]. Normally, I do my best to be respectful to other neighbors, by greeting them and encouraging Little Prince to greet others, from the young to the old.

Protect our personal space

During pregnancy, if a stranger reaches out and touches our belly, back away and say, "I’m teaching my baby to stay away from strangers."

When Little Prince and I (with Little Princess in my belly) went out together, some strangers touched his cheek or his head, perhaps that’s the price to pay of being cute (lovely/beautiful), but I don’t like it for few reasons e.g. hygienic or safety ones. How do we know if the touchy stranger is not a germ-spreader? How do we know if the touchy stranger is not a pedophile? I told the stranger, "sorry, please don’t touch him," and I taught Little Prince to firmly say, "sorry, please don’t touch me." After a reflection, why must we say sorry? After all, the touchy stranger is invading our space, we can just say "please don’t me/him/her," in a polite yet firm tone.

At public places (e.g. public transport), some strangers will appear to be friendly, but be careful that they may be the wolf in the three little pigs story, and end up touching us/our loved ones here and there!


Choose our battles wisely

Depending on the situation, we may need to confront it, at the risk of burning bridges but obtaining the potential return of the rude stop harassing us [5]. If we have little bargaining power, confronting may not be the best option.

It is advisable to think thrice instead of reacting immediately.


Elevate ourselves and our authority

In Spring 2016, Honey Panda gave me a feedback about a customer that did only complaining, in spite of my efforts to help her. According to Honey Panda, I was too humble. I should mention my credentials when I first encountered this customer and her peers.

Leap to the top, with our grit, resilience and efforts (#pandaMnemonic GRE).

Associate with the kind powerful and the wise influential.


[1] All people are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

[2] We accept this how the world is, yet we don’t have to let the behaviors of others determine our behavior.

[3] The rude behavior is really more about his/her story and his/her personal issues that it is about us. Thus, don’t take it personally.

[4] I’m learning to master the art of endurance. 小不忍则乱大谋。千万不可因小而失大。 "Give me the patience to endure the things which cannot be changed, the courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to know one from the other." – Oliver J. Hart

[5] Mother-in-law has enough conflicts. Her most direct neighbor, an old single civil engineer (we knew because sister-in-law did a background check on him after he created nuisance), loves to bang the door and scare her grandchildren. Count ourselves lucky when we have nice neighbors, which parents-in-law had until they moved to their new flat and this engineer moved in. He harassed mother-in-law less after sister-in-law introduced herself as a lawyer to him. On 20160721, mother-in-law advised father-in-law not be seen when he wanted to put a message written on a piece of paper to the upstairs neighbor, "Your dirty mop made my clothes wet, please be considerate. Thank you."

[5] Tim Ferris shared a story about the little kid in the playground who fought the bullying big boys. He did not win, but the bully would think twice before bullying him.

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