A jerk’s rudeness spreads in the office

Source: It’s official: Workplace rudeness is contagious — ScienceDaily

The article states that rudeness is spread when someone is rude then in the future more rudeness is expected. So instead of giving people the benefit of the doubt, you see this as part of who they are and expect it. The problem is that this thought is a fallacy. People do things because of the situation they feel they are in, not because they have stable non changing qualities that force them to act.

For example, there are studies that show that the difference between Democrats and Republicans is smaller than people believe. We all want the same things, we just have been socialized differently in the best way to achieve it.

It seems to me that people don’t try to actively be hostile and rude, but that standards of acceptable behavior vary widely. I noticed a coworker once order a service worker around what I considered rudely by pointing and raising her voice, but I don’t think she realized how she was coming off. I think it’s just a lack of social feedback that causes these people to act in this manner. They aren’t bad people, just not fully socialized as perhaps others are.

I like the idea of Ms. Manners that the entire idea of manners was to make people feel respected and honored. We get stuck sometimes on which fork to use when we should focus on others feelings and ignore things like this. Yes if you know which fork to use that’s cool, but someone who doesn’t know shouldn’t even be aware of the difference. Our relationship should be tools to empower people, not point out ignorance.


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Interested in technology, loves life.