12 Ways People Don’t Realize They’re Being Rude

Despite our best intentions, many things we say or do can be perceived as rude, and all it takes is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Regardless of your intentions, you will say or do something genuinely rude without realizing your mistake. Instead of trying to explain yourself, insert minor changes into your conversations that will make you more approachable and polite, saving you from being rude without knowing that you are one. 

Minimizing someone’s pain 

Many people tend to comfort others by inserting their problems into conversations, believing it could be a bonding moment. Just because you, too, experienced heartbreak, it does not mean that the person you’re talking to needs to hear all about it while trying to deal with their emotions. Comparing notes while one’s hurting can be perceived as selfish, even if all you wanted to offer was that the other person was not alone. 

Being too honest 

There is a thin line between honesty and rudeness, and people cross it too often without realizing it. If everyone were brutally honest, we would all be miserable. Instead of trying to be brutally honest, offer a person options. Say, “Maybe you should try,” or “How about…” And whatever you do, do not defend your words by saying, “I was just being honest,” because you were also being rude. 

Checking phone constantly

You might be anxious about getting a text from a love interest or a call about a job. If you are in a group, you should refrain from staring at the phone all the time because it makes you look like you don’t care what anyone else has to say. You can tell people you will leave the tone on because you expect an important call, but stop looking at it. No matter how hard you stare, you will not make it ring. 

Giving unsolicited advice

If your friend wants to confide in you, listen to them. Often, people want to be seen and heard, without judgments, and giving advice no one asks for can be perceived as rude regardless of your intentions. Your friends do not come to you because you know the secrets of the universe, but because they want to share something with you, and if they want your advice, they will ask. 

Being indecisive

You might be struggling to make a decision, but if you’re holding the line in a coffee shop, you will look entitled and rude. Being indecisive is not easy, but it is also not up to others to make decisions for you or block others from moving on with their lives. 


One would think that the best way for people to get to know you is to give them insight into your life. But crossing the boundaries between sharing and oversharing can make you look self-obsessed and rude. Save details from your life to your friends, and keep things for yourself at work or on a date. 

Commenting on someone’s appearance 

Complimenting someone on weight loss can backfire and make you appear shallow and rude despite having the best intentions. You never know what was behind the weight loss – it could be a healthy diet, but it could also be due to stress, hormonal changes, or illness and a sign that a person was not good enough before. Overall, commenting on someone’s looks is not the best way to make friends, especially if you know that the vast majority of people, especially women, are already struggling with self-esteem. 

Crossing boundaries 

Questions like, “When are you going to get married?” or “When are you planning a baby?” are inappropriate, especially if you’re not as close to the person (or people) as you think. It is not like an answer will make any changes to your life, and if a person wants to get married and wants you there, you will be notified. 

Ending texts with periods

Though grammatically correct, ending a text with a period can be rude, depending on the conversation. According to a study published in Computers in Human Behavior, ending text with a period makes you appear less sincere, so it’s up to you to decide whether grammar is more important than how you make others feel. 

Not keeping eye contact or overdoing it 

Eye contact signals your involvement in the conversation. It helps us form bonds and communicate that we are listening without awkward nodding. But,  too much eye contact can intimidate a person, while too little can be seen as dishonest. Either way, you will appear rude, so try finding a happy medium. 

Not remembering people’s names 

Even if your memory is terrible, you can use a simple trick to remember a person’s name: repeat it by saying, “Nice to meet you, Karen.”  According to psychologists, we tend to forget people’s names as soon as we meet them because we genuinely have no interest in remembering them. Yet, if you care about your manners, try repeating the name, or at least ask someone close to you to repeat it once the person is out of your earshot. 

Crossing arms while talking 

Many people pick up on not what we’re saying but what our body is signaling. Standing with arms folded across your chest signals that you’re in defense mode instead of being open to the conversation. 

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