11 characteristics of a rude person (and how to deal with them)

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What does being rude mean to you?

You know what? I don’t care.

You’re an idiot and I don’t want to hear your pathetic, boring opinion.

Also, you’re ugly!

See what I did there?

I was a very rude boy.

If you’re having a problem with rude assholes making your life miserable, this is a guide for how to identify and deal with them (without going to jail on an assault charge).

1) Rude people make you feel like shit

The first awful thing about rude people is that they make you feel awful about yourself.

Whether it’s at work or in your personal life, they come up with insults, mockery and ill-timed comments that bring you to rock bottom in record time.

Their behavior and words seem like they are designed in a laboratory to cut into you and bring you down.

Their rudeness is exhausting and becomes like a virus that batters down your immune system.

What’s left but to give in?

Maybe they’re right and it’s all your fault…

Maybe they’re right and you’re a terrible dad, software engineer, salesman or whatever the accusation might be…

The sad thing about rudeness is it has a real negative impact on our performance.

As Sarah DiGiulio writes:

“When people experience more rudeness, they are less motivated, they actually cut back on the amount of effort they put into a certain task, and they are far more likely to leave an organization compared with organizations where there is less rudeness.”

Antidote: for every rude thing somebody says to you, say something uplifting and positive about yourself. Then throw in one extra and give them a compliment as well.

Rude folks are used to getting cussed out. But being told they have a nice smile will ruin their damn day and leave them scratching their head for weeks.

2) Rude assholes only care about themselves

Another thing about rude people is that they tend to be extremely selfish. Their actions and behavior are all aimed at taking care of themselves.

Even when they appear to be interested in your wants and needs, it’s generally only to find a sneaky way to serve themselves.

This erodes the trust that others have in them and earns them a reputation as a snake.

It also leads you to go down endless rabbitholes of paranoia and sadness as you wonder why nobody seems to care about you.

You must have done something wrong or confused this other person somehow, right?


They’re just a selfish jerk who gets a free ride on the generosity and consideration of others.

Antidote: Stop being one of those others who they use and freeload from. Stop giving a shit about those who only care about themselves. Your lack of engagement will take the wind out of their sails.

3) Rude jerks disrespect and mock your beliefs

One of the absolute worst characteristics of a rude person is that they disrespect and mock other people’s beliefs.

I’m not talking about being politically incorrect or making an off-color joke.

I’m talking about the kind of person who straight up taunts you to your face and tries to make you feel unwelcome or even threatened for who you are.

These kind of people exist in all political and social groups. If they were really the domain of one “side” or area then everyone would just move away.

Some of my worst experiences with these kind of folks have been among the moneyed classes in elite universities and places like that, but I’ve also met my fair share working construction and other jobs as well.

At the same time I’ve met great people in all areas and groups as well.

Rude people pop up in the worst places and times to try to tell you that you’re a piece of shit because of your beliefs, your color, your identity or your culture.

They make life worse for all of us and spread totally unnecessary stress.

Antidote: Stand even stronger in your beliefs and don’t give an inch. Never apologize or let bullies and rude people make you back down on who you are and what you believe. Let them see that their hate isn’t going to crush you or change your heart.

4) Rude boys pick on your vulnerabilities

One of the top characteristics of a rude person is that they find your vulnerabilities and then pick away at them.

If you’re insecure about your weight they will openly or covertly make comments and insinuations about your weight.

If they know that you have serious problems going on in your relationship they will show off how happy they are in their relationship or offer you condescending advice about your relationship.

In one way or another, the rude individual will sense or find out what you’re insecure about and then harp on it like a broken record.

Bullying by rude people tends to “include personal insults, teasing jokes, threats, public shaming, rude interruptions, invasion of personal space or uninvited personal contact,” notes Sandee LaMotte.

If you want to learn more about signs of condescending behavior and how to deal with it, check out the below video:

Antidote: Do not open up to rude people or treat them as a confidante or friend. Secondly, avoid showing them your vulnerabilities or giving them any ammunition for their rude behavior.

5) Rude ‘roid heads physically push you around

One of the most unbelievable characteristics of a rude person is that they can be very physically touchy.

This touchiness can be in the realm of sexually inappropriate touching, but it’s often as simple as not looking where they’re going and bumping into you.

In driving it’s often expressed when a rude person tailgates you relentlessly like they’re in the action sequence of a Matt Damon movie.

In your work or personal life it’s when this oaf keeps brushing past you or bumping into you in annoying and upsetting ways and never apologizes for it.

It becomes very frustrating.

It can get worse if this person is doing it on purpose, for example congratulatory or “joke” ass slaps or giving you exaggerated handshakes that squeeze and hurt you on a regular basis.

This kind of rude behavior is right in between assault and a “joke” which is why some people take so long to call it out.

Antidote: If somebody is assaulting you, then you should call the police. If the behavior in question amounts to the occasional “mistaken” shove or touch, then you need to take up more space. Work on your posture, breathing and physical assertiveness. The next time a rude person pushes into you, stand like a rock in their way.

6) Rude people treat you like dirt

One of the most common characteristics of a rude person is that they treat others like dirt.

Whether intentionally or not, they go around the world like it’s their personal footstool and everyone in it is just there to shine their boots.

This attitude is especially harmful and hurtful if you’re a person who’s used to getting respect.

It can be especially hard to deal with if it’s happening in a work environment where this kind of poor treatment may feel necessary to take in order to keep your job.

Antidote: The antidote to this is to call the rude person’s bluff. Instead of just letting them push you around and tell you that you’re not good enough, engage and ask what they want you to do better.

Mental Toughness Partners writes about this:

 “Difficult and aggressive people try to make you feel uncomfortable or inadequate by putting you down and focusing on what they think you are doing wrong instead of being collaborative.

 “If you can calmly and repeatedly ask them constructive and probing questions about how they can solve the problem may disorientate them sufficiently to dissolve the situation.”

7) Rude strangers make your life a living hell

When you’re dealing with rude friends and family it can be upsetting and stressful. But when the rude people you’re dealing with are complete strangers it can be even more random and disturbing.

How are you supposed to deal with a jerk who cuts you off in traffic and flips you the bird?

What about a cashier at a store who rolls their eyes at you when you ask a question about a product?

What about if you’re out at the bar and a stranger makes fun of your appearance and laughs at you with their whole group of friends?

Rude strangers have a way of making life a living hell.

They seem to have perfect timing for knowing how to hit you when you’re down and get your goat.

It’s so tempting to lash out and give them back twice as much as they’re giving you.

Antidote: resist the urge to lash out and be rude to rude strangers. These people have poor impulse control and are generally impulsive and childish bullies. If you start to play their game you may get a lot more muddy than you ever bargained for and you’ll have a really yucky feeling at the end.

8) Rude online anons try to cyberbully you

Since we’re in our nice new modern age, there’s a whole new area of rude people to worry about: cyberbullies and online rude people.

Cyberbullying isn’t only a problem among high schoolers, it extends all the way to adults who duke it out on politics and other issues online.

Memes can go from being funny to personally targeted very quickly.

And when you’re in the heat of an intense discussion forum, the last thing you want is people who begin to go after you in a personal way because of your identity or background.

As Maryville University writes:

“Because online content is impossible to delete entirely, cyberbullying may damage the victim’s, or possibly the bully’s, reputation permanently.

“Even if the content is removed or deleted from the original site, someone may find it posted from screengrabs elsewhere later.

“This may negatively impact future employment, college admissions, or relationships for victims and bullies alike.”

Antidote: Try to limit the amount of personal information or vulnerable details which you share online. This can be used against you by rude and malicious people. At the same time, watch your own behavior and make sure you’re not also contributing to an online climate of bullying and rude behavior.

9) Rude folks act like rabid racoons

One of the undeniable characteristics of a rude person is that they always seem to be stressed about something.

You know those videos of people piling on each other and crushing folks on Black Friday?

It’s those kind of people…

Sometimes well-intentioned, but very hard to deal with on an ongoing basis.

When rude folks have something they want, the whole world stops and their field of vision narrows.

They just want that thing and they will do anything including physically trample people to get it.

The problem with this kind of behavior is that it makes the rest of us lose respect. We see people with no self-control and no impulse control.

But don’t let this turn you into just as a big a jerk.

Try your best to stay out of the rat race unless you also want to turn into a rat.

Antidote: Do whatever it takes to calm down and stay away from these kind of people. When they bring their frantic, rabid energy, bring your calm vibes. If they insist on violating your personal space and making your life into a stressful time, then sit them down and tell them why it’s bothering you and needs to stop.

10) Rude people take and never give

One of the saddest things about rude people is their selfishness.

They take and never give.

Whether it’s one-sided friendships where a rude person only ever asks for support and advice and never gives it, or a situation where one person always finds ways to borrow money they don’t pay back…

It’s a very unpleasant experience.

The truth is that some selfishness is normal and healthy. You do have to look after yourself.

But if you’re looking after yourself as the expense of everyone else, you’re doing it wrong.

Counselor F. Diane Barth has good insights on this, writing:

“A certain amount of entitlement is also valuable in adults.

“The belief that we have the right to take care of ourselves and our family, the right to be respected by others, and the right not to be hurt by them is important to psychological well-being.

“But the feeling that we are entitled to go to the head of the line or to be given special treatment at all times is not only not healthy, but it is not a particularly productive way to be in the world.”

Antidote: Try to be a different kind of person who gives to others. Of course you need to look after yourself too, but make sure you pay attention to others as well. If someone is being a rude taker, ignore them and focus on other people who deserve your attention.

11) Rude people try to run your life

The most frustrating thing about some rude people is the way they think they’re your boss.

They never got handed the title and they have no reason to believe that.

But they seem to think they’re in charge of your life with their every word and action.

It’s exhausting, soul-crushing and annoying as hell.

Antidote: Live your own life, but avoid lashing out at the annoying people.

As Preston Ni advises:

“If you are required to deal with a difficult individual, one of the most important rules of thumb to keep your cool.

“The less reactive you are to provocations, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the situation.”

We’ve all had enough of your rude attitude dude

Rude people get away with their behavior because of the patience and generosity of others.

It’s great to be a person who’s not looking for a fight, and you should avoid unnecessary conflict.

At the same time, the best response to rude people is to shut down when they start acting rude.

Go about your business and ignore them. If that’s not possible, then tell them to their face that you’re tired of their shit and that they need to take a look at how they’re acting.

Let them know you’ve had enough in a non-personal but firm way.

If you’ve already tried your best to reach out to them and let them know how their words and actions are upsetting you then there’s sometimes no option left but walking away.

Like Deep Patel writes:

“When all else fails, keep in mind that sometimes it’s best to just walk away.

“If you have done all you can to make the person aware of his or her actions and you have tried to show kindness and empathy, it may be that this person is just incapable of treating you (and others) with politeness and good manners.”

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