Are We Getting Ruder?
With Covid, we went through a number of phases. The “fear” phase, the “boredom” phase, the “depressed and feeling hopeless” phase. Then with the vaccine there was the “hopeful” phase, and the “nervous-to-be-getting-back-out-there” phase. After all this, we find ourselves in a strange twilight of Covid not being out of the picture, but life restarting in the public world. But it seems that there’s a hidden phase happening now which is not so hidden. It’s the “rudeness” phase.
As people come out of the cave and start going out again, the frustrations and insecurity catalyzed by Covid mix with accompanying social and political pressures to make people act as their worst selves. They are out of control in terms of displacing their anger. Why is there so much of it at this point?
Basically we’re still in somewhat of a plague, and there’s an emotional aspect coming out. People are frightened and confused, and how we engage with others has changed for many of us. Not only have we had time to forget social graces, but we have factors working against them.
The internet has broken down social graces on a large scale. Political and social dialogues have gotten pretty harsh due to the internet and unprecedented events.
There are far less hugs, handshakes, and large gatherings. Tired of being controlled by circumstances, people have lost their patience and along with it their inner filters which might stop them from saying something impulsive or hurtful.
At the Bregman Medical Group office we’ve even seen patients get abusive towards the staff. I have to give counselling to them! Although curiously it seems that when I finally speak with patients as an authority figure, “Dr. Bregman,” they seem to calm down. I’ve seen that people seem to be constantly in their fight or flight mode and it’s getting old for them. Staying in that mode was designed to ward off danger in the distant past. When we stay with it for too long it can exhaust the mind and body.
Do you find yourself being “the rude one”?
If you see yourself losing patience easily and saying things you regret, a useful method is to take a breath and not say anything or act quite yet. If you feel a bit of rage coming on, just take that breath and concentrate on nothing else - so you have time to think about what you’re doing and make sure you do it in your most mature, adult way.
What if someone is rude to me?
If you are the target of rudeness, the breath also plays a large role in overcoming this. Concentrate on the breath, distract yourself with your phone or a pleasant thought, and be patient. Play a game, talk to someone else - don’t give the rude person attention! If you are a cashier or forced to deal with rude people, remember that this is only a job and they’ll be leaving soon. If it gets really volatile, simply walk somewhere else or find a manager/authority figure to help. It’s the rude person’s problem to overcome, not yours.
If you feel like your temper is getting the best of you these days and self-help isn’t enough to stop it, please reach out. Bregman Medical Group has decades of experience treating various disorders. We offer online or in person treatment. Simply schedule at www.bregmanmd.com or call 305-740-3340.