Courtesy is not cowardice
Posted Monday, June 18 2012 at 00:00
Unnecessarily aggressive people are a nuisance. I often wish there were “naughty corners” at every street end where they can be inhumanely piled and forced to think about their bad behaviour before being allowed to mingle again with the rest of civilised society.
Too many people are in a perpetual defensive mode, always with their guards up, always finding a reason to be angry about everything around them.
They reckon that courtesy is for pushovers. To put it nicely, they are a pain in the neck.
Because they have no identity badges on their lapels, we might not notice them, but they are everywhere. They are gremlins we could do without.
These people have character strength issues. They think their behaviour is acceptable, mistaking their aggressiveness for assertiveness, although the two are as different as night and day.
The former is for people with self-esteem issues while the latter is for people with nothing to prove.
People who suffer from “chronic aggression” are often loud when they complain about something (which is often) while assertive people are as calm as the sea on a clear day.
Since the aggressive sort think they are normal, the few pointers below might shock them, hoping they recognise themselves.
1)The loudmouth in the matatu with a large denomination note. He/she immediately demands change.
Should the tout tell them to wait, they will go on and on about how often they forget to collect their change. Look mate, if you often forget change (which I suspect is an untruth), work on your memory, do not take it out on the tout.
2) Are you the type who will not and cannot give way to anyone in traffic and pretends not to see the vehicle signalling to come in? Do you step on that peddle whenever someone tries to overtake you? You, my friend, are unnecessarily aggressive.
Not everyone trying to get in front of you is spiteful; some are actually and genuinely trying to get to the other side of the road because their exit is on the other side of the road. Come on, be nice.
As for you who will not let anyone overtake you, please note that people are not overtaking you to rub it in your face that they have a newer or more powerful car.
Some are actually in a hurry and could not be bothered with keeping with your 40 km/hr speed.
In fact, you might not know this, but you are three times a hero if you slow down. Now, that is someone with nothing to prove.
3) How do you behave with hotel service staff? Are you always ordering them around?
Do you always complain that the food is taking too long (although you insisted that your chicken should not be more than 10 minutes dead before cooking)?
Do you keep telling the service staff how you will not give them any tip because their service sucks?