Sometimes I rage about putting people into categories. And sometimes, I still manage to put them into categories. Understand that it's a matter of efficiency and is ultimately a gross oversimplification of an issue.

That being said, I find it appalling how many people in this world are rude. Some of it is intentional, some of it is the result of bad parenting, and some is completely accidental. On rare occasion, I think it's justified.

Intentional rudeness: The guy who passed me on the right this morning (in a parking lane) and flipped me off while yelling. Because I came to a full and complete stop at the stop sign. Sorry California, I'm a rule follower.

Bad parenting: The people who chew with their mouths open. Smack smack smack. Ick.

Accidental rudeness: This category covers a broad range of offenses. There are the people who make social situations awkward just because they don't know how to handle them. Or the people who have hygiene issues (yes, that's a form of rudeness. Etiquette is all about making other people comfortable. Not showering for 3 days makes people *un*comfortable.) Or when you say something in a way that is offensive, when you did not intend it to be so. Or when you cut ahead of somebody in a line because you couldn't figure out where the line ended.

Justified rudeness: This could just be me, but there's a point where I take down my hyper-accommodating hat and go with my frank and direct hat. This usually makes people feel attacked, only because it is so surprising. Generally, people don't get to see this side of me unless a) I'm really mad or b) I'm really comfortable with them.

Iffy rudeness: It surprises me that people don't know this, but it is rude to point out when someone else is being rude. Saying "excuse you," after someone passes gas makes an uncomfortable situation more uncomfortable. It takes an embarrassing incident and turns it into a confrontation - obviously the person is going to have to either respond to what you said, or sit there, silent. In both cases, the rest of the people in the room get to feel uncomfortable. Of course, I broke my own rule in explaining this to a friend after she nagged her boyfriend about how to use a fork at the dinner table. This was mainly because I had witnessed her nagging him on several occasions. It got old.

There are plenty of exceptions. There's a lot I do around my best-buds that would be considered rude. Sometimes it's because I like to make fun of the rude people. (Which yes, is rude, but I don't do it when they're around.) Sometimes I swear. A lot.

When it comes down to it, you should err on the side of hyper-politeness. Once you are familiar with a group of people (or individuals) and find out what they consider to be appropriate, then you can begin to let down your guard.

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