18 Smart Things to Say When Someone is Being Rude to You

Being rude is often uncalled for, and it can be overwhelming when you’re on the receiving end of rudeness. It often catches you by surprise and makes you unsure of how to react. Here are 18 smart things to say when someone is being rude to you.

Thank You

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According to Understanding Compassion, “If you hold your tongue and remain civil, it means that you recognize the person’s rudeness but have chosen not to let their bad behavior affect you.” People can often be rude when trying to get a reaction. When you’re polite, it surprises them and often stops them from continuing to be rude.

Why Should I Care?

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People tend to be rude for a reason. Answering with ‘why should I care?’ shows that you’re detached from the situation. You’re stating straight away that their opinion or rudeness is not tolerated. This shows the person being rude that they can’t affect you, which often leads to them stopping.

You’re Right

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By stating to the person being rude, ‘you’re right’, you prevent the situation from dragging out. Rude people often have a long list in their heads of what they want to say, and by preventing them from doing that, you avoid further conflict or rudeness coming your way.

I Would Appreciate It If You refrained From Being Rude

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According to Believe in Mind, “When someone is rude or disrespectful towards you, it’s important to stand up for yourself while remaining composed.” ‘I would appreciate it if you refrained from being rude’ does exactly that. It shows you’ll not accept that tone while remaining emotionally composed through a negative experience. 

Please Explain Why You Said That

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You have every right to ask someone to explain why they’re being rude to you. Simply asking, ‘Please explain why you said that,’ shows you have controlled your emotions and would like clarity. This immediately puts the rude person on the spot, makes them think about their words, and hopefully makes them realize they’ve been rude.

I Don’t Remember Asking for Your Opinion

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This statement immediately tells the person who is being rude that they’ve overstepped the mark and should allow them to reflect on their words. It also immediately confirms you have no interest in their harsh words and stops any further insults being aimed at you.

You’re Being Very Rude Right Now

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Sometimes, the best way is to just be direct. HackSpirit confirms, “If you do think a confrontation is the best way to resolve someone being rude, there’s nothing better than just calling their behavior rude as is.” This can be a strong statement to the person being rude to stop those actions towards you.

Let’s Try to Keep This Respectful

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Replying with the statement ‘let’s try to keep this respectful’ is a polite way to immediately let them know that they’ve stepped out of line. It shows that you want to continue the conversation, but in a positive way, and allows them to reflect on their words.

I’m Not Sure Why You’re Saying This

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Responding to rudeness with ‘I’m not sure why you’re saying this’ immediately tells the person you disapprove of their words or opinion. It shows them you’ll not welcome that behavior under any circumstances and allows them to reconsider how to correctly approach the matter.

Can We Please Reset This Conversation?

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By asking for the conversation to reset, it shows you’re not happy with the direction it has gone, but you’re willing to give the person a second chance. This shows great strength and allows for progression forward if the person is willing to take a politer approach to the subject.

Your Words Are Hurtful

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‘Your words are hurtful’ is a great statement to say when someone is being rude. It’s direct and immediately tells them how they’re making you feel. It includes emotion, which should make the person reflect on their actions and hopefully be polite going forward.

Is Everything Okay With You?

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This statement immediately tells the person that they’re being rude, but it also shows that this isn’t usually like them, and maybe they’re acting out of character. It’s less confrontational and shows strength in you for actually caring how they’re doing despite being on the receiving end of something negative.

This Conversation Is Over

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Calm reports the importance of ending a conversation when someone is being rude for the best of your own wellbeing. It’s always important to remain polite to prevent further escalation. By stating ‘this conversation is over’,’ you’re being clear on your values and making them aware their behavior won’t be accepted.

I Prefer to Keep Our Interactions Positive

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This is a polite way to tell the person that they’ve overstepped the mark, but it also shows your willingness to continue the conversation if it can be positive. This shows strength in your personality and sets the tone for future conversations with that individual.

Let’s Focus on the Issue, Not Each Other

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This is a great statement to make it clear that the person has gone off subject and started to make it personal. ‘Let’s focus on the issue, not each other’ shows you’re willing to continue the conversation as long as it’s professional while making it clear you’ll not accept negative behaviors.

Please Speak to Me More Politely

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This is a great statement, as it makes it clear you don’t accept the way they’re approaching the subject while also directing them in the manner you’d like the subject approached. It’s assertive and direct, but in a polite way, and it allows the person to reconsider their actions.

I Think We Should Stop This Conversation Now

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Replying to rudeness with the statement ‘I think we should stop this conversation now’ immediately indicated you’re not happy with the dialogue. It also gives both parties involved the option to opt out of the conversation before it escalates further in a negative tone.

We Seem to Be Having a Communication Issue

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This is a great response, as it indicates that you’re not on the same page. This non confrontational statement shows you’re not directly stating they’ve been rude. Instead, you’re stating that you both need to communicate in a way that is accepted by both parties.

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