Elvis sang “Don’t Be Cruel,” but a modern twist on that could be “Don’t be RUDE!” According to a recent poll, 70% of us think that people are ruder today than ever before! If you yell and scream at people for their bad behavior, you’re not acting much better than they are. So here’s how to deal with rude people politely, courtesy of Good Housekeeping magazine.

  • Let’s say someone cuts in front of you while you’re in line. Say something like "Excuse me, I was here before you." Some people just like to see how much they can get away with, so if you call them on their behavior, they're likely to retreat. You can also politely ask “Why are you cutting in line?” The person may be embarrassed enough to step away.
  • You want to ask a question at the doctor’s office, but the nurse keeps giving you the brush-off. We all know how hard nurses work. So sometimes they’re just swamped. You also deserve to have your questions answered. So try this: Figure out the nurse’s name. Then say, “Excuse me Joan – or Bill, or whatever their name is. I know you’re busy, but when you have a moment, I could really use some help.” People are more likely to go the extra mile for folks who call them by name because it creates a bond and makes the person feel closer to you – like you’re friends. Acknowledging the fact that they’re busy shows that you sympathize with their situation – which makes you seem friendly.
  • A salesclerk won’t help you. If you’ve made several attempts to flag them down, and they STILL won’t talk to you, politely say “If you can’t help me, I would like to speak to a manager.” This’ll usually motivate the clerk, because they don’t want to get the boss involved. Rremember to SMILE while you’re talking to them – that lets the salesclerk know that you’re not aggressive or looking for a fight.