"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength". — Edmund Burke
There could be many reasons why certain people choose to behave in mean, obnoxious, and just plain rude ways towards others whom they may or may not know. Regardless of what’s going through their minds at the time, behaving like a jerk never goes over well for anybody.
Don’t believe me? Just see what people had to say about their own experiences with the rudest strangers they’ve ever met.
1. Stand Down, Sir!
I was on a plane next to someone who seemed to have bad plane etiquette. I was worried it was going to be miserable and it was.
I am in the army and he asked if I was. I said yes. He asked if I had been deployed. I said yes I actually just got back a couple of months ago. He stared at me for a moment. Then he asked "Did you almost die?" By this point I was very uncomfortable. I just said I had a few close calls. I turned away but then he kept asking me questions and more. The next one I heard that got my attention was "Where would you go if you died?" I started saying well they ship you back. But then he interrupted and said "OH, I meant would you go to heaven or hell, it’s most likely hell". At this point I activated my army powers of sleeping anywhere instantly and passed out while he was rambling about me going to a fiery afterlife.
It was the most incredibly creepy, rude, and uncomfortable moment I have ever been in.
2. Apparently, The Customer Isn’t Always Right
At a gas station in Texas, I walked in and greeted the cashier with a "hey, what’s up man" and he responds "what the f*** did you say?"
It took me a second to realize that just happened, stunned, I glanced around and realized it was only us in the store so he had to be speaking to me. So I responded "uhh I just said what’s up man?" He said "I don’t freaking know you, you’re not my friend, don’t greet me like one". I took the high road and exited the store without making a purchase.
The most rude encounter I’ve experienced.
3. To Whom It May Concern
Place I worked at had a customer that when he said thank you I responded "no problem". He then proceeds to send an email to my boss with articles attached on "things you shouldn’t say back when you are said thank you to" and "no problem" apparently is offensive because it is implying they were a problem to begin with. I guess you are supposed to say my pleasure or whatever. Still pisses me off 5 years later.
4. What Goes Around Comes Around
Was exiting a Wal-Mart with my oldest nephew, busy traffic right in front of the store, so we were waiting to cross. The entire width of the store is available, there is no curb, we are literally talking about 500+ feet that you can cross at.
Some jerk with a cart slams into my nephew’s side, and mutters something about being "too busy to wait". I’m a big, bearded dude, but my mom raised me to have manners, and sometimes manners means giving someone a lesson. I took a big step forward and put my boot right on his cart and kicked as hard as I could. His cart tipped over and slid right in to the busy crosswalk with traffic.
I’m probably his answer to this question too.
5. Well That Was Totally Uncalled For
A dude offered to buy me a drink at a bar. As he was handing it to me, he held it above my head and repeatedly said, "Jump for it! Come on, jump!"
6. The Staredown
I was sitting at my girlfriend's elementary school concert (she's a music teacher). The auditorium was crowded and there were not enough seats for everyone. The seat I sat in was in the last row towards the back for the auditorium and it was the seat closest to the aisle.
I feel some weight on my head, so I thought it was my girlfriend since this was before the performance started. I look up, and some dude is just using my head as an armrest. I'm not a confrontational person, so I just looked up at him and he looked back at me. He stopped doing it...but I just felt super uncomfortable for the rest of the concert..
7. Well I Feel Like a Bit of an Idiot
I was working as a cashier in a small grocery store in Wisconsin. This woman yelled at me, a 17 year old, for stealing her cart. A good five minutes of yelling and insultes went down. My manager came by and asked her what was wrong, and the stranger gave her the situation. Not even a few seconds later the cart was found, right next to the stuffed animals she was looking at. She just stared at me and went on with her day.
8. Classic Case of Prejudice
"Get away from their car or I'll call 9-1-1". I was kneeling next to my car in front of a 7-eleven checking my tire pressure :( And I’m black, it hurt my feelings because she was a really old lady.
9. Yea, This Person Definitely Belongs at a High School Event...
I worked at a college athletic department ticket office and we hosted a high school tournament basketball game and the tickets were six dollars and he wanted to pay with a hundred dollar bill. I told him that he couldn’t do that but we had an atm in the student union and he started to call me names.
He called me a effing monkey, a c-word, he said he didn’t understand why they let girls work in sports because our uterus got in the way of our brains, a b-word, and basically every name in the book. He also spat on the glass window that separated us.
10. Unsolicited Comment
I was born with a mole on my left forearm. It's about the size of a fingernail. I am quite hairy for a female. Some older guy waiting beside me on the bench at a train station randomly exclaims "Your mole has a beard!"
11. That Seems a Little Personal, Does It Not?
I'm someone who likes to hold doors for strangers and allow others to walk before me. My gym has some pretty heavy doors, so it's not uncommon for people exiting the gym to hold the doors open for people entering the gym. I do it a lot too, and a few weeks ago, a woman got offended and yelled at me about how she's perfectly capable of opening the door herself and that she doesn't need a man to do it for her. She really got a lot of people to stare at her as well.
My country isn't very big on social/gender issues, so I was pretty taken aback... I genuinely just like holding doors for anyone regardless of gender…
12. We’re All Wondering the Same Thing
I was 17, working at KFC and I was very nonchalant about the whole job. I would talk to people saying things like "what's up" and whatnot. I ask this one customer "How's it going buddy" and he just looks me in the eye and says "don't call me buddy. You don't know me, I'm not your friend" and I just had to stare blankly for a couple seconds because I really didn't know how to respond to that. It was just so unnecessary and to this day (I'm 24 now) still don't know what that guy’s problem was.
13. Don’t Say That to a Little Child, You Horrible People!
An adult told me to "go back to my country" when I was about 5 years old (I was born in the US). The other adults just ignored it. That’s the rudest but not necessarily the most racist thing I’ve ever encountered.
14. Maybe You Dodged a Bullet With That One
Rushing to work at a Blue Line train stop in Chicago, a homeless lady in a wheelchair asks me if I can push her to her friend's house, and I quickly tell her sorry I'm rushing to work I can't - she immediately screams "Ah screw you you freaking witch" for everyone walking from the train to hear.
I get that she's got no one and is struggling and is homeless, yes. But I work hard for the life I live, and sometimes have to deal with making tough decisions. Her rude response made me feel better at the decision I made, that's for sure.
15. Was That Really Necessary, Madam?
I used to be a vet tech, and would on occasion work at horse shows collecting samples for drug testing. We collected blood and urine. One day this uppity dressage (riding style) woman looks at me, while I'm collecting urine from her horse, and says to me "your mother must be so proud".
16. I’m on to You!
When I walk past white ladies (I'm a black guy) and they clutch their purse like I'm going to steal from them.
One time a lady did that when I was walking in the mall with my mom. We passed each other and she gripped her purse. I laughed loudly and said "Hey mom! Did you see that lady clutch her purse?" I'm pretty sure she heard me.
Maybe I was the rude one, but I don't think so.
17. A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand
Exploded in anger when her son tried stealing a candy bar and I looked up while he was trying to walk out the door. I work the first register, I naturally look up when someone comes in or out, all I did was look up when the door opened. She called me every curse word in the book and a racist. THEN had a friend call and yell at my manager because I'm "racist".
Funny part is the woman's grandmother directly told me she agrees that I was doing my job/wasn't my fault (came in moments later) and the woman's family comes in constantly, who are nothing but sweet towards me. So get bent!
18. The Old Indirect Insult Routine
Technically it was something said to my boyfriend, but the insult was directed at me. We were walking home and walked past a bar, where a guy was exiting. The guy looked me up and down and then turned to my boyfriend and said, "Well, at least she's not fat".
19. Did You Put This Incident on Your Resume?
Guy wanted to get onto the freeway from an exit-only lane at the very last second, and got really angry that we didn't put ourselves in danger to make room for his indecisive butt. Then he cut us off and brake checked us, obviously trying to start an accident. Then sped off.
Ten minutes later he literally stopped in the middle of the freeway, backed up, and followed me to my exit to pull up beside us and scream at me. Then he threw a water bottle into my bf's car so hard that it would've left a bruise had it made contact with anyone.
And to make it better, he looked like a professional driver. (Suit and tie, Lincoln town car, and mini bottles of water). Like if you get that angry at driving then you need a new profession, jerk.
20. 2 For 2: Disgusting and Rude
Was working in a fast food restaurant and talking to a manager about something. A customer took a piece of food out their mouth and threw it at me. I hadn’t served or spoken to or even looked at this woman.
21. We All Have Our Priorities...
I was bullied a lot as a kid and I finally decided to fight back. Apparently this got me that "crazy girl" tough archetype.
While walking home from school around the age of 12 years old, some girls from the high school pulled up, got out, and beat the heck out of me. I was bleeding and they had (unknown to me at the time) broken my ankle. I hobbled to the nearest house and knocked on the door. I was disheveled and bloody. I asked her to call my parents and she yelled at me to go away and slammed the door. It hurt to walk and I collapsed in her yard. So she threatened to call the authorities. Which she ended up doing.
But not to help me. She was complaining about a delinquent kid on her lawn. I got the help I needed, and while I might not have died or anything, I was so hurt by how she treated me. And...of course I walked by her house everyday from school previously AND for the next 6 years. She tried waving at me years later and I just ignored her.
22. Sounds Like Someone Woke up on the Wrong Side of the Bed
When I worked in a hardware store I asked someone if he needed any help and he yelled "JUST FREAKING ONCE I'D LIKE TO GO INTO THIS FREAKING STORE WITHOUT ANYONE FREAKING ASKING ME IF I NEED ANY FREAKING HELP". Sorry for trying to do my job, jerk.
23. This Guy Bounced His Way Right out of That Club
Was working the door at a bar I used to work at. Guy and his friends were sitting a short distance away. Jerk comes up to me and tells me my boss wants me.
I get up from my chair and go look to see, but he's not even looking in my direction. Turn around and look, Jerk has taken my chair. I give him a look and he says, "Screw yourself". I tell him, "I would have snagged one had you asked". He said, "I wanted yours". He was a rich idiot that came in driving a sports car. I told him he needed to leave, he declined, so I forced him up and out. Went and told my boss and he said, "Yeah, screw that guy".
24. You’ll Have to Try Window Number Two
Working the front window of a fast food place. Some high school kid coughed in my face, splattering me with spittle. He didn't apologize, just started ordering. I said, "Are you freaking serious?" and shut the window. Eventually he left.
25. Not the Most Helpful Employee
When I was ten years old, my family and I were shopping at Barnes & Nobles.
I really wanted to find the new Percy Jackson book but I had no idea where to look for it, and so I decided to ask an employee and see if she could point me in the direction as to where I could find the novel.
She looked at me and said "you look like you can’t even speak English, why the heck are you reading books?" (I’m Asian) I stood there shocked and left the store, my mom found me and asked me what had happened, I told her and I’m pretty sure the employee got a long talk that day.
26. Smokes Are the Source of a Lot of Problems
I actually just related this to someone - in NYC, with the ridiculous prices for smokes, even the beggars have realized they're basically asking someone for a piece of their drug fix that costs fifty cents a stick. And every dart I give away is one less I have to smoke.
I was on a smoke break outside my office the other day and a guy walks past pushing what looked like a thousand dollars worth of mountain bike and asked me for a smoke. I'd just lit my last one and I told him so, and he said, "yeah, I thought you looked like an a**hole". Same week, Penn Station - a woman walked up to me and asked if I'd sell her a smoke. I handed her one, and went on with my life.
The next day, she approached me again. I said, "I gave you one yesterday". Her response? "Well, I'll put you in my freaking will".
27. Did Not See That Coming
Was going into a gas station and did the right-left dance when passing a stranger in narrow area. I laughed and said sorry. He responded with, "get the f*** out of my way!" I was astounded and just watched him walk to his car where his grandma waited to drive them away. Surreal moment.
28. Don’t Mess With That Guy
I attended a Chicago Bears game and after the game while we were exiting the stadium, I was trying to keep up with my friends as we were leaving the stands. I was playing catch up and kinda jumped in front of this guy, but not badly, just trying to keep up with my friends. He then shoved me down the stands. I just played it off as if I tripped and didn't really say anything as he was much larger than me. Guy was a jerk.
29. When Irish Eyes Are Offended
My first name is spelled the Irish way (or at least my mom tells me) and the American spelling is way more common. A customer asked me how to pronounce my name after seeing the name tag. I told him and he went "oh, your mom must be dumb to spell your name wrong". What the heck dude.
30. Thanks for Informing Me!
Saw me bleeding on the floor trying not to pass out, pulled up her car and yelled that I should get up because I wasn't hurt.
Observation really must not have been her strong point.
31. You Know What Happens When You Assume...
I am currently in Nursing school, we rotated through the OR in the hospital we have clinicals in. We had very little instruction, just show up, change into the OR-specific scrubs and report to the room we were assigned.
So I do all I know to do, put on the scrubs, wash my hands, have a cap and shoe covers on and I walk into the operation room. I introduced myself to the scrub techs while they are setting up. The surgery was scheduled about 45 minutes later. Nursing students are "eyes-only" and I was there to just watch the nursing staff work and see how an operation went down.
The nurse I was supposed to shadow wasn't there yet, so I stood in the back corner trying not to touch anything (sterility is super important in the OR). Anyways the scrub techs leave the room and I stay in and stand at the computer. A few minutes later an anesthesiologist walks in to set up his cart and he says "what the heck do you think you're doing?" He continues screaming and he yells, "go dawn a clean gown, scrub in, get some freaking gloves on". Of course, I said "yes sir" and left and was really confused at what the heck just happened. He chases me out of the room and says "Actually I don't have time for your nonsense today, get the heck off the OR, give me your attending's name, you should be ashamed, Jesus freaking Christ".
So on my way out of the OR, still really confused and on the verge of tears (this was my very first clinical day in a hospital setting EVER) I found a nurse who was looking for her student and I told her the story and she could not stop apologizing. She had forgotten she had a student and went to get a coffee with some other nursing staff from the cafe a few floors above the OR. When I went back into the room, this time with my nurse, she told him that I was a nursing student and not a medical student, that it was my first day, and that nursing students are eyes only and I didn't need to scrub in or put on all the sterile gowns and sterile gloves, because I wouldn't be touching anyone or anything. He didn't say sorry, he said "Well he should have spoken up". I NEVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO OPEN MY MOUTH!!!!!
So I guess I could have said that I was a nursing student (even though my ID badge says nursing student), waited outside of the room instead of getting curious and watching the scrub techs set up, or just shown up a little closer to the operation's scheduled time, but to me, why would you come into a room screaming at a student at a teaching hospital? There were no patients around and no need for him to attack me like that. Maybe because I was a male he thought I was a resident physician?
I don't know. I still have a hate for the OR and I hope I never have to go back there in school or during my career.
32. Well Now That Someone Else Brought It up...
Here's a double-whammy.
I was going to close the curtains just as some young men were walking by my window - I was in my late teens. They saw me closing the curtains and one said, "You should close those because you're FAT!"
I told my boyfriend when he got home about it and he told me when I hear something like that I should work on myself because I was overweight.
I kid you not, I'm 5'1" and I weighed 115 at the time.
I eventually left the boyfriend.
33. Can’t You Just Say You’re Sorry?
When I was a teenager my friends and I were waiting in line at the movie theater. Two adults approach us, one of which was in a motorized wheelchair. The man in the wheelchair rolls over my foot while looking me straight in the face to cut in line with his wife. I protest with a "Dude!..". and before I can get my wits about me to say more he and his wife turn their backs to us and pretend like nothing happened, putting me in the position to either let them cut or be seen as the punk kid harassing a disabled person at the movie theater. It was completely 100% intentional. He knew what he was doing.
34. Not a Single One of These Is a Good Pickup Line
Well, as a female I've had my fair share of random harassment from strangers, and I consider that pretty rude. The creeper who kept circling back around the block to scream things like, "I wanna have sex with you!" while I was trying to take a walk is pretty high on the list. Then when I tried to go into a store he drove into the parking lot and cut me off. So I tried to pepper spray him and he drove off.
There's also the guy who followed me out of the gym after asking me "how much for an hour?" then stood behind my car trying to prevent me from leaving. I backed up anyways but unfortunately he moved out of the way.
35. How Dare You Accidentally Burn Yourself!!
When I was a barista I was pouring boiling water into a cup to top it off. A little splashed on my hand, which caused me to jerk my hand, pouring boiling hot water from the cup and tap all over my hand.
The lady who was waiting for said drink scoffed and rolled her eyes because me accidentally burning myself meant she had to wait longer.
36. What Is Going Through These People’s Heads??
He wasn't exactly a stranger, but he wasn't a friend, just some guy who went to my high school. I was waiting for the bus and I hadn't put on any makeup that day because I was lazy. He comes up to me and asks if I'm feeling okay or if I'm sick, something like that. I tell him no I'm fine. I'm just not wearing any makeup today so I might look tired idk. He says well you should wear makeup.
37. Neglecting the Stereotype
They almost didn't say "thank you" when I held a door open for them.
I live in Canada.
38. Quick Reaction Time
Oh, one time when I was a teenager this guy was looking at me as I walked past and his girlfriend noticed so she called ME a ho, pretty loudly. I was so shocked I didn't know what to do, but my friend turned around and said, "Your boyfriend seems to like it". Made my day.
39. If You’re Trying to Make Friends, It’s Not Working
I was at an all night restaurant at like 3 in the morning with a few friends. I was a scrawny high school kid who had been puffing weed all night and we went out to get a snack. I thought it would be funny to wear my sunglasses, got a few laughs out of my stupid friends. Out of nowhere, this grown man approaches our table and asks me,
Him: Can I borrow your glasses?
Him: I need to borrow your glasses so I can pay my bill.
He gets quite persistent, up to the point of my buddy telling him to screw off and threatening to beat his backside. He then goes away.
That was very strange. We enjoy our food, we’re still sitting there stoned out of our minds and he approaches yet again. He points at me in my face and says "if you keep this up, you're gonna end up being a freaking loser". Probably a man in his mid 50s talking to a 16-year-old kid. My buddy stands up and forcefully escorted him out. I still don't get it. It came across as kinda rude.
40. Pick on Someone Your Own Size!
When I was a kid, probably about five, my mom took me to the doctor. She gave me some money to go get something from the vending machines down the hall from the waiting room. I put the money in, and this grown woman comes up from behind me, shoved me out of the way while shouting "move!," selected what she wanted, grabbed her loot from the slot, and goes on her way. I remember standing there so confused at what just happened, and in disbelief that an adult would do that.
41. Something Was Lost in Translation
I was walking at the mall once and a guy approached me saying he was from out of town. He was looking for one of the stores there and asked me if I could give him directions.
I said, "oh yeah sure, just walk down there and take a left when you see the food court". His face gets serious and upset. He says, "whoa whoa whoa whoa... Don't tell me what to do though".
I'm a little thrown off, I feel like he's playing with me so I change my wording. "Okay, if you see the food court, the store will be to your..". "Hey man I said don't tell me what to do". He was totally serious and staring me down. I was walking with a friend and didn't feel like getting into a thing at the mall.
I just pointed in the general direction and said it was that way. He nodded and walked off.
42. Some People Should Keep Their Mouths Shut
At a bar with my husband, chatting with strangers...one of them said to her husband, completely LOUD while pointing at us—"their marriage won't last, he is much more attractive than her". We are now divorced, so she may have been right, but that was still a lousy thing to say!