America has a "polite" problem. From polarizing political ideologies to racial division, the culture of free love birthed during the flower-child era is over. People today are more confrontative and determined than ever to make sure to get their point across, their idea heard, and their ideology felt at any cost. This attitude has led to more divisive language, online hate, and an unwillingness to thrive for reconciliation with Americans reporting 5.2 in-person incidents of incivility per week in a 2018 Civility in America: A Nationwide Survey.
As the founder of the National Association of Urban Etiquette Professionals (NAUEP) www.nauep.com, my entire mission is to treat others with respect and afford everyone the dignity their humanity deserves; however, today as we celebrate National Civility Month, the "Rise of Rude," has become an epidemic.
The cost of rude behavior has been staggering with the American Psychological Association reporting workplace stress costs the US economy over 500 billion dollars a year. Moreover, an astounding 550 billion work hours were loss as a result of workers being stressed.
The political arena has not faired any better as 79 percent of voters report incivility in government is preventing critical problems from being addressed. Nearly all Americans, or 95 percent state incivility is a problem in America and only getting worse.
Most troubling is the presence of incivility even in the area of health care where 50 percent of healthcare workers state they have been bullied by either a coworker or an upper-level manager. According to (Hansen et al., 2006; Tepper, 2000) workplace bulling has been linked to decreased mental health.
The report respondents believe by 2025 civility training will be a part of workplace training. Schools are also recognizing the importance of civility to quail the incidents of aggressiveness toward educators, parents, and students.
Though these numbers are troubling, the "Rise of Rude," can be stopped with personal responsibility. Each individual can make the decision today to have disagreement without destruction and conflict without disaster. Each person who experiences incivility does so at the decision of others. Though you cannot be responsible for other's behavior, you can be responsible for the way you act and respond.
To schedule your "Civility Works" workshop or to find out more about the work of the National Association of Urban Etiquette Professionals, log on to www.nauep.com.
About the Author
Trenette Wilson (aka Lady T) is the founder and CEO of the National Association of Urban Etiquette Professionals (NAUEP), the largest etiquette association in the nation providing etiquette workshops in urban communities. With more than 25 years of youth and curriculum development, Lady T has impacts more than 20,000 youth annually. Log on to www.nauep.com to find out more.