You’ve probably encountered rude people in your life, but do you know how to spot one from a distance? Rudeness comes in many forms, from cutting in line to refusing to hold the door for others. Learning how to identify rude behavior can help you avoid unnecessary frustration and conflict.

Pay attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues that signal someone may not have the best manners or care about how their words and actions affect those around them. Spotting the signs of a rude person will allow you to steer clear when possible or brace yourself if interaction is unavoidable. Read on to discover some of the tells that you’re dealing with an impolite individual.

Why Are Some People So Rude?

Some people seem perpetually rude and abrasive. Why is that?

  • A sense of entitlement. They believe they deserve special treatment and feel justified in putting others down.
  • Low emotional intelligence. They lack empathy, compassion, and the ability to perceive how their words and actions affect those around them.
  • Insecurity. Their rudeness is a way to make themselves feel more important by diminishing others.
  • Poor upbringing. They were never taught basic manners, respect, and consideration for others. Bad habits are hard to break.
  • Unhappiness. Their rude behavior is a misguided attempt to make themselves feel better by spreading their misery.

While there may be explanations for rude behavior, there are never any excuses. The kindest thing is to avoid engaging with these caustic individuals whenever possible. Protect your own peace of mind.

Signs of a Rude Person

Here are few signs:

1. They Lack Basic Manners

They Lack Basic Manners
They Lack Basic Manners

You can spot a rude person from their lack of basic manners.

  • They don’t say “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” or “pardon me.”
  • They interrupt others or talk over people.
  • They don’t make eye contact or smile.
  • They don’t hold doors or offer help to those who need it.
  • They are abrasive or short with customer service staff like waiters or cashiers.

Rude individuals may be unaware of how their behavior affects others or simply don’t care. Either way, their poor etiquette and lack of common courtesy create an unpleasant experience for all involved. Politeness is free, so there’s no good reason for rudeness.

2. Constant Interruptions and Talking Over People

Rude people frequently interrupt others while they are speaking or abruptly talk over them. They seem incapable of listening and allowing others to express themselves without interference. If someone consistently speaks over you or cuts you off mid-sentence, they likely lack basic courtesy and respect. Their behavior demonstrates that they believe what they have to say is more important than others, which is a sign of arrogance and inconsideration.

3. Inability to Say Please, Thank You or Excuse Me

Inability to Say Please, Thank You or Excuse Me
Inability to Say Please, Thank You or Excuse Me

Rude individuals often lack basic manners and common courtesy. They rarely say “please,” “thank you,” or “excuse me.” Using polite expressions like these show you respect other people and their time. Saying “please” when making a request, “thank you” when receiving something, and “excuse me” when interrupting someone or needing to get by displays kindness and consideration. The failure to use these simple courteous phrases is a sign of poor manners and implied rudeness.

4. Lack of Respect for Personal Space

Rude people often lack basic respect for the personal space of others. They may stand too close when talking, not respecting your comfort zone. They are oblivious to body language cues that someone feels cramped or closed in.

If someone repeatedly gets in your face, hovers over you, or touches you in overly familiar ways without invitation or consent, they likely have issues with appropriate social boundaries. Those who cannot grasp the simple concept of personal space typically struggle in other areas of basic courtesy and respect. Maintaining an appropriate physical distance is key to polite social interaction and making others feel at ease.

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5. Making Insulting or Demeaning Comments

Making Insulting or Demeaning Comments
Making Insulting or Demeaning Comments

Rude people often make insulting or demeaning comments towards others. They may:

-Make hurtful jokes at the expense of others.

-Use derogatory terms to label or describe people.

-Criticize or make personal attacks against someone else’s character, appearance or abilities.

-Question someone’s intelligence or competence in a condescending way.

These types of comments are uncalled for and can be very damaging. No one deserves to be subjected to insults or made to feel “less than”.

6. Failure to Make Eye Contact or Engage in Conversation

Rude individuals often fail to make eye contact or engage in polite conversation. They may:

  • Avoid direct eye contact, glancing away quickly when you look at them.
  • Not greet you or say “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me.”
  • Appear distracted or uninterested when speaking with you.
  • Make little effort to continue a conversation by asking questions or sharing information about themselves.

Their behavior demonstrates a lack of courtesy and respect for others. Polite individuals, on the other hand, value social interaction and see engaging with others in a friendly, empathetic manner as an integral part of fostering positive relationships.

7. Expecting Special Treatment and Constant Complaining

Expecting Special Treatment and Constant Complaining
Expecting Special Treatment and Constant Complaining

Rude people often exhibit selfish behaviors and a lack of consideration for others. Watch out for those who:

Constantly Complain

  • Chronic complainers are draining to be around. They incessantly whine and gripe about insignificant matters, yet do nothing to improve their situation. Avoid engaging with their negativity.

Expect Special Treatment

  • Entitled individuals believe they deserve more than others and that the rules don’t apply to them. They cut in line, make unreasonable demands, and become angry if denied preferential treatment. Don’t indulge their selfishness.

8. Poor Listening Skills and Lack of Interest in Others

A rude person typically has poor listening skills and lacks interest in others.

  • They frequently interrupt or talk over people in conversations.
  • They ignore or dismiss what others say without consideration.
  • They seem distracted or unengaged when others speak, not making eye contact or asking follow up questions.
  • Their body language and facial expressions convey a lack of care or concern for the speaker or topic.
  • They steer conversations back to themselves and their interests instead of showing curiosity about others.

In short, rude individuals are poor communicators who don’t value connecting with or learning from people around them. Recognizing these behaviors can help you avoid or address interactions with inconsiderate persons.

9. Inappropriate Comments

Inappropriate Comments
Inappropriate Comments

Rude people often make inappropriate or offensive comments without considering how their words might affect others. They may make vulgar jokes or comments about someone’s appearance, or use crude language in public.

10. Overly Critical and Judgmental

Rude people tend to be overly critical and judgmental of others. They frequently pass negative judgment on people and things around them. If someone is:

  • Constantly complaining about service, food quality or pointing out flaws
  • Making hurtful comments about someone’s appearance, accent or other attributes
  • Questioning other’s life choices and decisions in an unsolicited manner

They may have difficulty seeing beyond surface level imperfections and appreciating positive qualities in people and the world around them. Their tendency to harshly criticize and pass quick judgment can sap the joy from conversations and social interactions.

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11. Entitlement Mentality

Entitlement Mentality
Entitlement Mentality

Rude people often feel entitled to special treatment and think the rules don’t apply to them. They:

  • Cut in line because their time is more valuable.
  • Talk over others and interrupt frequently.
  • Make unreasonable demands and get angry if not accommodated.
  • Complain loudly about petty inconveniences to make their displeasure known.
  • Treat service staff poorly by making demeaning comments or leaving little to no tip.

In short, rude people believe they deserve preferential treatment for no good reason. They lack basic courtesy and respect for others. Steer clear of rude people when possible, as their selfish behavior and abrasive attitude will likely only bring you down.

12. Unnecessary Competitiveness

Rude people often feel the need to one-up others or always be the center of attention. They frequently:

  • Make insensitive or sarcastic comments meant to put down others in order to make themselves look better. For example, mocking someone’s interests or accomplishments.
  • Hijack conversations to steer the focus back to themselves. They interrupt frequently to share their own stories and experiences, not giving others a chance to contribute or share the spotlight.
  • Consider common courtesies and social graces as weaknesses. Simple things like saying “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me” are seen as unnecessary by rude and arrogant people.
  • Lack empathy and compassion for others. They are unable to see other perspectives and only care about their own needs and desires. The feelings and experiences of others mean little to them.
  • Need to win at all costs. Whether it’s an argument, game or competition, rude people play to win and gloat in their victories, rather than for the joy of participation. They are sore losers and poor sports.
  • Criticize and condemn others freely without considering the impact of their words. Their unnecessary competitiveness and cruel nature leads them to put down others without remorse.

13. Self-Absorbed Conversation

Self-Absorbed Conversation
Self-Absorbed Conversation

Have you ever tried to talk to someone who only wants to talk about themselves? Rude people often dominate conversations by constantly shifting the focus back to them.

  • They rarely ask you questions or express interest in learning about you.
  • Their responses always relate back to their own experiences and perspectives.
  • They frequently interrupt you to take over the conversation again.
  • They seem oblivious to the importance of listening and making a personal connection.

After talking with a rude person, you may feel frustrated, unimportant and unheard. Look for people who show a genuine interest in who you are – they make much better friends and partners.

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14. Loud and Obnoxious Behavior

A rude person lacks basic etiquette and consideration for others. They frequently display loud, attention-seeking behavior that disrupts people around them.

-Talking loudly on their phone in public places like restaurants, cafes or transit.

-Making a scene by yelling at service staff, retail workers or anyone else over petty issues.

-Playing loud music, honking excessively or making other unnecessary noises that disturb the peace.

-Seeking to dominate conversations by interrupting others or speaking in an aggressive, confrontational tone.

-Lacking empathy, rude people are quick to criticize and pass judgment on others in a brash, tactless manner.

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15.They Make Empty Promises

They Make Empty Promises
They Make Empty Promises

Rude people often make empty promises to get what they want in the moment. They have no intention of actually following through with their word. Their insincerity shows a lack of respect for other’s time and trust.

Look out for those who:

  • Say what you want to hear but rarely take action.
  • Commit to plans or favors but consistently cancel or don’t show up.
  • Make big promises to gain your confidence or approval but fail to deliver.

Their unreliable and undependable behavior demonstrates a selfishness that has no place for others’ needs or expectations. Don’t count on the follow through from those whose words hold no weight. Judge them for their actions, not their false assurances.

16. They Don’t Respect Your Boundaries.

Rude people don’t care about your personal space, privacy, or preferences. They will touch you without permission, invade your space, or use your things without asking. They will also make inappropriate comments, jokes, or gestures that make you uncomfortable.


So now you’re equipped to spot rude behavior from far away. While rude people can be frustrating to deal with, try not to take their behavior personally. Their actions say more about them than they do about you. Remember, rude behavior is a reflection of the rude person, not the recipient.

Now that you know what to look for, you can choose to avoid rude people when possible and not engage when their behavior turns sour. You have the power to remove yourself from toxic situations and spend more time with people who treat you with kindness and respect. Life is too short to deal with perpetual rudeness, so spot it fast and move on to more positive interactions.


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