RudeBusters!
A safe haven from rudeness
, rage and stress

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Rudeness is
contagious,
but so is
a smile!

Who says we're rude?

Rude uncivil raging bully
Rudeness, incivility, anger, rage, vulgarity, bullying, bashing, selfish behavior and bad manners are not in your mind -- they're all around us and things are getting worse; here's what the research and statistics on rudeness, anger and violence say about us:

Vent & Vote Poll          Take the Rudeness Poll!

"We're Ruder Than Ever, Poll Finds... 'It's about the daily assault of selfish, inconsiderate behavior that gets under people's skin on the highways, in the office, on TV, in stores and the myriad other settings where they encounter fellow Americans.'" (April 3, 2002, Deborah Wadsworth, Pres. Public Agenda Research Group, reported on ABCNEWS.com)

In the study mentioned above, nearly eight in 10 respondents said lack of respect and courtesy is a serious national problem; 61% agreed that there was more rude behavior than in the past; people blamed parents for not instilling courtesy in their children, and popular culture for encouraging rude behavior (April 3, 2002, Public Agenda Research Group, reported on ABCNEWS.com)

No matter who does the study, the results seem to be the same.  Here, 79% feel people are ruder to each other now than just 10 years ago; 42% say they encounter rude behavior every day (Apr. 2002 Good Housekeeping)

We’re all under a lot of stress and feel pushed to the edge: one study shows that 9 out of 10 of us are highly stressed most of the time (Rose Medical Center, Denver CO)  

Another current research poll shows that 3 out of 4 Americans (78%) think rude and selfish behavior is worse at airports and highways (CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup Poll 2000) 

What’s going on? We’re rude and we’re mean: there’s road rage, air rage, cellphone rage, checkout rage, bike rage, sports rage, parking rage, rail rage, bank rage, roller rage, boat rage, desk rage, car alarm rage, and drivers who even honk at people on crutches. And according to one expert, there’s also "funeral rage" – people actually flip the bird and cut off funeral processions (Dr. Frank Farley, former president, American Psychological Association)

It seems we may have what’s called "Hurry Sickness"; we’re impatient – and when someone slows us down, we get rude and angry (Meyer Freidman Institute in San Francisco which studies the relationship between stress and heart disease)

Check this out: 9 out of 10 of us (88%) feel that incivility is a serious problem and getting worse. And 9 out of 10 Americans think that incivility increases opportunities for violence (Bozell Worldwide/US News & World Report Civility in America Study 1999) 

Statistics prove that more than 8 in 10 of us, both with kids and without kids, agree that bad parenting -- the failure to instill good behavior in kids -- is the major cause of bad manners (Bozell Worldwide/US News & World Report Civility in America Study 1999) 

Sorry -- this study shows that 3 out of 4 people say our manners are worse today than 20 or 30 years ago (ABCNEWS/World Tonight Poll May 1999)

The US is the third most populated place on earth and population growth and crowding will increase and has consequences; more people will be in each other's face, more people means slower checkout lines, gridlock, slower traffic, more frustration which leads to aggression (Dr. Frank Farley, former president, American Psychological Association, USA Today, 7/18/2001)

Imagine, 85% of us feel that the world would be a better place if we just said “please” and “thank you” more often (ABCNEWS/World Tonight Poll May 1999)

Cellphone rudeness is the #1 complaint of diners (Zagat Restaurant Survey)

Fifty-nine percent of people would rather visit the dentist than sit next to someone using a cell phone (USA Today, July 28, 1999)

Forty-three percent of cell phone users do not turn their phones off at the movies or theatre and 57% don't turn them off in a restaurant (LetsTalk.com Study, Wirthlin Worldwide)

Which uses of cell phones do people most abhor?  86% over dinner, 88% in a meeting, 96% in a movie, 98% at a funeral (USA Today, July 28, 1999)

When Texans were asked about drivers and cellular phones, 92% thought talking on the phone while driving is dangerous; 89% of those who own cell phones share that view (Scripps Howard Poll, Houston Chronicle)

So, should there be a state law prohibiting cellphone use while driving -- 59% of Texans say yes, and 48% of those who own cell phones favor such a law (Scripps Howard Poll, Houston Chronicle)

Cellphone chatter annoys almost two-thirds of Americans.  And of those polled for Cingular Wireless, 80% said they overhear cell chat in restaurants and stores. (USA Today, 9/5/2001) 

When asked if they are in favor of legislation to regulate cell phone use, 57% favor banning mobile phones in the classroom, theatres and restaurants (LetsTalk.com Study, Wirthlin Worldwide)

One psychologist says that cellphones are a way of minimizing the importance of the group…cell phone people are telling the rest of us that "You don’t matter and I’m very important." (Dr. Joseph Miller, New School for Social Research)

A national "last-straw" survey of anger in the workplace shows that 42% of respondents said yelling and verbal abuse took place where they worked. 29% admitted that they themselves had yelled at co-workers (Integra Realty Resources Study on "Desk Rage")

Most of us all realize that anger is contagious. The "desk rage" survey tells us that 34% of respondents had suffered insomnia because of a stress-filled or anger-charged workplace; 11% said they consumed excessive alcohol and 16% smoked too much for the same reasons (Integra Realty Resources Study on "Desk Rage")

Here’s more to ponder -- nearly 1 in 4 of all employees suffer chronic anger on the job. Workplace anger is on the upswing, because people feel betrayed by their employers (The Marlin Co. & Yale School of Management)

In a five-year workplace study, more than half surveyed said they were distracted by rude behavior at work and got less done while fuming or worrying about it...22% said they purposely quit doing their best work due to incivility (Christine Pearson, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)

In the same national study of workplace rudeness, 28% said they lost work time trying to avoid a bully, while 12% actually resigned their jobs to avoid the incivility instigator (Christine Pearson, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)

It’s estimated that 1 in 5 of the U.S. workforce (20% of 139.4 million people) have experienced bullies; and in 41% of the workplace incidents, the trauma is so severe that it warrants a clinical diagnosis of depression (Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie, Campaign Against Workplace Bullying; Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster, PA)

Another study, "Workplace Incivility: The Target's Eye View," found that 78 percent said incivility on the job has worsened in the last 10 years; the study also found that men are seven times more likely to be rude or insensitive to underlings than to superiors and women are equally rude to both superiors and subordinates...the prevalence of anger was one of the findings -- 8 million to 10 million people say they are angry or very angry (The Marlin Co. & Yale School of Management)

More proof that courtesy is less common on the job -- this survey shows that 44% of respondents feel a few more "pleases" and "thank yous" are needed at work; 29% said the level of professional courtesy at work has decreased somewhat during the past five years (Office Team, Menlo Park, CA)

The etiquette crisis on the job not only includes phone slamming, snippy e-mails, yelling, and harsh reprimands, but there's no surprise to learn that "Pet peeve number one among many employees is when people take someone else's food from the refrigerator" (Dr. P.M. Forni, Civility Project, Johns Hopkins University)

In a "non-scientific" Labor Day study in 1998 on workplace bullying, 75% of those who reported that bullying had stopped said it did so only because they left the job.  The top two effects of bullies on their workplace targets are stress and anxiety (79%) and depression (65%) (The Campaign Against Workplace Bullying)

On the job bullying/general hostility is 4 times more prevalent than illegal discrimination and harrassment.  And there are no laws that cover workplace bullying (WorkRelationships, Inc.)

Had it to here with rude drivers? In one prominent study, statistics show that 90% of drivers experienced an aggressive driving incident (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 1997 report) 

Aggressive drivers (drivers who tailgate, exceed speed limits, run red lights, and switch lanes with no warning) contribute to the more than 6 million crashes in the U.S. each year (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Road rage is our #1 traffic problem (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

In a national survey , the majority of motorists consider unsafe driving by others a significant threat to their personal safety -- 98% felt it was important to do something about unsafe driving, and of that 98%, 75% felt it was very important (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Study, 1999)

In that same study, one in three motorists felt that drivers in their area were driving somewhat or a lot more aggressively than a year ago and 59% report seeing vehicles traveling at unsafe speeds all (31%) or most of the time (24%)  (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Study, 1999)

Approximately 250,000 people were killed and 20 million motorists injured in traffic crashes between 1990-96. Federal officials have reported that two-thirds of the fatalities on the roads in the U.S. are attributable to aggressive driving (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1999)

A survey of drivers in New York shows that more than 90% support a law that would increase penalties for those convicted of road rage or criminal aggressive driving. And 72% said drivers are more aggressive today than they were five years ago (Governor's Traffic Safety Committee by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at Albany and Fact Finders, Inc.)

Sticking it to your employees is rude! In 1970, CEO paychecks were 41 times the average manufacturing worker's salary. In 1997, CEO paychecks were 326 times average salaries (Minnesota Congressman Martin Olav Sabo has a web site concerning this wage disparity) 

Identity theft is the #1 consumer complaint, representing 42% of complaints; this year as many 750,000 citizens will have their identities stolen (Federal Trade Commission)

Can’t get anyone in the store to wait on you? Lack of customer respect is the root of every common service complaint (Texas A & M University Center for Retailing Studies)

A recent research poll confirms that two out of three customers say that salespeople “don’t care much about me or my needs” (Yankelovich Partners Research) 


Sports stars publicly display so much anger and violence on and off the court – these are role models? They beat each other, run each other down with cars... and how about spitting in a baseball umpire’s face, head-butting a basketball referee, choking a baseball coach, bat-throwing, ear biting, and worse...Attacks at sporting events for children are so prevalent, that the National Association of Sports Officials now offers assault insurance to members

"Sideline rage" with parents behaving badly at youth sports events is such an epidemic, that 76% of respondents from 60 high school athletic associations said increased spectator interference is causing many officials to quit (Associated Press, 6/3/01)

This feature points out that fishing -- a once soothing, restorative recreation -- is increasingly being turned into a potpourri of hot tempers, bad manners, bad sportsmanship and rampant rudeness; the author fears that friendly fishermen might be an endangered species (Gene Mueller, The Washington Times, 3/31/02)

Some think rudeness is contagious – when you see so much of it, you start behaving badly, too; in January 1997, President Clinton convened a National Commission on Civic Renewal after citing a "toxic atmosphere of cynicism" in this country

The number of consumer complaints about U.S. airline service is the highest number in 12 years (U.S. Dept. of Transportation)

More than 8 out of 10 respondents to a telephone survey said children today display worse manners than in the past, when the respondents themselves were children (Rasmussen Research, Detroit News 2/7/02)

Kids used to be told to “keep a lid on it.” But today, all around them, they’re more guided by letting it all hang out, so it's okay to be aggressive (Human development professor at Cornell University, James Garbarino)

A lack of good manners among children is a growing problem in the classroom and on the playground (A Report to Parents, National Association of Elementary School Principals)

Between 1985 and 1994 there was a 40% increase in murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults; our youth were responsible for 26% of this growth in violence and the trend is likely to continue (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)

Violence and American youth was the subject of a recent national survey that found 43% of high school and 37% of middle school boys believe it is OK to hit or threaten a person who makes them angry. Nearly one in five (19%) of the girls agree (Josephson Institute of Ethics)

The same national survey found that 75% of all boys and over 60% of teenaged girls said they hit someone in the past 12 months because they were angry (Josephson Institute of Ethics)

FBI statistics show that the years between 1985 and 1995 saw a 249% increase in gun-related murders committed by juveniles; by 1992, when murder became the second leading cause of death among males 15-24 in the U.S., 75% of the killings already involved guns (Is Youth Violence Just Another Fact of Life, American  Psychological Assoc.)

The number of youth age 10-17 who are arrested for violent crimes could more than double by the year 2010 if arrest rates continue to increase as they did between 1983 and 1992; the projected growth includes a 142% increase in murders and 129% increase in assault (National Center for Juvenile Justice)

Violence affects the quality of life of young people who experience, witness, or feel threatened by it. In addition to the direct physical harm young victims of serious violence suffer, such violence can adversely their mental health and development and increase the likelihood that they themselves will commit acts of serious violence -- youth ages 12 to 17 are twice as likely as adults to be victims of serious violent crimes including aggravated assault, rape, robbery (by force or threat of violence) and homicide (US Dept. of Justice, ChildStats.gov)

The level of youth violence in society is an indicator of youths' ability to control their behavior, as well as the adequacy of socializing agents such as families, peers, schools and religious institutions. In 1999, 24% of all serious violent crime victimizations involved a juvenile offender (US Dept. of Justice, ChildStats.gov)

In a survey of elementary students, 70% of students reported being bullied, while the staff estimated that 7% were victims of bullies.  At the middle school level, 66% of students said they had been bullied, while the staff estimated 8% of students were being bullied.  This suggests the staff doesn't recognize what the kids in the school are facing (Earlychildhood.com, Dr. Mary Drecktrah and Lisa Blaskowski, Univ. of WI, Oshkosh)

Teenagers who watch more than an hour of TV a day during early adolescence are more likely to be violent later in life; the rate of violence -- assault, fights, robberies -- increases dramatically if daily TV time exceeds three hours; "The evidence has gotten to the point where it's overwhelming"; and this latest study shows a fivefold increase in aggressive behavior from less than an hour to three or more hours of TV watching (Columbia University & the NY State Psychiatric Institute, reported by Associated Press)

The American Psychological Assoc., American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Psychiatric Assoc. and Case Western Reserve Univ. in Cleveland has also reported links between viewing TV and violent and aggressive behavior in youths (Study results provided by APA, reported by Associated Press)

Violent programs on TV lead to aggressive behavior by children and three major effects occur: children may becme less sensitive to the suffering of others, may be more fearful of the world around them, and may be more likely to be aggressive toward others (American Psychological Association)

Children's TV shows contain about 20 violent acts each hour and children who watch a lot of television are more likely to think the world is a mean and dangerous place (Dr. George Gerbner, Univ. of PA)

About 100 preschoolers were observed before and after watching TV; some watched cartoons with a lot of aggressive and violent acts in them; other watched shows without any violence; researchers noted real differences between the two groups of kids; even "just funny" cartoons with violence resulted in kids predisposed to hit out at playmates, argue, disobey class rules, be less willing to wait for things than those who watched nonviolent programs (Penn State Univ. Dr. Aletha Huston, now at Univ. of Kansas)

Children of elementary school age who watched many hours of TV violence tended to display a higher level of aggressive behavior when they became teenagers; those who watched a lot of TV when they were 8 years old were more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for criminal acts as adults (Dr. Leonard Eron, Univ. of Illinois)

After review of hundreds of research findings, three major national studies have concluded that heavy exposure to TV violence is one of the significant causes of violence in society: The Surgeon General's Commission Report (1972; The National Institute of Mental Health Ten-Year Follow-Up (1982); and the American Psychological Assoc. Task Force on Television in Society (1992) (Is Youth Violence Just Another Fact of Live, American Psychological Assoc.)

A 3-year National Television Study found that nearly two-thirds of all television programming contains violence, and children's shows contain the most violence -- more violence that adults' shows; furthermore, portrayals of violence are usually glamorized and perpetrators often go unpunished (Federman J., ed. National Television Violence Study. Vol. 2. Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage, 1998)

By age 18, the average American child will have viewed about 200,000 acts of violence on television alone ("Media Violence", American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Communications, Vol 95, June 1995)

The level of violence during Saturday morning cartoons is higher than the level of violence during prime time; there are 3 to 5 violent acts per hour in prime time, vs. 20 to 25 acts per hour on Saturday morning  ("Media Violence", American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Communications, Vol 95, June 1995)

A survey of adult TV viewers found that over one-third have seen television programming they considered "personally offensive or morally objectionable" (Electronic Media, reported in The Plain Truth online)

Are students morally adrift? Almost 3 out of 4 (71%) said they cheated in the previous year; 35% of students surveyed had stolen something from a store. What's worse is that 68% had struck someone when angry, and 47% -- almost half -- could get a gun if they wanted to (Josephson Institute of Ethics)

According to an online victimization study, of 24 million kids between 10 and 17 who were online regularly in 1999, 6 million received sexually explicit material they didn't want, nearly 5 million were sexually solicited and more than 1.4 million were harassed  (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) 

Aggression is often learned at an early age; it is possible to predict from an eight-year-old's aggressive behavior in school how aggressive that child will be in adolescence and adulthood; that is why prevention programs that start early in childhood and continue through adolescence have the best chance for success (Reason to Hope, American Psychological Assoc. Commission on Violence and Youth)

Abuse accounts for about 10 percent of the injuries to children under age 7 who are examined in emergency rooms (American Psychological Assoc., Facts About Family Violence)

An estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence by family members against their mothers or female caretakers (American Psychological Assoc., Facts About Family Violence)

Fifty-seven percent of children under 12 who are murdered are killed by a parent (American Psychological Assoc., Facts About Family Violence)

About 4 million American women experience a serious assault by an intimate partner during a 12-month period
(American Psychological Assoc., Facts About Family Violence)

Reports of elder abuse have more than doubled in the last ten years; most senior bashing  is committed by someone they live with, most frequently adult children; nearly a third of the murders of persons aged 60+ are committed by a family member; male family members are the most frequent perpetrators of physical abuse against the elderly  (National Center on Elder Abuse)

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