Pardon Me Was I Rude ?

Rudeness is in the eye and ear of the beholder and the mind of the experiencer.

This article is dedicated to the fact that , "No-one has the right to be Rude !" What I see so many times these days ; is that many people in the S.C.A. believe that they have a right to be rude . It seems that the more rank an individual attains in the S.C.A. the more they believe they have the right to be "Rude". I personally , am very tired of this attitude . Iím at the point that I will no longer tolerate it . In an effort to promote better manners in the S.C.A. and people in general I am writing this article.

It seems that many people believe "To become a peer gives them the right to say or do anything that they want." If someone inconveniences them they have the right to "Tell that person off !" and of course the person who believes this also believes that they are never rude.

As I said earlier "Rudeness is in the eye and the ear of the beholder and the mind of the experiencer. What this means is two fold . First , If a third party observer would consider it rude , then it was rude and if a person says to you "I feel youíre being rude to me !" then you are being rude.

If someone takes the time to say to you "I Feel youíre being rude !" Then you should step back and look at your actions , because it does not matter what you think , if someone says you have been rude to them , then in their mind you have ! You can not be the judge of how someone else experiences you !

So instead of being angry , you should step back and ask yourself "Was I rude?" and if an impartial observer would have perceived rudeness then you were rude and should apologize and rephrase your statement in perhaps a calmer mood. Iím going to give some examples of rudeness here so that you may all better understand what I am saying.

A couple of years ago , I was at an event with several friends ; we had walked into the hall and to all outward observations nothing was going on. There were some chairs sitting next to the wall and about ten people were in the middle of the floor talking. On one of the chairs was a "Boom Box" ( very period) We sat next to the boom box and were talking amongst ourselves . Suddenly a Peer came up to us and said " You people are going to have to move !" "Youíre making too much noise and weíre trying to dance here !"

Again I remind you the boom box was not playing and no-one was dancing. As we started to walk away ; I turned and stated , quite loudly " Well I guess only Laurels and Pelicans have the right to be Rude!" The person replied "I wasnít Rude!"

How does this seem to you ?

My Reply was " Well my friends and I perceived that you were rude to us !" This person never admitted that they were rude. However rudeness is most important to the people perceiving it . There was no way that I or my friends could have know that these people were dancing , especially since we had been talking in the same location for about ten to fifteen minutes. There was no dancing going on and no music was being played . We could not have known what they were doing however this person insisted that we "Had to know they were dancing!" Never assume that anyone knows what you are doing !

Have the courtesy to ask them politely to move or explain to them that you are doing something. Do not assume " That they can obviously see what you are doing " because they probably canít ! Someone must know the situation before you can accuse them of being rude !

Hereís another example , involving the same person , again being rude , but in the opposite way. About a year and a half latter I was at a Bardic , it is a traditional Bardic that has been going on for about three years now. It goes on late into the night and more and more people gather as the night goes on. There were about twelve of us singing in a group and the person in question came in with four friends and they were making so much noise that the twelve of us could not be heard .

We discussed it amongst ourselves and decided to ask them to join us. We sent the least obtrusive of our singers over and he said " Pardon me good gentiles , but we are having a bardic and we noticed that you have such fine voices that we would like to ask you to join us ." Four of them insisted that they could not sing and really didnít have voices for it. At that point I walked over ( since I knew two of the group) and said to the one fellow "Come on my friend , you have a wonderful voice ! ; Why donít you sing with us ?" They all declined ; though one of them finally did join us.

Our friend then asked "Well if you wonít join us , could we ask you not to be so loud ? We canít hear the people singing." They laughed a bit and finally did quiet down a bit .

These people had obviously been rude , but we tried to be as diplomatic as possible and even invited them to join us. There were about twenty people in the hall and all perceived these five individuals to be "Rude" . However these people did not find themselves to be rude even when it was made obvious that it was interrupting our bardic .

If a person does not know that you perceive them as being rude then they are not being rude ; and it is up to you to let them know without being rude yourself !

Hereís one more example . I was at a coronation recently , and there were several of us who were performing and playing instruments, As a drummer we had been assigned a specific area to drum in . We had three different beats we were expected to play , I had been asked to lead two of them and the one beat I didnít know very well .

So at one point just before our performance I decided to lightly tap out one of the rhythms on my drum so I would remember it . Next to us there was a lady lightly plucking the strings of a harp , in no particular order . It was so light and sporadic that I really hadnít noticed . Little did I know ; this was a laurel .

I tapped about five light beats on my drum ( It could barely be heard past where we were standing , but this person was only about six feet away. When suddenly this person comes up behind me and in a loud and gruff voice exclaims " Do You Mind ! ; Iím trying to tune a harp here !" She was very Rude ! What made her think that she was the only musician who might need to practice or tune an instrument ? She continued with " So take your Drum and go somewhere else !"

I was very angry ; if I had known she was tuning a harp it would have been one thing but since I didnít she had the obligation to at least tell me first and then to ask me politely if I could move and I would have gladly done it. However this would have taken a minutes thought and consideration and many people who have peerages donít have the time or obligation to do this ; ask them ; theyíll tell you themselves ! (I canít count the number of times they have told me .)

If I sound angry ; I am , itís a shame that so many people in our society arenít obligated to have "Manners!" Iím not saying that I am always polite , but if I perceive that I may have been rude I almost always apologize. Also ; once someone has been rude to me ; I have no more obligation to be polite to them . They have lost all honor in my eyes and probably will never regain it .

Always look for an alternate way to approach the situation . Try to turn a negative into a positive . Instead of storming up and saying " Iím trying to tune a harp here !" You might try " Excuse me , Iím having a problem with my harp , I wonder if you could help me ?" Iíd be willing to bet youíd get a better response.

Because of my reputation in the S.C.A. many people perceive that they have the right to be rude to me without ever having met me . No-one has the right to be rude to another based on what someone else has said ! Take the time to get to know someone before you decide to be rude to them ! Be polite , even if you think someone has been rude to you . The Law states " There must be ĎIntentí before a crime can be committed ." If someone says to you " I think you are being Rude" ; take some time to look at your actions and if you can see where it might have been perceived that way ; then you owe them an apology . If you can , always give the person the benefit of the doubt and if you feel you must say something try to be polite !

This is not just a "Game" ; it is a game of "Elegant Society!" A game in which courtesy , politeness and manners should be at the forefront of our minds. If these things should "Slip our Minds" then it is good that we be reminded of them .

I am aware of my own words and have considered that sometime they may return to haunt me , but at the same time , if someone says to me , "I think you are being rude." I will try to look at my own actions and if I have acted without reason I shall try to apologize .

However if someone is already shouting at you and you have no idea why , tell them they are being rude ! It probably wonít do any good , but then again maybe they will have read this article .

Well I hope this makes each of you think the next time someone is annoying you and I hope youíll look for an alternate way to express your feelings to people .