Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Loud Rudeness Alert!


What was happening, in short :-p
Courtesy: Google Images

I was standing in line at the counter of this apparel store on a Saturday afternoon, which is the busiest time of the day. There was this woman in front of me, who had about 3-4 shirts in her hand and who, to kill time, was playing candy crush ( God save me!) on her phone. I sighed in relief as her turn came, and while she fished her customer card out of her purse, I did some last-minute debating on whether I should go for the black top or the brown.

My reverie was disrupted, rather shrilly, by “ What do you mean? How dare you? This is no way to behave!” The lady in front of me was yelling at the guy at the counter, who was looking at her, rather befuddled.

She switched to Hindi, and repeated the same lines, ending with “ Aap aisa kaise kar sakte ho?”

By this time, a small crowd had gathered. Nobody, I repeat, nobody knew what had actually happened between the lady and the cashier.There were rumours that he had spoken to her rather rudely. Some people went so far so as to suggest that he had sexually harassed her. I looked at the cashier. His expression had gone from befuddled to calm to outright defiant.

“ Kya?!” he asked her, his voice laced with indolence.

Now it was her turn to look befuddled. “ Kya” she asked him back , but by now, her voice had begin to sound slightly shaky. She certainly didn’t expect him to retaliate. Nevertheless, she continued,” This never happens to us. We come here all the....”

“ Madam, we need ID proof”, the cashier cut through.

“Oh!” the woman said, suddenly realising that she did have proof, and handing over the ID proof, trying desperately not to look sheepish. The crowd ,  by this time, sauntered away. Turns out that the cashier had refused to accept tjhe store card because he needed to see an identity proof. But before he could say that, she had started being rude and yelling

Now, was it really needed for her to raise her voice at that time? Couldn’t it have been resolved via normal talking? In all possibility, yes. The store guy was doing his duty .
But this is what we do, isn’t it? Yell and raise our voices, where all we should be doing is simply talking.


I can't talk, but, you can!
Courtesy:Google Images

Some places, it is really necessary for us to raise our voices and for some causes. But just because we have loud voices, and sometimes, have the upper hand, doesnt mean we need to shout at people. Maybe the main reason we shout at people is because we – well, we basically don’t like to be questioned. Or that we don’t like to be wrong, and sometimes, it just hurts our ego. I think that the reason for this behaviour is mostly defensive.
Defense mechanisms are found in animals , for example, a chameleon changes its colour and a skunk emits odour, because they probably cannot communicate. We humans, despite having the means and the brains to communicate, choose to yell. Ironic, isn’t it?


Stephanie Tanner said it for us all!
Courtesy: Google Images

Somehow we often confuse assertiveness with rudeness. It is somehow quite possible to be assertive without being either rude or loud. To be assertive is to be self assured and confident, without bordering on aggressiveness. The minute one becomes rude, their aggression level increases, and they no longer remain assertive. They became plain rude.
Some people say that the reason they are “ assertive” ( read: aggressive) is because the opposite person is rude. To them, I would like to repeat what my mom used to ask me in second grade , and what I am sure a lot of people’s mom must’ve told them – “ If somebody jumps into the well, will you do the same?” To be consciously rude to prove a point is to be extremely childish, and if you, as an adult, chose to descend to a child’s mental level ( and I don’t mean that as a compliment), upto you.

Aah, Rumi - the word magician!
Courtesy: Google Images

The worse part is when the shouters term the non shouters “ sissies”. To them, again I would like to say – Mahatma Gandhi wasnt a sissy. Martin Luther King wasn’t a sissy. Mother Teresa wasn’t a sissy.Bringing them back to a world they might be more familiar with, Severus Snape wasnt a sissy.Just because the other person doesn’t shout doesn’t mean he can’t.

There are some places where it is essential to raise your voice, or be rude, even. For example, domestic violence. I am not saying seal your lips with tape while you are being abused. To that, I say, yell back. But if the bhaaji waala refuses to decrease the price of 1 kg tomatoes by Rs 5, there is no need for you to shout your head off.
It all boils to choice. I am not saying one is right, or one is wrong, but to be judgemental about somebody and expect that somebody to shout with you just because you do, is simply wrong. As J.K Rowling, one of my favourite authors said, “ It’s our choices, more than our abilities, who make us who we are”



1 comment:

  1. "If someone jumps into the well, would you do the same?" :) it answers all the reasoning on this topic... Behave like an adult.. shouting does not make you right..

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