Just being rude

I saw the guy from ten yards away, he had his back turned and took up the entire aisle. I coughed hoping he would hear me, but nothing happened. He was talking to the two guys in front of him. I didn’t care but I pushing my grocery cart and needed to get around him. When the guys didn’t say anything about moving out of the way, I coughed again and then said, “excuse me.”

The guy turned around, glared down at me, and said, “All you had to do was say something.”  

I wanted to say something back, but it felt like a standoff and I needed to move onto other errands. However, I feel like I come across people like him all the time now who are caught up in their own little worlds, can see only ten inches in front of their own face, and are oblivious to others.

I’m no psychiatrist and I haven’t spent years counseling patients, but I’m definitely seeing a trend of more people living in their own selfish, little worlds, and saying the hell with anyone else in their way.

A day after this instance, I stopped to get gas and went inside to grab a soda. When I was leaving, a woman opened the door from the other side, but was turned and talking to her friend, not really entering, but also blocking the path for the young father in front of me who was struggling, trying to carry his baby and a bag of snacks. Finally, the woman moved out of the way so that the man could pass. I get being friendly and opening doors, but she certainly wasn’t trying to help the young man or me, her friendliness only traveled one way. 

Lights, camera, action

Okay, I get it, we are all heads down. In fact, the advice I give young short story writers is to remember that everyone is the star of their own play or movie. No one signs up to be a wingman or to play Robin, they sign up to play Batman. In their minds, they are the star.

But I see obliviousness everywhere now. I see it on the highway. Drivers talking animatedly with their passenger while they hang out in the left lane barely going fast enough for the lane. I see it in the office too. People forgetting to give credit or recognize others who’ve helped them.

Looking out for the other guy

Situational awareness is about knowing what is going on around you including: where you are; where you are supposed to be; and whether anyone around you is a threat to your health and safety. There are different levels and degrees and a lot of other “gobbledygook” that’s too complicated for my simple brain, but it deals with being cognizant of your surroundings and being prepared to react.

Two common examples:

  • If you’re driving a car on the highway, you should be aware of other drivers and try to anticipate someone slamming on their brakes or swerving into your lane.
  • If you’re walking alone at night, you should be aware of what’s going on around you and be prepared to react if you perceive a threat.

The time has come

In my own little world, I’ve found that Situational Awareness has become rare. I suspect I’m aware of the loss because when God was handing it out, I got confused and jumped in line twice. I’m a people pleaser and very much aware of the people around me and the messages that others give off:

  • “Oh, you’re cold, let me turn up the heat.” 
  • “You’ve got the latest best seller, what do you think of the book?”
  • “You’re trying to get through here, let me move this box.”

I think Situational Awareness has fallen victim to the crazy politics of the day, but my hope is that society will come back to recognize it the same way it now appreciates and values emotional intelligence. 

Hopefully one day. 

16 thoughts on “Just being rude

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  1. I am not sure if my example can be applied to your whole article but, we live on the “right” side of the train tracks. Every time I go over to the gas station on the “wrong” side of the train tracks I am impressed by the manners: doors held open, people that say thank you, allowing women to go first…I don’t get treated like that at the gas station on the “right” side of the tracks. Go Phillies!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I was writing my piece, I hadn’t considered location per se. It was just something that I’ve seen in various areas … but you may be onto something. I’ve noticed that in the past too. And yes, you’re absolutely right, let’s go Phillies! A story book playoff for them. I’m hoping it can continue!


  2. Loved your insight regarding everyone being the star of their own play or movie. And I couldn’t agree more about situational awareness becoming more and more of a rarity. It takes so little effort to be thoughtful and considerate, and it makes both giver and receiver feel good! We just have to keep being who we are, even though those selfish, thoughtless, boars are everywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so right, they do exist everywhere, we just have to keep on, keeping on! Thanks so much for the feedback, appreciate hearing what hit home for you. My wife hears me lecture all the time about “people wanting to be the star.” I always yell out in the middle of bad movies or TV shows, when a character does something that makes no sense or does something that goes against their character. She always gives me the shhhhush comment. Ha, ha. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t heard of the phrase, ‘situational awareness.’ It makes sense now that I’ve read your post. People are just in their own little worlds most of the time. I find similarly to you that half the time, individuals go about their business with not a thought for anyone else. I’ve often had a swinging door shut in my face as I enter a shop in my wheelchair, Alfie. Some people then realise and apologise, but others don’t seem to give a damn. I agree that the men you came across seemed unnecessarily rude. I do try to remember that everyone is going through their own issues, even though it might not be obvious, but even so, there’s not really any excuse to be outright rude. By the way, if it’s any consolation, I’m a dreadful people-pleaser myself. It’s a trait I’ve tried to change but haven’t found it easy. P.S. I love the photo of the kingfishers (I think that’s what they are). Did you take it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Ellie, I’m sure you have some stories, A good friend, who needs a crutch/cane to get around, tells stories all the time about people going to extremes: closing swinging doors on him or seeing him walk differently and treating him like an invalid. Yes, us people pleasers have a tough challenge. It’s hard to change, but I’m also not sure I think it’s all that horrible to be one. And no, the Kingfisher photo is not mine, I took it from Pexels. I’m trying to get better on two fronts: take more of my own art, as I’ve been doing with my Autumn/Fall blogs, and to make sure that I call out the photographer/Pexels when I use their rights-free art. You’ll see more captions coming with my future blogs. Thanks for noticing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In my opinion we can give it any name you want, but to me it’s just bring rude when people are inconsiderate. And it has nothing to do with age. It’s manners and respect for your fellow human beings.. Yes, I’m a retired elementary school teacher and for 36 years a variety of children came into my classroom and I had to teach them appropriate behavior. Yes, it wAs my job, but it was the right thing to do. Some children were taught caring at home and to say please and thank you while others needed me to enlighten them. But, the golden rule still applies. My children are almost 16 years apart in age. (Basically a generation apart). And I was always stunned that by the time my youngest was in elementary school if we were out to dinner and a server brought him food he’d always say thank you. People constantly complimented him on his excellent manners. I used to wonder why Kindness is so unusual? I guess not many people these days have time to model polite behavior. My grandson when introduced to an adult shakes their hand and says, “ Pleased to meet you.” His dad (my son ) taught him to do that) so it’s natural for him. I showed my son when he was little and he taught his son. It comes down to simple kindness. I guess it isn’t being taught any more. I always had my children donate to the needy for the holidays, my son has his children do the same ring food etc. . I think it’s carrying on traditions. Maybe I’m just a corny old retired teacher, but I wonder are we neglecting teaching kindness?
    It’s not politics, I’m a liberal feminist at heart. But that has nothing to do with respecting everyone and being kind.
    In fact, my Jewish son dresses up as Santa each December and his work staff become elves and bring presents to sick children in the hospital each year. Kindness is like laughter. It’s contagious. It’s sad to see it disappearing. I suppose we just have to keep showing it and hope it rubs off on those we come in contact with. Peace love y’all. ❤️✌️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, children learn what they see and are taught: respect, manners, kindness. I think there’s still hope. I was just writing about a few of my experiences lately. Saying all that, I think it still exists. There are still kind people out there. You just have to keep your eyes open. Thanks for your input Lesley!

      Liked by 1 person

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