You know the situation. Your colleague at work or your neighbor or a member of your congregation says something rude to you. For a moment, you are stunned, taken aback—and unable to utter a retort. You let the indiscretion pass, and then you mull it over and over on your drive home, where you come up with the perfect comeback.
Turns out there is very good reason we are momentarily, cognitively affected when someone is rude to us. According to researchers, rude behavior reduces performance on routine tasks as well as on creative ones.
Rudeness can affect relationships at work, with your family, and even at church. Rudeness can disable our ability to be kind and helpful. Rudeness can inhibit the grace we share with one another. Rudeness can damage community.
Jesus calls us to love one another (John 13:34). Maybe that means holding our own tongues when we are about to say something rude. Even a small rude comment can hurt someone.
This message is excerpted from “The toll of rudeness” by Elizabeth McBride from the June 30, 2016, blog of the Women of the ELCA.
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