Rudeness is Contagious and Multiplies as the Hours Go By

No, rude behavior is not contained to politics these days

When did coarseness become cool?

It often feels as if we are living in times less civil than previous generations enjoyed, though the people who study such things say that’s not the case.

The University of Florida examined 81 students’ responses to exposure to different types of rudeness, and found that when they watched videos of bad behavior early in the day it caused students to withdraw socially, and stay that way all day.  It seemed that one exposure gave them a heightened awareness of rudeness, and they were sensitive to slights they came across in the course of a normal day.

One of the co-founders of the study, Trevor Foulk, explains that rudeness is contagious, spreading in offices as each person feels entitled to express unvarnished comments to others as brutal as they received.  And time of day matters.

“If somebody is rude to me in the morning, and then at 10:30 later in the day I have an interaction with somebody, I’m more likely to interpret that action as rude as well,” he says in a video.  Even ambiguous comments can be taken as offensive if they follow rude behavior.

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