How to Rise Above Rude Behavior


    You can come out of the house now: Good manners are back in style. But there’s always going to be someone who will rain on your parade. We consulted Judith Martin (Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior) and civility expert P. M. Forni (The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude) for their tips on how to behave like a human being even when you’re tested.

    How to Rise Above Rude Behavior© 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

  • 1.

    Presume goodwill.

    “This gives the other person a face-saving way to change his or her behavior. Any diplomat will tell you that the way to negotiate is to give people a graceful way to do what you want them to do,” says Martin.

  • 2.

    Don’t fight rudeness with rudeness.

    “When people encounter rude behavior in others, they often retaliate with rude behavior,” says Martin. “This doubles the amount of rudeness—it doesn’t reduce it.”

  • 3.

    Remain calm.

    “Nowadays, everyone comes out swinging,” says Martin. “[But] we do have to control our tempers—that’s civilization.”

  • 4.

    Practice restraint.

    “If it’s something minor from a stranger, ignore rude behavior,” says Forni. “If it’s from a spouse, friend, or coworker, address it in a polite, clear, positive way.”

  • 5.

    Teach good manners early.

    “When that’s done,” says Forni, “children are less likely to become narcissistic and abusive adults.”

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.