Have you noticed? Rude behavior on the rise in NJ
If it seems to you like rude behavior is on the rise in New Jersey, you’re right.
A new study published in the Harvard Business Review finds incivility, ranting and rudeness has been increasing for the past couple of years, especially on the front lines of health care, the retail sector, transportation and education.
According to Victor Thompson, the chairman of the Rider University Sociology Department, we do seem to be hearing about more instances of people acting out, insulting and yelling.
😷 COVID isolation
Thompson said this may be due to political polarization, COVID isolation — "things that kind of create ripe conditions for high-stress levels, anxiety.”
Stress and anxiety can fuel incivility and even hostility.
“The more isolated people are the less connected they are to their social networks that really provide a sense of support, mental and social support that we just weren’t getting over the last few years," he said.
“The No. 1 predictor of mental well-being and mental health is really social networks and social connections, and if you don’t have those, as many people haven’t over the last few years, I can see a real decline in mental health and social well-being.”
🏦 The strain of inflation
He said many people have also been dealing with “the kind of stresses associated with being able to pay the bills."
The tougher it is “to make ends meet, obviously the more stress associated with basic day to day living, it creates hot moments and tense moments," he said.
He noted while several indicators suggest rude behavior is increasing, it can be difficult to measure because bad behavior is in the eye of the beholder. What may be considered rude by one person can be brushed aside by another.
Thompson pointed out many people are struggling with assorted stress, and just realizing you are not the only one facing the problems you are dealing with can help to calm anxiety.
The incivility study, based on a survey of how 2,000 people experienced rudeness found 3 out of 4 people reported dealing with incivility at least once a month, 70% said they saw this behavior at work at least 2 or 3 times a month and 73% reported it is not unusual for customers to behave badly.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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