Best way to deal with rudeness? - page 2

In general, what is your approach to dealing with inappropriate or rude remarks from co-workers? Don’t be shy- I really want to know.... Read More

  1. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    I have another bathroom paper towel machine rudeness scenario... I was in the ladies room at Walmart with my 8 year old stepdaughter Anna. There was another woman in there, looked like in her fifties. Anna finished washing her hands (the lady was washing hers at the next sink) and pulled a paper towel out of the machine to dry her hands. Without a word, the lady reached over, took the paper towel out of Anna's hand, dried HER hands with it, and left the bathroom! I was stunned into silence, but Anna just shrugged and pulled out another one. I praised her for acting so well when someone was so incredibly rude to her. She told me "It's okay, I feel sorry for people like that because a lot of people must hate her." Pretty wise words for an eight year old!!!
  2. by   LeahJet
    [QUOTE=LoriAlabamaRN]Without a word, the lady reached over, took the paper towel out of Anna's hand, dried HER hands with it, and left the bathroom! /QUOTE]

    That's just psychotic.
  3. by   husker-nurse
    I remember one time in the elevator at the hospital on my way to visit my dad with my 3-year-old daughter in hand. An older lady got on the elevator and my daughter asked her, "Are you my grandma?" I held my breath and prayed that this lady would not be mean. I think my daughter thought ALL little old ladies were her grandma. The lady replied, sweetly, "No, Honey, I'm not, but I'd sure like to be." This was 30 years ago, and I never forgot the kindness of that lady. Not everyone is rude, thank God!
  4. by   TallGirlAni
    Could you give a couple of examples of the rudeness. It will help me get the bigger picture as dealing with rudeness will always depend on what the bigger picture is.

    First, you will always want to chose your battles wisely. If this is going to be an ongoing problem with an individual, best to nip it in the bud as soon as possible. This is called setting your boundaries. Sometimes, ignoring the rudeness may only signal to the offender that you are ripe for the picking and that person may continue to be rude, if not become ruder. In this case of setting boundaries, always remain calm, but be firm in letting the person know that you would expect to be treated as you are treating that person--with common courtesy. If the behavior is abusive and heated, then it is best to step away from the situation until the situation abates, only to return and let the person know that the behavior is not appropriate and will not be tolerated. It is always better to have another person with you at this point as a witness and you and it sometimes alerts the other person that the power has somewhat shifted to your side, since you have more people with you.

    Second, if it is a comment that is something that can be overlooked and it is not worth expending your precious time and energy over (and time and energy can be very precious in the very busy work day), then you may want to weight the cost-benefit ratio. Sometimes, walking away from it, and then venting to a co-worker, benefits you immensely, especially if you are never going to see the person again.

    Nursing can be stressful and rude behavior is always around us. That is why I say again to choose your battles carefully and weigh the pros and cons of how you are going to deal with it. It is something you are always going to need to do, so learning how to deal with it effectively and efficiently is going to be a skill that you will treasure dearly in honing.

    You may find that sometimes, people are completely unaware of how rude they are being. With that said, a simple look of disappointment, followed by, "excuse me," is enough to get the other person to think that maybe they were in fact, being rude, and that they should apologize when they see you again. However, this is very rare to happen, but not impossible.

    I have found that given the world of different personalities that we are in contact with, it is impossible to avoid rude behavior. That does not mean that you have to accept it, and that certainly does mean that you are a punching bag. Do not let it get to the point in which you are overlooking the rudeness, only to find one day that you have lost your cool because of it.

    You know when it is happening, and as long as you keep your cool and are rational, you have every right to set your boundaries as to what is appropriate and inappropriate and what is acceptable vs. unacceptable.

    With that being said, I still come back to what I said earlier, pick and choose your battles wisely. If someone is set in their ways and is looking to pick a fight by pushing your buttons, you have to tell yourself, "Is my reacting to this really worth it?" Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't.

    Getting a second opinion from a co-worker is always a plus.

    Once someone views you as a doormat and as a weak person, you may fall prey to some bullies. So, stand your ground early, and stick up for yourself.

    There is nothing wrong with assertiveness, but do not confuse this with aggression. Sometimes, when we ignore rudeness, it festers inside of us until a boiling point of aggression emerges.

    Be conscious of what is going on, and be sure of yourself. There is no way around it, the world is full of rudeness, but that doesn't mean it has to come knocking on your door all the time!

    If you can, I would be interested in hearing about some specific examples....
  5. by   Pedi-ER-RN
    Kill 'em with kindness
  6. by   LuvMyGamecocks
    Quote from goats'r'us
    i suppose nothing spells humiliation like being outsmarted by a four-year-old.
    That's what I took out of it. She quickly left the bathroom after my daughter said what she did, and I responded with, "Maybe she's just having a bad day. It's not your fault." But, on the inside, I was laughing my arse off. She got shot down by a four year old!!

    For me, it's hard to give an example of what to say that will cover all types of rudeness. I think it's a matter of grasping what your dealing with and responding appropriately to that particular situation at that particular time. Different people, differing degrees of rudeness, different reasons behind the rudeness....see what I mean??
  7. by   Gods child
    Quote from fergus51
    My favorite is to say "Are you intentionally being rude to me or am I misreading you?". Never had anyone continue to be rude after that.\


    You're a genius. I think I will start to use similar tactics. Thanks
  8. by   Gods child
    After reading over some of the posts I realized that most of the things were not worth getting upset over, but I have to admit some things still bother me. To be more specific, I have one particular co-worker (middle aged woman who has been there a while) who always speaks to me with a condescending tone. It doesn't matter what she is saying, she always treats me like I stole her puppy, while she is normally polite to others. I have come to the conclusion that she just doesn't like me, so I'm ok with that now.

    I have noticed that some people I work with have a need to feel superior , and will make rude comments that go along with that type of attitude. I often forget exactly what they say; I just remember that it really irritates me. I guess I will have to work on not letting those kinds of things bother me.


    Thanks for the advice TallGirlAni (and everyone else who responded). I know I am intentionally vague, but you never know who reads these boards.
  9. by   Antikigirl
    I just had this happen to me for the first time in years! I am an agency nurse, and I chose to help out this very stressed hospital because they really needed the help. I didn't want to really, I had worked their before long ago and quit...but they were despirate and offered me a good incentive money wize. AND a few of my friends are there as pts. So, I took it as a sign to help, and opened up 4 days to work there.

    The first day went okay, got to leave early. I got somewhat use to things...but help was not easy to find and I was wayyyyyyyy behind in everything!

    BUT last night! OMGosh! Dr's everywhere, all barking at nurses, and one started that up on me...I couldn't find the chart, he yelled at me for it (like I have a tracking system for charts!), I found the chart...but don't know their system or where things are unless I search...that really ticked the doc off!

    Finally after much complaining and me scrambling to get the MD the infomation as polietly as I could (I never appologized for not going faster!), he asked..."Who are you?".

    I told him my name and that I was agency helping out for a few days. He was all sorts of ticked! He said "oh great..nurses that don't know what they are doing anyway...and now I have a little rent a nurse!!!!!".

    Okay...that ticked ME OFF! But I kept my composure (which I am very suprised!!!!!!!!!) kept a straight face, and just was neutral! I handed the chart to the MD, said I would go get my charge nurse, and added "and you will proably find the information faster than I can anyway...be right back Sir.".

    NO I didn't go back! LOL! I went to my charge nurse and she informed me I had to wrap up in 15 minutes and float somewhere else...OH GREAT!

    Needless to say it was a horrible shift! And I called my agency and said "no way ever again...I will never go back there EVER! If an MD can't handle the fact that they needed nursing help, got someone to help...and doesn't appreciate it or treat a nurse with respect...then sadly that is not my fault or probelm at this point! I came to help, I was denied, and I couldn't even get help myself...which endangered my patients..I will not have that at ALL!".

    So basically...I didn't create a fuss in the hallway with the MD. I kept a neutral facial expression and used listening skills (well I was calling him names in my head! LOL!), and offered solutions to help...no one knew how MAD I was...I went to my car during break and cried and hit my stearing wheel a few times! LOL!!!!!!!

    Reason? I wasn't going to let that MD win by upsetting me! I let the other nurses know that if this doc continues this...it is in their best interest to report him, but being agency...and not knowing his name...I simply wasn't going to take on that battle...wasn't worth it to me since I will never step in there again, and is obviously a problem that is there and has been there!!!

    I did let my Agency know, and they will let the hospital know...so it was reported. I am just not going to pursue it further at this point.
  10. by   banditrn
    It also depends on what some people perceive as 'rudeness'. I never intend to be rude, but I can be very direct sometimes.
    One time this male aid told me I'd been 'rude' to him. Huh? When? He told me that he'd told me that someone needed tylenol, and all I said was "OK, I'll get to it in awhile." He told me that he's used to the nurses telling him 'thank you', and going to get the med right then.

    No.1 - I was in the middle of running back and forth trying to attend to a patient with a blood sugar of 36.

    No.2 - it's not his job to decide when someone needs tylenol - just to report conditions - the nurse will decide when tylenol - or any med is to be given after she assesses the patient.

    When I'm in the middle of something important, don't expect the adoring smiles or thank you, thank you's!! If I'm involved in something that needs my attention, don't keep at me about the small things.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Avoiding them when possible.

    Only conversing with them in as few words and minutes as possible.
  12. by   Agnus
    Quote from banditrn
    It also depends on what some people perceive as 'rudeness'. I never intend to be rude, but I can be very direct sometimes.
    One time this male aid told me I'd been 'rude' to him. Huh? When? He told me that he'd told me that someone needed tylenol, and all I said was "OK, I'll get to it in awhile." He told me that he's used to the nurses telling him 'thank you', and going to get the med right then.

    No.1 - I was in the middle of running back and forth trying to attend to a patient with a blood sugar of 36.

    No.2 - it's not his job to decide when someone needs tylenol - just to report conditions - the nurse will decide when tylenol - or any med is to be given after she assesses the patient.

    When I'm in the middle of something important, don't expect the adoring smiles or thank you, thank you's!! If I'm involved in something that needs my attention, don't keep at me about the small things.

    I agree what one person preceves as rude may not be rude if taken in contex.

    Obviously this CNA took your remark out of the contex that you were currently busy and this was not an immediate priority. He did not understand that only you can determine the priority of something like that. He did not understand you did not mean disrespect because you did not specifically
    thank him for information. You simply accepted the information and gave him information that you would tend to it when time allowed. In your world (and mine ) this was not rude. Thanks would have been nice but in my view not a requirement to politeness in this situation.

    He was used to and came to expect "Thank you". Not saying thank you in this situation was not rude per- say. Yet, in the culture he was used to it was rude.
  13. by   janlpn96
    I felt the need to reply to this, as I was the patient and the nurse was rude to me. It bothered me so much that I asked others, if it was me being oversensitive, or was the nurse just mean?
    I am LPN that has not worked and has been on disability for the past two years. I have a chronic illness, and have had many exacerbations over the past few years. My doctor had actually advised me to go onto disability , a year before I finally agreed, that it may be time. Also, this is a doctor that does not agree to everyone's disabilty case, as she is somewhat strict about working. In fact, before going on permanent disability, I was on medical leave for about 3 months and returned to work PT.(against my doctor's advice) I only lasted 6 months and decided that it was best for everyone's sake that I leave nursing. This was quite a sad situation for me because I really liked my job.
    My decision was justified by my many hospitalizations over the past 2 years. It wuld have been difficult for me to work any job. There was a period where I could not even walk, that I had so much pain my legs. Also, I had a kidney removed, due to a diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma. I was uroseptic twice. I was just recently hospitalized for urosepsis, and unexplained tachycardia. My resting heart rate was 170. I was placed on heart monitor. My heart rate did reach to normal. It was a mystery as to why it went so high. I did not have supraventricular tachycardia, as they originally suspected. I do have sarcoidosis, and/or another unexplained, undiagnosed disease.
    Now, to my point, (finally) -- One nurse in CCU asked where I worked. I told her that I have not worked for 2 years and have been on disability. Her reply in a sarcastic tone was, " Hmm, I wish that I did not have to work". I was quite insulted by that remark. I wish that I would have said to her, be careful what you wish for. And, perhaps, you would like to trade places with me!!
    I would never be that rude to a patient!
    Oh, and to top it off. She missed an IV piggyback that was to be hung at 2 a.m., d/t hectic eveing on the floor. Ok, I get that, things happen. She hung it at 5:30 and apolgized for being late. Now, the day nurse comes in to give it to me at 9:00, and I told her that I just had it at 5:30. The other nurse never marked that she gave me the med at a different time, and did not pass it along in report!
    Okay, now that's my story about the rude nurse!

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