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?

4 thoughts on “The Rudeness of Some People”

  1. Hi Maya…I just stumbled on your articles on the web…the more I read the more I became interested…in what you write about…the flavour of your English draws me in…and the way you say things makes me want to know stuff…like were you born speaking English…( it’s definitely not Singaporean or Malaysian English)…
    …I’m just making this comment as I have made plans to visit Hat Yao and Songkhla in 2 weeks time…I’m glad you gave me insights of what I should expect…
    …I’m an ex sabahan from North Borneo…now in kangarooland…and I can usually pick the origin of people when they use the English language…( some are horrible 😁)..yours is so so pleasing…
    ….you keep writing…I will keep reading…..

    • Dear Mohammed – Your comment truly came as a pleasant surprise like a monarch butterfly landing ever so gently on a leaf. I am both pleased and a little shy that you found my writing interesting. I do feel I was born speaking English because I’ve always thought in English and always write in English. My Cantonese is passable; but I certainly am not great on all aspects of Cantonese. Thank you for making my day and giving me more motivation to continue blogging. You have certainly piqued my interest – why ex-Sabahan turned Aussie?

  2. Hi Krista, I fully agree to what you penned here. Similar experience just hit me recently and I’m glad I read your article today, I’m also not giving that bitchy prima donna a face. While I am a wee bit in luck, that I have not been into any form of biz relationship with that bitchy woman, I must say she is the exact same person u described….the air in her words used for text messages and spoken spelled “You are a failure if you do not kowtow to me” demanding respect from me when she do not even earn any. To a person like this, I am at par with you that I will not give her a chance for any forms of light in business be it referral or others. A person who likes to show off and boast about however many projects she handled when she is not even directly involved in it, whining about how sick she was from attending it while I have also done similar if not bigger and I am still standing.

    Your article reminded me that I am doing the right thing to not let this bitchy woman degrade me and bring my spirits up again for many others who are far more deserving, and for this I thank you for your article.

    To answer your questions, these women are not only insecure, they have bad ethics and they don’t respect the world they are in….they think by competing, sabotaging and belittling is the only weapon to win above all in the business world while people like you and me believe in collaborating and helping each other grow.

    By showing off acting like a queen even when they are also new and a nobody does warrant them one thing…the failure they will want to see in others. Just as I have been taught in my upbringing, never belittle others and God will bless you and reward you abundantly, this is my virtue and my stronghold that I believe in.

    PS: I have since blocked her frm my contact list.

    • Steph, I am glad I am not alone in talking about bitchy women. Being kind and gracious is rare and that is what I try my best to be (even on days when I feel like slapping someone LOL but I almost always cool down when I blog about my experience! So in many ways my blog is my sanctuary, my space and I have written about a lot of stuff in my life which I am upset about and then immediately I feel better.) But you know, what I didn’t mention in the article above is that I know this meanie woman at the conference – not very well, thank God – and to hear how she behaved from a trusted friend – wow that just blows my mind. Thank you for leaving your thoughts and comments. It delights me that readers find that shared experiences make us less lonely in our angst 😉 And yes, if we can declutter our wardrobes, we can also declutter and remove useless, toxic “friends”. I have removed and blocked quite a few people too and I instantly feel uplifted!


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