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One woman's story of rudeness at home

Dear Laurie,

My husband is a workaholic and he used to keep his cell phone on during our family dinners at home. I had asked him to turn it off during meals, but he would always get mad and say that we can have these nice meals because he works hard all the time. Our kids were getting frustrated (and so was I), but eventually we all learned to deal with it.

When I heard your interview about the rudeness epidemic on Wisconsin Public Radio I was stunned because I felt like you were talking about my family! I think my husband is a nice guy so I never thought about his cell phone during dinner behavior as "rude." Once I thought about his actions in that context, I was able to talk up and persuade him to change his ways. I took your advice and told him that his actions made me feel like he didn't value me or respect my time. I said that he made me feel like he didn't care about having a conversation with me and the kids. We talked through it and he finally realized that his actions were rude and disrespectful.

Laurie, I hope you will highlight my story on your blog because people should have hope that rude people can change their ways if only we take the time explain their impact on others. Let's stop being oblivious and talk up!

Janet in Wisconsin

A blog reader's response to Janet's story...


It was on your blog that I read Janet (in Wisconsin)'s story of how she handled her husband's rudeness during family dinners. I think that listening to your radio broadcast gave Janet plenty of courage to speak to him about this issue, thus persuading him to change his behavior, even if it meant confronting him, or "fighting fire with fire." And I hope that readers of your blog who are facing similar issues will follow Janet's example.

Thank you for highlighting her story! And if Janet's husband relapses, or reverts to using his cellphone at dinner, it is likely that his children will follow suit, and resort to being rude at dinner. And one of their children could even say, "It's a drag having a donkey for a father!", or even end up holding a grudge for a while.




Rudeness, no matter the location...

Rudeness at Barnes and Noble:
Love your idea for dealing with cell phone users at Starbucks! I will definitely pass that on. My problem is with Barnes & Noble. Most of their stores provide tables and chairs so that patrons can take down books and read through them. Problem is, I've bought books at B&N and then found, once I've taken them home that these "browsers" have underlined passages or even torn out whole pages! It's a shame that creating welcoming environments will invite abuse both at Starbucks & Barnes & Noble

Rudeness at work:
I can't stand rude people. There is a woman at my office who always finishes off the coffee and doesn't make a new pot. She is so inconsiderate! The next time I see her doing this I am not going to keep quiet, but I am not going to yell. I am going to politely ask her "Are you in a rush? Is that why you can't take a minute to refill the coffee maker?" Perhaps this will make her aware of her rudeness!

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