Whether it’s a co-worker making a snarky remark or a grocery store line companion making the cut, dealing with rude behavior is never pleasant, but the fact of the matter is this: we are human and it happens. Especially around your wedding day.
While you could gift the culprit a crash course in etiquette, we are guessing this won’t go over well. Instead, we suggest that you take a step back from your understandably high emotions and look at the rude person from a more objective viewpoint (yes, that’s possible). This will help you manage how you handle and react to their behavior and may even have an impact on it. Here are a few suggestions.
Don’t take it personally. Personalizing things is a huge no-no. Unless you have done something to truly offend someone, there’s no need to take rude behavior as an indication that they are deliberately trying to upset you. Rather than personalizing every interruption, dismissal or comment, take a deep breath and remind yourself that the person may have a number of things going on that you are not aware of –or even that they don’t realize how they are coming across. This doesn’t make their behavior OK, but it will certainly help keep you in a calmer headspace.
Maintain your own manners. Snapping at the person being rude will only bring about more of the same. Instead of growling at them or sending a nonverbal sign of approval (watch those eye-rolls), draw a gentle-yet-firm boundary. Instead of yelling, “I am speaking!” try something a little softer such as,“I appreciate your having an opinion and I want you to feel free sharing it, but I would like to finish speaking so that the vendor has all of the information I am trying to share.”
Enlist the help of your partner. If it’s your future MIL, for example, you could say “It’s his mother, let him deal with her,” but that sets a separatist tone. Instead, unite with your fiancé and try and come up with ways to speak to/manage the person’s behavior. If you can’t come up with any, do a little research on the Web or even with a professional to get some ideas.
Protect yourself. In the end, it’s not your job to bow down to bad behavior. If you’ve been polite and clear about your expectations and concerns and nothing seems to work, utilize your right to remove yourself from situations where you will feel disrespected. If this is the case and the person who is offending you is coming to the wedding, sit them at a table with a few family members who are willing to help manage them through the night so that you and your partner can enjoy your special day.
Lastly, it’s fine to give a polite heads-up to friends and vendors, but do avoid gossiping and venting with added editorial as we have found that never helps boost relations.
What’s your advice for dealing with rude family members and guests?