The Rudeness of Some People

Why do people have to be rude? Do they get some secret thrill in being obnoxious and mean to others?

I was thinking about this over breakfast because a friend working at this week’s WCIT 2022 (the World Congress on Innovation and Technology) that’s happening in my part of the world texted me in a huff today.

She is in events and speaker support and part of her role include keeping panellists and speakers taken care of. One particular speaker, a Malaysian woman no less, was utterly rude and “bitchy-faced” to her.

I know this friend and she has been in the events management space for 18 years and has handled all kinds of people from dignitaries to celebrities in all sizes of conferences. She is no newbie to the job.

And that’s why I felt sorry for my friend. It’s the first day of the three-day conference and I’d be upset too if I got such a meanie in my face early in the morning.

What is it in people who can act all uppity and mean and think it’s OK? Are these people lacking a kindness gene or a be-nice gene? What kick do they get out of acting like a prima donna and having their bad reputation get all over the place? Is it a fun thing to do early in the morning?

I had my fair share of meanies too. Once I was recommended by a university friend to contact her long-time friend, A. My friend said A would be perfect for my podcast. I decided to call A after texting her and we agreed to speak.

On the phone, A sounded OK except that she started acting bitchy about 5 minutes into the call. She said she was already widely featured in the media and in no uncertain terms seemed to say, “So how big is your podcast again?”

I told her my podcast wasn’t big – I had just begun in 2020 and I was looking for exciting women in business to spotlight.

She scoffed in my face.

Yes, this Malaysian woman who thought so highly of herself was utterly rude. When she realized she was rude, she tried to backpedal but I said, it’s OK, we don’t have to do anything together.

When I got off the call, I asked myself, what is it with some women who won’t help other women? I was trying to explain to her about my podcast and its purpose but she didn’t think it was big enough for her.

I never give rude people second chances. I swore to myself that I will NEVER invite her to be on my podcast. I have interviewed many women in business and many are just regular women who have no airs. They’re down-to-earth, humble and happy to share their stories. Even the ones who have been interviewed a gazillion times by other media.

But I take the rejection as a lesson for me to be smarter in choosing who I wish to interview and spotlight. Why should I give the spotlight to someone who doesn’t deserve it? Someone who thinks she is better than all of us?

I reminded myself that for that one bitchy woman who derided my request that there are hundreds of other women who will be supportive and even grateful.

Why do some women have to be bitchy to one another when we know how tough it is to do what we each do?

Why do some women compete when they can collaborate?

Why do some women feel compelled to show off and act like the queen when it’s not warranted?

Are these women insecure?

So if you’ve had experiences like mine, I need to know, how do you handle rude people?

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