Whether it’s at the grocery store, driving in traffic or a Facebook message board, you’ve all encountered her. You may have even been ‘her’ a few times ( I know I have ). I’m talking about The Rude Mom. The Angry Mom. The all around Bad Attitude, Negative Nancy Mom.
She’s always quick to roll her eyes, scoff at what your saying or shoot a glance that could kill any unfortunate soul who rubbed her the wrong way. Sure we all have our bad days. Sometimes when the kids are screaming in my ear, I don’t quite have the patience to deal with a well meaning stranger in the checkout lane. Or if I’m feeling particularly irritable I might not take too kindly to an ignorant comment I see on the internet. But, 100% of the time I do or say something out of annoyance, anger or passion I immediately regret my delivery.
Now I’m not saying we have to be a pushover or pretend to agree with someone when we do not. Or even pretend that we like them. But I do think there are many benefits to treating everyone around us with tact and really none to being The Rude Mom.
And you may say it’s unrealistic to always be on your best behavior, but here are a 7 reasons that I think might keep you motivated to give it your best shot.
1. Being rude is unnecessary.
There are very few situations in this world (especially the day to day life of a mom) where being mean actually benefits us or hastens a conflict resolution. Yes, it may make you feel better in the moment to get your perfectly crafted quip off your tongue, but once it’s out there, there’s no turning back. Most likely, all you’ve done is upset someone else, derailed what could have been a productive exchange or even made yourself look like an ass.
2. You don’t know what bridges you might be burning.
From a specifically selfish point of view, you have no idea what relationships or future relationships you may be hurting that could have been quite beneficial to you. What if you cut someone off on the way to a job interview only to find out that person has the final say on whether or not you get the gig? What if you start a Facebook argument with someone who will be your kid’s teacher next year? Or what if you damage a friendship that could have been your safest harbor in a future life crisis?
The other day I saw a store clerk roll her eyes at a customer who was taking too long to pay. The customer definitely saw it and took it in stride. But my first thought was what if this woman is having a really bad day, and that ill-timed gesture was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We never know if the people we encounter have just lost a loved one, had a rough day at work, is struggling with depression…the list of possibilities goes on forever. And would you really want to be responsible for adding to that?
4. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Yes, it’s a trite saying, but it’s true. I have never once in my life been won over by someone who was presenting their point from a place of anger or bitterness. If you are having a “discussion” on a message board and feeling extra brave behind your computer screen, you would still be more likely to get people to understand your point or even agree with you, if you took care to present it with kindness and tact.
5. Being negative makes you appear miserable.
If you’re caught in an act of meanness that is out of the ordinary, most likely those around you will just assume you’re off your game and look past it. But when you have a track record of constantly being antagonistic you will surely find your social circle dwindling, and your reputation becoming something that doesn’t quite match how you’d hoped to be perceived.
6. Being negative actually makes you miserable.
Doing a google search about the psychology of rudeness will quickly show you that it is not only contagious to those around you, but it can actually have an effect on your productivity, creativeness and overall well being. Now, why would we want to do that to ourselves?!
7. Being mean is setting a bad example for your children.
Yes, I played the ‘kid card’! And personally I think this is the most important point. Most of us (hopefully all of us) want our children to grow up to be happy, content and productive members of society. So we spend hours teaching them correct social behavior, reading them books about sharing, singing songs about loving one another and so on. But, all of our efforts can and will quickly be undermined by our actions if they do not match up.
So, a good rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t let your kid do or say it, then maybe you shouldn’t either. This life is stressful enough; let’s try our best to make it as positive and productive for ourselves, our children and everyone else we encounter.