Am I unreasonable?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Am I unreasonable?
140
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 3:51am
So this kind of scenario happens often where I live. I will be out somewhere in public and some random stranger, nearly always male, will say hello or otherwise attempt to engage me in conversation. I will respond minimally, if at all, and nine times out of ten the person who spoke to me berates me for being rude.

I think they are the one who was being rude by trying to engage me in conversation when it was completely uninvited and unprovoked. I think it's rude to do so with the expectation of full reciprocation. I think if you are going to randomly try to chat up strangers you should be able to accept that they may not always WANT to talk to you, and may not appreciate feeling forced to. I am not an outgoing person. I especially do not feel comfortable around men having been a victim of rape and sexual assault several times. It takes a lot for me to trust people, and being addressed by a stranger feels like an invasion of my personal space and is frankly kind of scary. I once had a guy follow me off a bus and for several blocks, yelling at me for not responding to him. (I had headphones on, but I didn't want to talk to him anyway.)

One might say, well how hard is it to just say hi back? Well, sometimes when you do they take it as an invitation to engage you further, and I have no desire to encourage that. To turn it around, how hard is it to leave someone alone if they obviously don't want to talk to you? It really makes me not want to ever leave the house.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 8:45pm

Sorry to do two replies to one post.

I didn't know that is bad form. Personally, I find it easier when posts address one point each. I would rather have several smaller reply posts than one long reply post.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 8:42pm

I have been encouraged to, but haven't gotten there yet: too much time on iV, I suspect. :smileyhappy: I understand that one of the characters has difficulty reading social cues.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 8:40pm

I think your example did a good job of how "rude" can be used without insult. So, as I said I will try to be aware on iV of times when people use the word rude to mean "not behaving in the customary manner".

But IRL, the word is just to loaded, too linked to a character attack, too linked to similar words like impolite, uncivilized, boorish, ignorant, unrefined and a whole slew of other very derogatory words for me to use.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 6:32pm

>>And yes, I do believe, even after explanation, people still kept probing Age. It was unwarranted. It was pretty much the same complaint you had about the BF-ing board .... that was you, right?<<

I've already conceded to Nis that the discussion went too far and was reminiscent of my experiences on the BF board.   It was good of her to point it out and I responded to her.     Are you wanting me to concede again?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 6:07pm

Sorry to do two replies to one post.

>>>> I do not think it is possible to tell someone they are rude without insult. <<

I think the difference is in saying "that behaviour is rude" as opposed to "you are rude".    I work with kids and they do need to be corrected.  It's acceptable for me to say that their "behaviour is rude", but it's unacceptable for me to say "you are rude"

I mentioned that I have a number of traits of someone who's on the spectrum.   And learning social etiquitte is an ongoing task - especially in my early 20's.  A couple of times back then, my husband pulled me up and told me that it's rude to say what I just said.  Again, because he's telling me that my behaviour is rude, it's not an insult.   He's actually being very helpful.

Likewise when working with school staff and my son.  I remember being told that he was being very rude to his aide.  Again, not an insult.  Just a statement of fact....and something we needed to address.

*edited for clarity

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 5:48pm

>>I would never say that autism causes rudeness<<

I'm not arguing with any of what you wrote.   I think we understand each other well now.

I just wanted to clarify for the sake of being clear...I would say that autism causes my son's rudeness.   But I know another boy who's Aspie and he has beautiful manners in public.   He's just a delight.    I just don't want to be misunderstood as suggesting that all people on the spectrum are rude.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 5:43pm

>>How are you? I think it is unusual that you care as we've never met before<<

hahaha very good.     Do you watch Big Bang Theory?   DD thinks that Sheldon said this.    At least, it sounds like something he's say.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 5:38pm

>>Similarly, I do not think it is possible to tell someone they are rude without insult. I could probably go as far as to say that calling someone rude is the only thing that I consistently think is rude.<<

Edited because I'm repeating myself.

Was citing the story about my son's special ed friends and how I think they managed to discuss my son's rudeness without offence.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 11:34am
Lol! I think I'd crack up if someone answered the latter. Where I live, frequently, ”how ya doin? Is answered ”what''s up?” Or ”good, you?” Or simply,”Hi””. I guess it's more about personal comfort preference within a local culture.

There's been alot said about not knowing what a person is going through, but that works both ways. For all wd know the person striking up a conversation has just left home after mourning the loss of someone dear and is trying to connect to others.

The lesson from this is that we should each be as considerate as we can of others within our own safety and comfort zone
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 10:42am
jamblessedthree wrote:

 Edited, Nevermind.

OK

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