General Etiquette > Life...in general

Why do we do it?

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gen xer:
 I guess it's how I interpret their motive....for example shoe lady was breathtakingly rude and deserved a slapping down.  The OP in that thread was beyond gracious....more than she needed to be.

People asking about kids....it is rude but in a different degree.  Tactless, nosy....but not likely intending to be so.  It's a little tougher because some people don't mind those kinds of questions but others find them intrusive.  Of course that doesn't mean you are obliged to answer personal questions but it would make me much less inclined towards bluntness.

Relentless probing is yet again different because it really is a peeve when people don't take the hint.  In that case I think a little bluntness is OK.  After all if they are that obtuse they should be able to handle a bit of "frank talk".

TootsNYC:
Etiquette absolutely allows for people to communicate to others that they are being rude/intrusive/out of line.

The "niceness" conditioning that most women go through doesn't, however. (Men get some of that as well, but not nearly as thoroughly as women still do.)

It's also true that the "pushback" is uncomfortable for the non-involved to witness. (it's why the Cut Direct is such a serious thing--it's really hard on onlookers, so you need to be sure you're being just). And therefore people are often taught to not "make a scene," or they decide that they don't want to do that.

But it can absolutely be a tactical decision.

Many times the intruded-upon simply don't want the unpleasantness around them. If they push back, the unpleasantness lasts longer and gets stronger. So they deflect. It's what's easiest and most pleasant for them (and that's OK, as much as I sort of wish weeblewobble had been frosty).

There's also the factor that someone who is so "over the line" as that will simply STAY over the line, and you'll just be "engaging the crazy." You'll prolong the interaction and increase that person's impact on your life. If you deflect and avoid (think: Teflon), it all ends faster and with lesser power.

Raintree:
I ran into a person who had financially exploited an elderly family member of mine and stolen from his house (there is absolutely no doubt about this; it's fact, although the police said they couldn't do anything because he was a "willing victim.") She approached me acting friendly, and I gave her the cut direct. She tried harder to get me to speak, so speak I did....and I tore a strip off her. She then said, "You are being very rude to me!" Um, yeah. I had tried to ignore her and she pursued. I really think there are some situations where the person doesn't deserve to be treated politely.

MrTango:
I don't care at all about the feelings of someone who is rude to me.  What I do care about is to ensure that my own actions are held up to my personal standards of behavior.  That's why I make an effort to be polite to people: not for their sake, but for my own.

mspallaton:

--- Quote from: MrTango on September 19, 2013, 02:49:03 PM ---I don't care at all about the feelings of someone who is rude to me.  What I do care about is to ensure that my own actions are held up to my personal standards of behavior.  That's why I make an effort to be polite to people: not for their sake, but for my own.

--- End quote ---

Yet again I find myself wholeheartedly agreeing with MrTango!

I think, as other posters have pointed out, that it may not be an etiquette violation, per say, to speak bluntly to someone else.  However, do you go home at the end of the day proud of how you conducted yourself?  If the answer is yes - more power to you.  For others, a blunt or sharp response may feel like a loss of control or a deviation from how they wish to carry themselves.

Myself - I tend to speak bluntly when the occasion calls for it.  My parents placed an emphasis on not being passive-aggressive and that means there are times when the air gets *ahem* cleared... a bit more often. 

I think both methods and commendable when done properly.  I have to be careful not to stray into rude territory.  Someone who tends to the other side has to avoid becoming a martyr for politeness.  It is all about balance.

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