If you want to be a socially adept person, you’ll need to learn how to not be rude. For a lot of people, this is extremely easy. Being nice is something they can do quite naturally simply because that’s just who they are. However, not everybody is like this. In fact, a lot of people who are genuinely good deep inside can sometimes act rude or say something offensive simply because they didn’t know they were being rude.
Whether or not you fall under that umbrella, or perhaps you just want to be less rude so you can improve your social life, this article is for you. To not be rude is something a lot of people need to practice. With these 20 tips, you can practice this yourself.
1. Exercise empathy
One of the best ways to not be rude is to always exercise empathy. Empathy is a very useful tool in putting yourself in the shoes of others. Making you actually feel the way they feel. If this is something you can learn how to do organically, being rude to other people will become less and less of a habit, whether that was voluntary or not to begin with.
If this is something you’re not used to, or it’s something you never really thought about up to this point, the act of exercising empathy can be difficult in the beginning. The more you follow through, however, the easier it can become.
To properly exercise empathy, it is very helpful to be engaged in the interaction or conversation. You must then understand everything the other person is trying to tell you and picture yourself in their situation. Ask yourself what you would do in their place, how you would feel, how you would react. See them as you would see yourself.
Do this every time you’re interacting with somebody. Empathize with everyone, and being rude is something that will be off the table for you.
2. Understand your personality
It can also be very helpful for you to fully understand your own personality if your goal is to not be rude to anyone you meet. If rudeness is a tendency for you, ask yourself why that is. Is your rudeness in good spirit or is it with malicious intent? Or perhaps, this is something you always do accidentally?
Look inwards first and find the root of the problem. You can then work your way up from there. If your rudeness comes with malicious intent, ask yourself why. If it’s something you do accidentally time and time again, well… we’ll get to that later on.
Understanding your own personality is a good first step to take as you attempt to improve your personality by stopping being rude. Assess this first and, as you go along this article, find the tips that will fit with you.
3. See the positive things in life
This is a very common tip, but it is very useful if your goal is to not be rude. Start seeing the more positive things in life. You’ll be surprised just how great it can alter or affect your personality.
Apply this in your everyday life, whether you’re at work, at home, or hanging out. Find things around you to appreciate. Focus on the things that can bring you up instead of the things that can bury you down. Once this trait is something you can get the hang of, being positive will become second nature to you.
If your outlook becomes more and more positive, your approach towards everything will also be positive. You’ll be happier, become more progressive, be more productive, and you’ll generally be nicer towards other people.
4. Appreciate the value of friendship
Having friends is a luxury a lot of people underappreciate. If you somehow don’t appreciate your friends or any of the friends you’ll have in the future, you have a greater tendency of not treating them well.
Appreciate the value of friendship and you’ll immediately feel the need to be nicer towards your friends. Acknowledge the positive things they bring into your life. Know that their presence alone is enough to make you cheerful. They’re there for you during your darkest times and they’ll help pull you back up.
Not everyone has this privilege, unfortunately. Be happy that you do.
5. Diversify your social network
If you’re already an adult, this may be easier for you than you might think. Diversify your social network and get to know different people with different beliefs and upbringings. The world is a very diverse place filled with people who are incredibly different in a lot of ways from one another. Getting to know a lot of those individuals will give you a broader outlook of how people can be.
The more people you end up knowing, the more you’ll understand how different everyone is. It will also help you get used to different kinds of personalities. You’ll know which types of people will resonate with you and which ones won’t.
Keep in mind that while you’re doing this, you should always remain friendly with everyone, even with those who aren’t too friendly with you. If you somehow come across another person who’s rude, use that as an opportunity to have perspective on what it’s like to be at the receiving end of it. Coming across a rude individual is something you’ve surely already come across before, but experiencing it now is very beneficial in your current goal.
6. Work on yourself
Find a balance between the things you need to do and the things you want to do. This tip is to further help you be satisfied with life and be at peace with yourself, thus making you a more positive person. As we’ve established, the more positive you are, the nicer you will be to those around you.
That said, work on yourself. Whether it be your personal goals or professional aspirations, keep on working on them. Do the things that can make you improve as well as the things that can make you happy. For as long as it’s not stepping down on others, it’s basically fair game.
7. Respect boundaries
One of the things most people will tell you when it comes to being decent towards others is to always respect someone else’s boundaries. Pay heed to this advice because it most definitely is one of the most helpful ones you can receive.
Respect someone else’s boundaries. Everyone has their own safe and personal space and no matter how open and welcoming they can be, this personal space is still something they cherish. You have one of your own too. You know you have boundaries of your own and you know how awful it can feel if someone else crosses that boundary. If you don’t like it done to you, don’t do it to someone else.
8. Be curious about others
Maintain a healthy amount of curiosity whenever you’re interacting with another person. This will greatly help you appreciate them more. It will also help you approach them with a more positive personality. If you’re curious about somebody, you’ll tend to be nicer to them so they can tell you more about themselves.
Practice this and make this a habit. Whenever you’re about to socialize with someone you don’t know quite well yet, force your mind to be curious about that individual. Place curious thoughts in your head such as, “I wonder what this person does in their free time?” or “I wonder what their dreams and goals are?”
You can then satisfy your curiosity by asking these questions during your conversation. Just remember, the “respecting boundaries” tip still applies here. Be curious about somebody but be sure to not step a line. Just think of it like this: If you end up stepping a line you shouldn’t cross, it will only drive them away, making you unable to get to know them more, thus depriving you of satisfying your curiosity.
9. Spend more time with the people you care about
To help you not be rude and be more of a warm presence, take the time to go out and bond with the people you really care about. Get in touch with them and ask them out. Spend time with them. Have fun with them.
Doing this will make you appreciate the friends you already have. It will also help you acknowledge the value of friendship. This improves your general mood and you are less likely to be rude to people. So start getting into it by actually spending time with the people you care about.
The next time you’re about to ask your friends out, try this: Ask them what they want to do or where they want to go. Consider and acknowledge their wants. Go for them. Make your friends happy just by doing this small, yet considerate action.
10. Open up
People appreciate someone who can open up to them. This makes them see that you trust them, which is a pillar that holds up every single friendship in this world. That said, don’t be afraid of opening yourself up to others. Let them know and see who you are. Make them understand what type of person you are beneath your physical appearance.
Of course, there are still things that you should keep to yourself. What you should keep in mind here is to simply be more relaxed and be more open to the idea of letting others see you for who you are. Let them know about yourself, about your interests, and about your goals. There’s no need to tell them about your deepest secrets yet, telling them about the things that make you happy and go forward is more than enough for now.
11. Use humor, but never be offensive
Humor can be a very powerful tool when it comes to making friends. However, if you go overboard or use humor incorrectly, you’ll end up offending other people. Being offensive will make others perceive you as rude even if that was never your intention in the first place. It’s just safe and considerate to not cross that line.
A very good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to not telling offensive comments and jokes is this: If you ask yourself, “should I say this or not” when thinking of a funny comment or a joke, it’s better to just not say it. It may not be offensive to you, but it can be offensive to someone else.
You always need to take someone else’s point of view and feelings into consideration if your goal is to not be rude. Be considerate.
If humor is a trait you really want to master, look up comedians online and watch their stand-up routines. Take a look at how they construct their safe, non-offensive jokes and apply them to yourself.
12. Think your thoughts before saying them out loud
Thinking your thoughts before you say them out loud allows you to assess whether or not what you’re about to say is rude. This is also known as being mindful. If you’re mindful of the things you say to others, you’ll never have to worry about being rude.
If this is something you’re not very used to, the thinking part before speaking can be noticeably long. However, this is very much preferable compared to being rude. Just keep it up and you’ll eventually find that this process will become shorter and shorter. Finally, the day will come when you won’t even have to think about it at all.
This tip is a very good way of being considerate towards someone else. Assess everything you’ll say properly, especially if the conversation has become deep and intimate. Every conversation and interaction you’ll ever have will be smoother and nicer from here on out if this is something you can master.
13. Know the difference between being honest and being rude
There’s a fine line between being honest and being rude and that’s a line you should never cross. A lot of rudeness can come from honesty, but you can definitely also be honest without ever being rude.
Think of honesty as you presenting facts to make someone else understand things better or to help them improve. There’s no need to be hurtful about it. Even though sometimes being honest can indeed be hurtful, the way you approach it can be the determining factor of whether the other person will perceive it as rude or not.
You’ll most likely come across this crossroad whenever the conversation has become heavy and deep. When that happens, make sure to once again be mindful. Be honest to show sincerity, but also approach it calmly and genuinely as to not be rude to the other person.
14. Avoid being rude by minding your manners
Having good manners is something we were taught growing up. Even when we were still little kids, our parents and other adults have always told us to have proper manners. That advice has not lost its meaningfulness to this day. If you want to avoid being rude, conduct proper manners. Sometimes, this is all it takes.
By doing this, other people will see you as someone who’s respectful and decent. In turn, they will also respect you and be more decent towards you. Being nice is much easier if the mutual feeling is centered around respect and decency.
Smile when greeting someone, remember their names, maintain a respectful distance, never ask questions or say comments that are too personal, and be attentive when they’re talking. If you’re blanking on what other things you can do to maintain having good manners, just think about how you’d want someone else to treat you. You can then project that to other people.
15. Give compliments whenever you can
Give compliments whenever you can and other people will appreciate you immediately. This act is very simple, yet very impactful. Just say something nice about someone whenever you interact with them, or even when you’re just coming across them.
Saying things such as, “you look great today” or “I love that idea” are more than enough. Make others feel good just with a few, very simple words. Don’t underestimate how powerful and impactful this can be.
Other than the fact that complimenting will make others feel good, it will also make you feel good as well. We as humans have the tendency to feel happy or satisfied when we make others happy. There’s a sense of selfishness that can be misconstrued with this, but this should tell you that there’s something inherently good inside all of us if making others happy also makes us happy.
16. If you encounter rude people, don’t reciprocate
We’ve already discussed that, if you ever encounter rude people, use that as an opportunity to learn about the nature of rudeness. Use that opportunity of being on the receiving end to learn what it feels like when someone is rude to you. As awful as this is, it will give you a perspective you otherwise would have never considered.
That said, when you encounter rude people, never reciprocate. Let them be and stay away from them. Don’t add fuel to the fire. Just leave the situation and learn from it. Reciprocating might reinforce the idea in your head that it’s okay to do it because someone else is doing it. Be the better man and rise above it. Your goal is to stop being rude. Don’t fall back into the pit.
17. Be mindful of your body language
The way you move your body and portray yourself is very telling of what you actually feel and think. Sometimes, your body language says more about you than your words will. With this in mind, even when you’re saying nice things to other people, if your body language is exhibiting discomfort or awkwardness, others may interpret it as you being uninterested in them.
When interacting with other people, just relax and have your body go along with the thoughts you’re trying to express or what you’re trying to do. Look at the other person in the eyes while listening to their words. Don’t cross your arms when talking to somebody. Don’t slouch. Just be comfortable, open, and relaxed. Be mindful of your body language so you won’t be misinterpreted as rude.
18. Find outlets
If you’re frustrated, it’s also very unhealthy if you just keep it in. The best way to go about it is to find an outlet you can release your frustrations on. For a lot of people, they do activities that help them feel more calm and relaxed. For example, people do yoga or work out to relieve frustrations and stress. For some, it can be something as simple as keeping a diary.
Find a suitable outlet for you and practice that consistently. As great as socializing and meeting new people is, it’s realistic to expect and assume that you’re also going to meet a lot of unsavory people. It’s an unfortunate fact but it’s something you’ll learn to accept and brush off when you learn how to deal with it.
19. Remain open-minded
Just as you’re going to end up meeting unsavory people, you will also meet a lot of people who are very different from you. As you go along meeting people, you’ll come across individuals who have different opinions from you, different beliefs, and different mindsets. A lot of these people aren’t unsavory or mean, you just aren’t like-minded.
That said, make sure to always keep an open mind. Accept the idea of two different people having a civil and respectful engagement.
One thing that can help you remain open-minded is to acknowledge the fact that different people have different upbringings and experiences. The things you know and believe now are due to your experiences up to the present, and the same goes for everyone else on this planet.
21. Get used to being friendly to everyone you encounter
Finally, let me reiterate this tip: Be friendly to everyone you encounter. I’ve sprinkled this tip in minor pieces during this article, but let this be a focal point now so that you can really keep it in mind. No matter where you go or who you are interacting with, be friendly.
Ultimately, being friendly is the polar opposite of being rude. If you take all the tips listed above, condense them all and take them in, this article is really teaching you how to be more friendly towards everyone else. Keep that thought in your mind. Keep everything you’ve read here in your mind. This is how you’ll avoid being rude to everyone you meet.
To not be rude to everyone you meet is something you’ll eventually attain. It will also greatly help you if you keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this, and that’s to make more and healthier friendships. Once you’ve nailed this issue in the head, you can then move on to other social skills that you can develop. You can read the other articles on this site for that. Good luck!