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Diffusing Rude Moments

By June 20, 2024Newsletter
Diffusing Rude Moments

Maintaining Your Calm and Peace: Navigating and Diffusing Rude Moments

We all encounter rude, upset, and bothered people. But how WE react to it is all we can control in the moment.   So how can we work on diffusing rude moments and keep our inner calm and peace?

We’re Surrounded!

Stress, worry, and anxiety are all around us. We carry these issues with us throughout our day, and when one thing goes wrong, it can trigger an upset response. However, it’s often not just about that one thing; it’s about the overall feeling we’ve been carrying with us, now projected onto this single incident.

Upset Rising

When you begin to feel that upset rising, take a moment to ask yourself just one question: is my problem about this one thing or something else? In short: am I just having a bad day? If you can answer yes to that question, then your responses will likely slant toward the negative. Become aware of this tendency and work to prevent it from affecting others.

Diffusing Rude Moments

Having a good day and a grouch comes at you? Use the same logic—awareness—and apply it to the person being rude. Perhaps they are having a bad day and are not aware that one thing is tied to another. Breathe and diffuse the situation:

  1. Respond with kindness: A gentle response can often diffuse anger. For example, say something like, “It sounds as if you’re having a tough day.”
  2. Stay calm and composed: Keep your tone even and your body language non-threatening to avoid escalating the situation.  
  3. Empathize and redirect: Try to understand their perspective and steer the conversation to a more positive topic.

You Mad at Me?

Then ask yourself: How can they be really mad at me if they don’t know me? If another customer in the store is mad at you because you tapped them with your cart and they are now reading you the riot act, what will that do to you in the long run? Nothing, most likely. So give that bad moment very little of your peace; end it quickly and move on.


We have control over only our side of any relationship. Keep yours in check and let others manage their own. You’ll find that being out in the world will go a lot smoother.


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