Learning how to deal with rude family members in a proper fashion is important if you want to avoid family conflicts and issues.
Let’s be real here, there are rude people everywhere.
If you interact with people on a regular basis, I’m sure you deal with everything from the odd rude comment, to people behaving in inappropriate ways and being offensive.
There is a huge difference, however, between a barista being rude when serving you a coffee because they’re having a stressful day and a family member being rude to you.
Whether we like it or not, we’re related to our family members.
We care about them, we see them more often, and deep down we want strong relationships – even if it’s just for the good of the whole family dynamic.
Plus, it’s harder to avoid family members. You’re probably going to keep seeing this person, so it makes sense to work on how you interact with them to minimize or put a stop to their rude behavior.
If you’ve had enough and you’re ready to put a stop to a family members’ rude behavior, here are some of the steps you should follow:
6 Ways How To Deal With Rude Family Members
Don’t Take Their Rudeness Personally
It’s hard not to take rudeness personally, especially when it’s from a family member. But it’s important to remember that it’s really not about you or anything you’ve done – it’s their problem.
If they’re rude to a lot of other family members or are known for their rude behavior, these are extra indicators that you know it’s not you.
This doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to deal with when it’s happening. But it helps you let go of the negative feelings and any guilt you may have felt.
Respond to Rudeness With Kindness
For most people, the natural reaction to someone being rude to them is to be defensive or aggressive back to assert themself in the situation.
Yet, the best thing you can do in response to a family member being rude to you is to be kind back to them, and even empathetic towards them.
This isn’t to annoy them – although it almost certainly will – it’s to set a better example, to not get dragged into an escalating situation, and to not say something you’ll regret.
Learn What Triggers Their Rudeness
No one is rude all of the time, right? I certainly hope that you’re not dealing with someone that is.
There will be something that triggers their rudeness. It might be a topic of conversation, behavior, or anything else that causes them to react in this way.
Whatever it is, you want to try and identify it so you can avoid those ‘triggers’ in the future and avoid dealing with their rude behavior altogether.
No one wants to walk around on eggshells, I get that. But you also don’t want to deal with rude confrontations all the time, right?
Don’t Make It Your Responsibility To Change Them
This is a tough one – especially for people like me who love to help the people we care about – but don’t try to fix this person.
Unfortunately, rudeness is an affliction that is incredibly hard to change. I wish it was as simple as pointing out to someone they’re being rude, but it’s not.
To change the family member’s rude behavior, you’d have to get to the root cause and help them address it.
It’s not something you can easily do, even if they’re willing to accept help. You’re better off avoiding confrontations and waiting for them to want to change.
Related – A list of clean comebacks for bullies!
Confront Them About Their Rudeness…When the Time Is Right
You absolutely should confront this person about how they speak/treat you (and others), but only when the time is right.
The wrong time to confront them is when they’re being rude or emotions are running high. That’s just going to end up in an explosive situation – and family feuds can be particularly painful.
Pick a time so that they are not blind-sided or feel trapped, otherwise, they’re likely to go on the defensive.
Just let them know exactly how they make you feel when they’re being rude, and that you’re not going to put up with it.
It’s important to keep calm and not let the conversation escalate into an argument. I can’t tell you how this family member will react or if they’ll change, but it will certainly make them think about how they talk to you in the future.
Avoid Them if You Have To – But Don’t Hold a Grudge
Unfortunately, some people are either inherently rude or are simply unable or unwilling to change their rude behavior.
As I said earlier, it’s not your job to try and ‘fix’ this person; although you may well stop them being rude to you from following the above steps.
It’s OK to avoid them if you think they’re going to be rude. This makes it very clear how you feel about them, and if this doesn’t prompt them to change – maybe nothing will.
I have to point out that it’s also important that you do not hold a grudge or harbor any bad feelings towards this person.
Holding a grudge is like having something eating away at you. It means you are holding on to negative emotions, and your body will internalize stress as a result.
Find a way to free yourself of any rude interactions you’ve had with this family member. If they’re not willing to be polite and rational, your time and emotions are better spent interacting with positive people.
Related – Does your partner not invite you to family events? Here are the reasons why.
It’s never pleasant dealing with a rude person – and it’s even worse when it’s a family member.
It’s important that you don’t allow this person’s behavior to agitate you, ruin your day, or cause you to feel negative emotions towards them.
Easier said than done most of the time, I know!
Hopefully, the steps above help you better navigate the person and any future situations they put you in so you’re no longer on the receiving end of their rude attitude.
Image credits – Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.