What do I do if someone is rude to me on Thorn Tree?

We understand rudeness is frustrating, but it doesn’t give you permission to go on the attack.

Online communication can lead to misinterpreted tone or meaning, so that person mightn’t know they’re being rude.

It’s fine to feel annoyed, but if you want to reply, do so in a non-confrontational manner. If you can’t articulate yourself constructively, ignore the conversation and return with a clearer head.

Here are a few tips for handling difficult people:

  • Impossible people exist on Thorn Tree and everywhere. There are people who you will never be compatible with and there isn’t a thing you can do about it.
  • Stay calm when you encounter someone who pushes your buttons. Realise that you can’t deal with difficult people the way you deal with everyone else. Quit banging your head against a brick wall trying to understand them or relate to them.
  • Don’t get defensive. Remind yourself that this person’s opinion is not necessarily the truth. Impossible people can be “fact-challenged”. If the attacks have little basis in raw fact, dismiss them. Do not defend yourself, it will likely only provoke another tirade.
  • Stay true to yourself. If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself adopting much of the offender’s own behaviour. Stay out of trouble by accepting this is just the way the other person is. These things define the impossible person’s actions, and nothing you do can change any part of their past.
  • Stay in control. Your best resources are silence (it really is golden) and good humour. Impossible people do not listen to reason. They can’t (and even if they could, they wouldn’t). You can’t convince them that they have any responsibility for the problems between you. They don’t recognise (or if they did, wouldn’t try to improve) their flaws for a very logical reason; they don’t have any flaws. You must understand and manage this mind-set without casting blame and without giving in to anger. It’s easier said than done, and you will slip from time to time, but as time goes on, you’ll get better and distinguish yourself by being awesome.
  • Be kind to others and yourself. Live as an example of tolerance, patience, humility, and even some kindness (as difficult as that may be). These are all the things that the impossible person is not very good at. We are all influenced by the people in our environment -- they don’t have to be perfect all the time and neither do you. Respect, because you are human. If you don’t receive respect, that’s - sadly - their problem. Give understanding, and you get understanding. Ultimately this sort of behaviour is the only thing that might possibly get through to them.

(If you feel like you have been attacked, please report the abuse and our moderation team will look into it.)


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