We've all had one of those bad days. You didn't sleep well and the alarm came too early. You spilled your coffee on your shirt and traffic made you late to work. You were so frustrated that you didn't even notice (and therefore didn't apologize) when you bumped into someone while you were walking in the door. Before you can even get settled in, an innocent comment from a colleague you like rubs you the wrong way and you snap at them.
Sure, it wasn't great to do, but it's not the end of the world, right? Unfortunately, that bad morning may have set off a chain of events that could spread your rudeness, however inadvertent it may have been, to others. Humans are social creatures that tend to adapt to the moods and behavior of others, for better or for worse.
The person you bumped into without acknowledging might be in a bad mood now, too, and will take that aggression out on others. The colleague might transfer your rude behavior onto another co-worker, spreading the infection of rudeness throughout the office.
In its latest video, DNews explains the neuroscience that causes us to pick up and ultimately mimic rude behavior that has been inflicted on us.
While it's really easy for bad moods to run rampant, there is a silver lining: good moods and kindness can spread just as quickly. There is an incredible amount of research that shows how gratifying it is to do for others.
On those days where bad moods just don't quit, it's best to become more aware of actions and how they are perceived by others. Apologizing for wrongdoings is a great way to mend feelings, as is trying to make it right through some gesture.
After experiencing rudeness from others, the best thing to do is to not take it personally and take it in stride. Instead, try to break the cycle of rudeness by following the age-old advice from grandmothers everywhere and kill them with kindness instead.
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