Why Rudeness Is Just A Weak Person Pretending To Be Strong

Force and strength aren't equal.

woman in pink smirking Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock

They say if you want to really know a person's character, watch how they treat someone who serves them. The waiter is there to help make the experience as best as possible for the customers, which is why it's so important to treat them with respect. It's their whole job to make you comfortable.

The best indicator of someone's character could easily be tied with how they treat and tip wait staff at restaurants. I've never known that sentiment to be anything other than the absolute truth.


The person who treats a waiter like utter garbage is always a terrible human being when you pull back the curtain. The one who treats the waiter with patience, kindness, and respect — even if they screw up — is hiding nothing but a big heart.

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When people are rude in public, it's pretty much never to someone they know.

Why is that? If someone is rude, shouldn't they be rude to everybody? That's because rudeness is just a symptom of something deeper. At its heart, rudeness is about perception. It's a display.


The rude person is trying to demonstrate to everyone around them that they have power over somebody else. Whether they cut in line, say something mean, or otherwise interrupt social norms, they're trying to say, "I'm more important than you."

On the surface, it seems like the behavior of a strong, type-A personality.

Someone who knows what they want and goes for it. But in reality, rudeness is nothing more than being a crybaby. That person has something going on in their life that is causing them pain, and they need to feel power over something, as it certainly isn't going to be whatever is causing them pain, so the next best thing is for them to exert some control over other people and their emotions.

If they're rude or mean to you, and you act defensively or are hurt, it's exactly the kind of control they were looking for. You've decided that you're not going to follow socially acceptable behavior because it upsets or inhibits you in some way. Rudeness is a social tantrum.


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It's certainly not strength. When you get what you want because you're rude, it's because people have recognized you're having a moment of weakness and are kowtowing to it. It takes real strength to suppress your emotions and deal with people with civility, especially when you're upset.

If you're only a polite person when you're in a good mood, are you really polite? If you become rude when it's easier than not being rude, what does that say about you? It means you were only being polite because it was the path of least resistance.

And that's what weak people do — they take the easy way out.


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Bob Alaburda is a writer who focuses on love, relationships, and sex.