Today’s Solutions: December 08, 2023

No one likes to experience rudeness, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is both insidious and a wholly negative experience. Surprisingly, though, a study into the experience of rudeness within a mental health context found that it can also be viewed positively, or at least, used in a positive way.

Here are five ways to use rudeness to your advantage.

Professional development

Mental health workers indicated that they thought the experience of dealing with rudeness helped them gain insights into why people behave rudely and allowed them to learn techniques to defuse this behavior. This helps to increase confidence in everyday life and also in a professional setting when working with a wide range of clients.

Enhancing resilience

Learning the skills required to deal with rudeness was found to increase emotional resilience. The key lies in seeing rudeness as a challenge to overcome, rather than a full-on nuisance.

Building relationships

Although many relationships begin with politeness, that decreases over time as exchanges become more informal and rapport grows. Later on, communication can include insults, name-calling, and teasing—all designed to signal confidence in the relationship and an increasing level of trust.

Forming groups

Although impoliteness and little insults can be unpleasant, research shows this type of social swearing —sometimes referred to as “banter” — can function as a stress reliever and can bring groups closer.

In a work setting, this could even improve worker motivation and morale. Although, it is important that these expressions of banter are appropriate and both sides are comfortable with the context.


In some of the examples above, the use of rudeness is acceptable, because it is deemed humorous and can help in relationship development. The important point is that this is mock rudeness to relieve some of the offense that could have been taken in its place.

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