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How To Handle Totally Rude People


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#1 SEOigloo

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 02:17 AM

This is a topic I've often wanted to bring up here at Cre8 for community input. Nearly all of you have blogs or blog somewhere. And, all of you have seen nasty fireworks ignite in the comments section of blog posts.

:naughty: :fireworks: :nanadevil: :boxing: :emo3:

Disagreement is healthy and part of discussion. One can often learn more from disagreement than from perfect accord. The way we handle this at Cre8asite is a thing of beauty, I think, with few if any hard feelings.

But what about out there in the wider word where people leave comments including this kind of disrespectful language:

You don't know what you're talking about.

Really? You really think that?

Yah, right.

This is total b.s., nonsense, twaddle, etc.


In face-to-face conversation, these types of unsociable remarks would doubtless cause the person on the receiving end to feel attacked, belittled, annoyed or any number of other unpleasant feelings arising from a basic lack of respect and good manners on the part of the speaker. Who knows, perhaps a fist fight breaks out? Or a divorce ensues...

But what about when it's on the web, and you're put on the spot being faced with trying to come up with a reasoned response to someone who opens their comment with, "you don't know what you're talking about." Even if you DON'T know what you're talking about, my sense is that civilized people find less loaded ways to express that.

How do you do it? How do you come off looking collected and professional in responding. Do you not respond and risk looking like you are hiding from the barbarians :cower: , do you ignore their comment because it doesn't deserve a response, do you answer in an ingratiating manner (that you hate putting on) that you truly value their (rude) comment and then go pound your pillow? :)

I'd love to know!

#2 jonbey

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 02:35 AM

I just try to ignore it. On one forum I used everyone else was nice, but the main admin kept making snide comments. You have to remember that some people have insecurities and attacking people is a way for them to feel better about themselves. Just bullying. And online people feel that they can get away with a lot more. Not responding is not hiding, it is just choosing to wait for a reply worthy of your response.

Edited by jonbey, 27 October 2009 - 02:36 AM.


#3 cre8pc

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 10:51 AM

I think we're seeing many bad situations of conversations gone wrong because many blog owners bring their own instabilities, behavior, mental illness, promotion desires (ie link bait), and social habits to their sites.

As users we have choices. Do we respond? Do we bring own emotions to the debate? Do we fling out whatever comes into our mind without restraint or manners?

I'm always learning. There was a recent dramatic debate between two well known SEO's that touched on usability and I stayed out of it because the post that started it was confusing and reeked of link bait. Comments on a link bait piece are more likely to be emotional and rude. I've learned that any intelligent dialog is met with a food fight. I've also been personally attacked in the blog that started the debate and was never defended in any way by the blog owner (the one attempt by one staffer was shot down with missles). The moral of that lesson is that when blog comments are permitted to be unmoderated and allowed to personally attack commenters, then some people like me are not inclined to return and participate.

There is a responsibility, I feel, to treat every commenter as a guest in your home. When a comment is left and the blog owner personally attacks you, (which has happened to me on several occasions), I am not going to return, nor will I refer their blog to anyone. There is no conversation when the dialog is one sided and the site owner has to be right.

This all leads to what I came to learn. Don't join in the conversation where rude behavior is permitted. The conversation becomes a battle of who can write with the most colorful words or be the funniest.

Stay away from blogs or forums where the owner/staff are control freaks. This stifles the conversation and invites rude behavior.

One of the hardest parts to all this new technology and social-ness is knowing yourself enough to understand what you can handle and what you can't. Site owners aren't always the most objective or able moderators and readers need to learn about the site and its history before jumping in.

#4 Wit

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:00 AM

Pfft, whatevah!




:paddedcell:

Seriously though: some people come over as rude but are not. As previous posters (including yourself) have hinted at: online behaviour != real life behaviour. In fact, I myself seem to have alienated someone whom I've met in person with my online behaviour. Only because of the tone of my online voice (I think). That's weird innit - and eerie too.

Edited by Wit, 27 October 2009 - 11:02 AM.


#5 jonbey

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:53 AM

"tone of my online voice". I like that.

Actually, this happened to me. I upset an ex-colleague by email. Worked with him for a year or so, we got on fine. Then I sent an email that he misinterpreted and that's that. Tried to explain but he was having none of it. Such is life.

Maybe one thing is desperation. As Kim says, some blogs are all about link bait and viral marketing, and the idea of being controversial to attract comments. Maybe some people act like jerks (is that word too bad in USA, I noticed someone scrubbed my p*** out the other day?) just to prompt response.

Sometimes being calm and patient works. I had someone leave to highly critical remarks on a post a while ago. I was going to delete them, but decided to edit the naughty words and publish. I then replied etc. and more "abuse" came back. So I kept going. Eventually he came round and said that the blog was better than others. On researching his name, he did seem like a nasty piece of work (I found many racist, sexist, xenophobic comments under the same name elsewhere). But the thing is, he did raise a few issues about the blog and its inaccuracies, which is why I chose to post them. It made me look at it a bit differently. So sometimes some good can come from a complete tw*t.

#6 cre8pc

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:59 PM

noticed someone scrubbed my p*** out the other day?)


It's programmed into the software. Certain words are blocked out. We choose to be respectful as best we can in a global forums, so some words are filtered that would might not be considered bad to some members, but may be to others.

#7 jonbey

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 01:05 PM

I thought that it may be so. I should have put an el in it.

#8 EGOL

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 01:53 PM

I tried allowing comments for a while on my blog and got lots of link drops, product promotions, personal promotions, crackpots who post stupid ideas, beggars, blasphemers, agitators, robots, etc.... So, I turned comments off and now run a bully pulpit.

Edited by EGOL, 27 October 2009 - 01:53 PM.


#9 Ruud

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 02:24 PM

I can't help that the commenter is rude.

I can help how I comment though.

The contrast between the two comments will be clear to anyone; the conclusions they draw about the original commenter and me will be too.

#10 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 02:45 PM

This thread is all about me, isn't it? :)

I'm not afraid to tell people what I think about their ideas. I don't mean for people to associate their ideas with themselves.

In my view, you're rude if you attack the other person. If you're just disagreeing with an idea, even saying it's twaddle or nonsense or bunk, that doesn't mean you're attacking the other person. But that's my view and it doesn't seem to be how most people think.

I can easily recall many a conversation that has gone like this:

SOMEONE: I tell this. Bladdablahblahblah.

MICHAEL: That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

SOMEONE: Well, it's better than what you've said on the subject.

MICHAEL: I haven't said anything on the subject.

SOMEONE: You always claim to be right.

MICHAEL: I haven't claimed anything. I just said that was the dumbest idea I've ever heard.

SOMEONE: You're such a NIBBESH!

MICHAEL: And you're a rude jerk. So what?

SOMEONE ELSE: Ignore Michael. He's always starting fights and flaming people.

Ergo, you are what you say, in oh so many complicated ways and levels. Even if what you are saying isn't true.

I wouldn't have it that way, but it seems like a lot of people on the Internet DO want to have it that way. Perhaps there is a subconscious need to identify the words with the writer because we lack other visible/audible cues to what is actually going on in the conversation.

#11 SEOigloo

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:20 PM

Wow,
Great responses all.

JonBey, this deserves some thought:

I had someone leave to highly critical remarks on a post a while ago. I was going to delete them, but decided to edit the naughty words and publish. I then replied etc. and more "abuse" came back. So I kept going. Eventually he came round and said that the blog was better than others. On researching his name, he did seem like a nasty piece of work (I found many racist, sexist, xenophobic comments under the same name elsewhere). But the thing is, he did raise a few issues about the blog and its inaccuracies, which is why I chose to post them. It made me look at it a bit differently.


But how do you have a sensible conversation with someone who is racist, sexist, etc?

You know how, when you were a kid, a grownup told you that the best thing to do was to ignore the bullies because their actions were beneath your notice?

There is something weird about blogging/SM, etc. that seems to have turned this scenario on its ear and left someone like you, Jon, trying to figure out how to make good out of a situation involving a racist. While that may be admirable, it's a pretty distasteful use of one's time. I'd rather be farming.

And if I'd rather be farming, maybe someone would tell me I shouldn't be blogging; that blogging is an invitation to every whack-o in the world to come-one-come-all and have their say.

Interesting.

When people think its fine for the gloves to come off, and you just don't operate that way, the situation is kind of ridiculous. I've watched this happen again and again in the blogosphere, and though I have little personal experience with this, there is something ludicrous in the spectacle of a blogger saying 'thank you' while his audience throws rotten tomatoes at him.

MICHAEL: That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.


Michael, do you talk to your mama that way? :)

#12 RisaBB

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:32 PM

Hi Michael, re:

Perhaps there is a subconscious need to identify the words with the writer because we lack other visible/audible cues to what is actually going on in the conversation.

I don't think it's a subconscious need, but a natural inclination to attribute the message to the messenger, especially when the messenger doesn't represent a large company, but him/herself.

Risa

#13 cre8pc

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:48 PM

Michael wrote:

SOMEONE: I tell this. Bladdablahblahblah.

MICHAEL: That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

SOMEONE: Well, it's better than what you've said on the subject.

MICHAEL: I haven't said anything on the subject.

SOMEONE: You always claim to be right.

MICHAEL: I haven't claimed anything. I just said that was the dumbest idea I've ever heard.

SOMEONE: You're such a NIBBESH!

MICHAEL: And you're a rude jerk. So what?

SOMEONE ELSE: Ignore Michael. He's always starting fights and flaming people.


This absolutely cracked me up because I've seen it happen to you and others...

And when someone says, "That Michael M. is really a nice guy", you can bet not everyone agrees.

Thing is, I often get introduced online to people who push my buttons and I need to breathe before responding. I've met many people in the biz that people love to hate and in person they're really different and pretty nice.

It's very hard to do what Michael does because he gets down to brass tacks and investigates. When someone like him finds something they disagree with, they say so. It doesn't mean they spend energy disliking the person. It's the act or motive or opinion or idea or principle they have trouble with. They really have every right to say how they feel.

The trick is how you say it online without the use of body language, tone of voice, facials expressions. Folks like Michael do us a service by saying what many won't say.

Ruud is correct, in that we can't control what others say, but we are responsible for how we respond. Someone who can't handle "This is dumb" and reads it as "You are dumb" is the one with the problem,

#14 jonbey

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:35 PM

Well, this chap was not racist or sexist on my blog and it could have just been someone using the same name so I decided to give him the benefit of doubt - he probably would not have passed iamlost's scrutiny. It was not a real name, it appeared on a couple of forums elsewhere.

I think that it is a good example of how you can control a situation online. In real life I would have walked away, but he was the only person commenting on this particular post, and he did make a few good points, even if in a dumb way.

His final reply was:

"Wow, I had you guys all wrong.I actually don’t know what to say, so i guess i’ll start with “thank you”.You’ve really shown alot of backbone and i am very impressed."

Now, he really was a complete clock (remove the el). I was partly hoping that he was not a complete low life and would tell his friends about the site. But there was not noticeable increase in traffic afterwards, so likely he has no friends. I had more time on my hands then. Now I would have just deleted the first post.

#15 SEOigloo

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 05:04 PM

They really have every right to say how they feel.


Kim, I agree they have the right, but I'm not sure I can agree that they should exercise that right. After all, all of us have the right to tell people, "Your house is ugly, your dog is smelly, your religion is nonsense," but etiquette dictates that we don't needlessly cause offense.

Just as doctors are obliged to do no harm and gentlemen of the old school were supposed to cause no pain, should there not be some standard of polite interaction in the burgeoning world of online communications?

I feel very strongly that whether you say a person is dumb or call what they are saying dumb, you are knowingly using rude language and should be able to admit that you're doing so. Calling this refreshing honesty doesn't improve learning, in my opinion. It's rude to use the word 'dumb'...that's what I'm saying, unless it's a joke between friends or loved ones. I can't imagine feeling good inside using a word like that to someone else's face, whether in writing or speech.

Can you see what I'm saying? Or has 'dumb' lost this connotation of ill-mannered speech?

#16 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 06:16 PM

The problem is that none of us gets to decide what is "ill-mannered" for others. We all have to agree on what is ill-mannered and anything that falls outside the circle of agreement no matter how offensive to some is not really ill-mannered.

Just because one is personally offended by what another person says or does does not mean that the other person is being rude.

American soldiers who had to fly over Somalis in helicopters often saw the Somalis take their shoes off and hold them up in the air, facing the Americans. That's a sign of total disrespect in that culture. Why did they do that?

One soldier, speaking in a documentary about the Battle of Mogadishu, speculated that because the soldiers were required to sit with their feet hanging over the side of the helicopters (braced on thin metal supports) the Somalis felt insulted. The Americans were showing the soles of their boots to the people they had supposedly come to help.

There are so many examples from everyday life that are much less extreme than that. Americans often get angry at people who don't speak very good English and yelling may erupt if the foreign-born citizen doesn't understand what was just said. I've come across many such anecdotes on people's personal blogs where they complained about how rude the customers were to hard-working vendors across our country.

Of course, the "rude" people thought the foreign-born vendors were being rude -- by mistake. In many Asian cultures, for example, you don't look into another person's eyes. That's a very intimate action and it's considered disrespectful, so many Asian Americans by cultural upbringing don't look into their customers' eyes.

If you feel an idea is dumb, you should be free to say so in an open discussion without having to worry about who is going to attack you for being "rude".

Equally so, if you want to share an idea, you should be free to do so without fear of being attacked for sharing an idea someone else disagrees with.

But to require that people disagree in a specific way only so as to preserve your own feelings is as rude to those people (like me) who seem so rude to you.

There are almost always two ways of looking at any situation where one person feels offense at something that was never intended to offend.

Perception is only half of reality. Intent makes up the other half.

We have to find ways to reconcile ourselves to the necessity of mutually understanding each other because no one is in a moral position to set moral standards anyone else.

#17 SEOigloo

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 06:54 PM

We have to find ways to reconcile ourselves to the necessity of mutually understanding each other because no one is in a moral position to set moral standards anyone else.


Respectfully have to disagree with you Michael. The Geneva Conventions come to mind.

The complexity of society is the reason I'd advocate doing all one can not to cause pain. When, by dint of living on a crowded planet, one has to get along with others, our right to be freewheeling and say or do anything we want doesn't result in social harmony. But, of course, you have to have the goal of social harmony in mind to make a statement like that. Some people seem dedicated to chaos.

#18 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 07:46 PM

The Geneva Conventions have been agreed to by the signatory nations. They were not imposed on any nations.

One cannot hold the other person responsible for the offense you feel if it was not their intention to offend you. The demand to not be offensive is as offensive to some people as anything else.

No two people are alike and that is why we must all compromise on what is socially acceptable. There really is no moral high ground when it comes to determining what is offensive, except in that as members of a representative society we MUST speak out if we disagree with the decisions that our representatives make on our behalf. Otherwise, silence is approval.

In my opinion, on the Internet, it is better to remind oneself that we cannot see what is going on with the other person (who may literally have a baby in their hands as they type a "rude" message) than to assume the other person is "ill mannered".

#19 SEOigloo

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:21 PM

Hi Michael,
As fun as it is to tilt with you over this subject, I see a similar flaw in both of our opinions. Do you?

I am insisting that I can hold people to standards.

You are insisting that I can't.

Both of us are trying to say what people should do (me talking about the general populace and you talking about me).

Clearly we both have strongly held views on this, but both of them hinge on people behaving in some way we have dictated.

Neither of us will win at that.

Cheers!
Miriam

#20 cre8pc

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 04:00 PM

Kim, I agree they have the right, but I'm not sure I can agree that they should exercise that right. After all, all of us have the right to tell people, "Your house is ugly, your dog is smelly, your religion is nonsense," but etiquette dictates that we don't needlessly cause offense.


They may not know better. And, there are cultural differences that are easy to overlook. If someone comes to our forums who has no respect for women, for example, we would expect them to be considerate of our female members but they may not be able to out of their beliefs and customs.

I am insisting that I can hold people to standards. (Miriam)

You are insisting that I can't. (Michael)


I don't expect anyone to meet my own standards because for starters, I would be disappointed :)
But that aside, my standards are different than others, so whose standards are the best to adhere too?
When we see someone saying something we would never say, we can't shoot them. We can block them, or not leave comments or otherwise ignore them - or, stand up and say, "Hey, I would like to listen to what you have to say but your choice of negative words spoils the discussion." They will scorn you for saying so, of course, but you have represented your own integrity all the same.

Michael wrote:

The demand to not be offensive is as offensive to some people as anything else.


Yes. Take for example Rae Hoffman. She is famous in the industry for her use of swear words in Twitter and her blog at times. She projects a certain image that many people find distasteful. Anyone who suggests to her that she has a bad mouth is shot down by her. It disgusts her. She has quite a following, regardless of how she expresses herself. It's interesting to me because she's incredibly smart and good at the work she does. And yet many people can not get past her rude and crude language. Is she wrong? Does she not meet certain standards? Yes. And she would say so what? Who says she has to meet anything other than own set of personal standards? If we can't handle her behavior, she could care less.

I agree with much of what Michael wrote and yet have seen him in action. It's not always pleasant. His character is such that when he spots a "wrong", in his opinion, he set sout to correct it. It gets him into trouble if he goes against any sort of popular belief. Is he wrong to speak up? No. Is he wrong when his words are critical, cut throat, and he comes across as unbending? No. However, if he makes it personal, then its understandable that the persons involved will be hurt.

When I was under attack all last year by Bill's girlfriend, I learned there was no such as thing as communicating with her. She was the type who, once she hates someone, there is no wiggle room. In her case, she is mentally ill, but in my opinion that was no excuse to personally attack me and others in the SEO industry. Being sick is a poor excuse for bad behavior.

There are many people on the Internet who are unstable, high, or drunk. There are also commentators who know how to rally up emotions and get people upset. They thrive on it. I'd like to say the way to handle these situations is to ignore it but that advice clearly doesn't work in a world of live news, reality TV and Twitter.

#21 AbleReach

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 05:41 PM

There are many people on the Internet who are unstable, high, or drunk.

And there are productive professionals who do very well with Digg partially because it fits their ADHD. Takes all kinds.

There are also commentators who know how to rally up emotions and get people upset. They thrive on it. I'd like to say the way to handle these situations is to ignore it but that advice clearly doesn't work in a world of live news, reality TV and Twitter.

Kim, you write as if you wish you could work with other people's way of expressing themselves, as you'd be able to work with a family of friends with ongoing ties. That'd give me a headache! Ten years ago maybe you could operate like that. There were fewer of us online; you could go from usenet to a bbs and sort of sense who was the same person behind an alternative screen name. Now it's way too big, too mainstream.

People are going to do what people are going to do. Some will never understand. Some simply have other priorities, or wildly different communication styles, or may be in a mean mood, or are taking some tiny detail about what's going on way too personally, or they may just be there to pimp their thought of the moment.

The Internet is like... LOL... if you could get an off-the-cuff reaction to something (anything) from everyone at a shopping mall at any given time, from the ritzy department store end to the cheesy novelty store, you'd get statements from some who have wildly different politics and are not predisposed to doing better than calling each other idiots. Maybe one person (some kid?) says another looks old and fat in those (maternity) jeans, or another accuses someone of trying to make them feel dumb because they're using $3 words. People expect, more or less, not to break the law (as in penal code) - and that's it, that's the lowest common denominator: everything else is up to the individual.

There's a slice of Internet that becomes community, and that slice will depend on what the person gathers around them. Here @ Cre8 we have a rep for being "nice" to noobs - that's one of the values of this community we've made. And that we care about them comes into play, too. Other places don't do that as much, or they're just different - they may even enjoy a little trash talking.

I think that the part we have responsibility for is living up to our own expectations of ourselves, and accepting that trashing the sensibilities of a niche or forum or user group can get you ignored, booted or banned. Likewise, if one of us has a blog where spirited conversation should not bubble over into scathing, we have a responsibility to take on the pain and tlc needed to help it be so.


Wow! Look at the time!
As Blaise Pascal said, and later Mark Twain, if I had more time this would be shorter. ;-)

Edited by AbleReach, 29 October 2009 - 05:42 PM.


#22 Wit

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 06:16 PM

... Here @ Cre8 we have a rep for being "nice" to noobs ...


Yeah, I make up for that elsewhere :spambuster:

Umm anyway...... I feel like referring to that book again - the Celestine Prophecy. Rudeness - in some cases - is a way for people to dominate. For some people it's even the only way to dominate. And let's face it: dominance often feels good. And dominance over the internet is pretty safe, because the other person is usually far away. Safe bet.

My conclusion: people tend to act like a **** on the web because it's the easiest way for them to feel good about themselves.

#23 RisaBB

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 06:24 PM

I wonder if some people have different personas offline with real people than online. It's a small world and you never who you'll find yourself face to face with one day.

#24 jonbey

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 06:58 PM

I am actually the queen of sheeba, I just pretend to be an Essex boy.

#25 AbleReach

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 07:04 PM

I wonder if some people have different personas offline with real people than online. It's a small world and you never who you'll find yourself face to face with one day.

Context is an interesting thing. I've had about three meetings in public places that included someone blurting out "I didn't recognize you with clothes on!"

It's not what you think. Really! They were people who had seen me around a lot, but only in the context of what I wore during work hours. They'd only seen me in baker's whites, or maybe very rarely with those black & white checked chef pants under my whites. They re-phrased it to "I didn't recognize you in color."

#26 jonbey

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 07:30 PM

The same thing was said to a female friend of mine by a guy. He said to her, in a slightly crowded place, "you look different with your clothes on!"

What the rest of the room failed to realize at first was that they used to be in the same swimming club. A few red faces.

#27 send2paul

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 01:17 PM

Jon - "I am actually the queen of sheeba, I just pretend to be an Essex boy." - I know Jon - I check the local papers ;)

"How To Handle Totally Rude People" - y'all should come and manage a retail store in North London sometime - and you'll get the full range of "rude people" - face-to-face. I did this many years ago.

Tactfully, (using "Customer Service Skills" - ha! :P), it is possible to turn around a negative situation brought upon by a rude person who comes in F'ing all over the place, shouting and waving their arms about etc threatening all kinds of acts of revenge etc - if you don't get their furniture/give them a refund etc etc.

However, some people just need to be frog-marched out of the shop and banned!

It, as I think was said earlier somewhere, "depends" on the situation, and the medium where the "rude person" is being rude. And as Jon said earlier, some people are just complete clocks, (remove the "l") - and need to be dealt with in that fashion.

#28 james121

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 03:41 AM

Dealing with rude people is not easy. Your knee-jerk reaction may be to dish the behavior right back, but that is often not appropriate in the office or at family gatherings.

And you do not want to escalate the situation. At the same time, you do not want someone to be allowed to offend others, especially women and children.

While rude people are challenging, you must remember this rule of thumb when dealing with them: you can only control your reactions to their behavior. The less you let them get under your skin, the better off you will be.

#29 glyn

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 05:33 AM

If it's rudeness on the web, ignore them.

#30 Walter

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 02:04 PM

Hi Seoigloo,

What an interesting topic....thanks for starting the thread. Since I don't believe that zero control over the comments posted on a blog or a forum is a workable solution it becomes an issue of degree. To what degree...and to what types of standards you hold comments... is both your choice and responsibility. What type of community do you want to build? Are there certain behaviors that you want/need to exclude or discourage? In the end, the results of your choices in this matter reflect on you. What do you want your site to say about you? What statement do you want it to make about your values?

A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of being the arbitrator of right and wrong and of excluding certain manners of expressing ideas. However, on your site at least, you are the only one that can do so. I would have to ask myself, as the webmaster of a site, if I didn't have a resposibility to my other guests to use that authority in a manner that preserves the orderly and productive exchange of ideas. You may be hesitant to stifle the expresion of a rude commentator, but if you don't, how many other commentators do you prevent from expressing their thoughts? Do other guests refrain from commenting out of concern that their comments will also draw that type of response? If we assume that their is both good and bad in everyone....which part of your guests do you want to encourage? Can you send a rude comment back to a commentator and ask them to rephrase? I doubt many will.....sometimes for some people rudeness is an end unto itself. If they take the time to rephrase in a more approriate manner, (yes, a manner judged by you to be appropriate....because in the end the comments you allow to appear reflect on you), then maybe you've got someone that is really interested in contributing in a meaningful way.

Would you let an drunk and obnoxious guest spoil a party for all your other guests at you home if you could prevent it? If you could quietly shuffle him out the back door into a cab without causing him embarassment would you do so....would you have a resposibility as a good hostess to do so for the benefit of your other guests? Maybe you would allow him/her to stay and run riot if it was a frat party....but is that what you want your site to resemble?

Its not just a matter of setting the tone....sometimes its a matter of enforcing it..for the benefit of both you and your guests.


Walter



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