• May 22, 2018, 04:50:32 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: When is it rude not to say anything?  (Read 2628 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Member
  • Posts: 288
When is it rude not to say anything?
« on: March 23, 2013, 08:19:57 AM »
I've been pondering this all evening yesterday:

There are many situations in social life when it's nice to say something, as in ask about another person's life etc.
So not doing that can come across as, well, not particularly nice.
But are there situations when it's actually rude not to say anything?

As an example:
A co-worker of mine came in late yesterday because of a dentist appointment. She had mentioned a while ago that she's so sick of having to go there, she doesn't even want to talk about it anymore. So, when she came in yesterday and looked a bit down, I just gave her a sympathetic smile. However, another co-worker of ours asked how the appointment went and she actually told her a little about it.

So my question is:
Could my behavior in that situation be considered inconsiderate/rude/impolite, or is it just a case of "it would have been nice to ask"?

And, to your knowledge, are there situations when one must needs engage in conversation so as not to be rude (I don't mean when one's being addressed directly - that's kind of a given)?


  • Member
  • Posts: 3149
Re: When is it rude not to say anything?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 09:18:33 AM »
I recall several posts here and elsewhere in which someone was assumed to be uncaring for not engaging in conversation. But it's not "all about" the other party ... you may have good and sufficient reasons of your own to avoid discussion of certain topics, or avoid conversation entirely.

Unfortunately, in such a case, it's impossible to predict what the other party may assume you mean by your silence. Guess you just have to take your chances, and if you're blasted for your decision, maybe you have to re-evaluate your opinion of that person.
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

gramma dishes

  • Member
  • Posts: 7752
Re: When is it rude not to say anything?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 09:42:29 AM »
Isn't it interesting that as we wade through life we always have to be second guessing everything we do?  It seems sometimes that we're damned if we do, and damned if we don't!

You coworker had said to you that she didn't want to talk about it anymore.  You did give her a sympathetic look, which in itself is a statement even though 'unspoken'.

I think you were fine.  If she wants to discuss her dental procedures with you in the future, she'll bring it up herself.  I wouldn't give this a second thought.


  • Member
  • Posts: 752
Re: When is it rude not to say anything?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 01:10:38 PM »
I sometimes use a more general "I hope your morning went well" statement, or something similar.  That way the other person can take it in whatever way they want.