If Indians are growing increasingly rude, it's got to do with poor parenting.
Are young Indians today ruder than they were 10 years ago? You are going to find most senior citizens nod at that one. Not to mention that celebrities aren't helping correct the image.
Last month, film and television producer Ekta Kapoor hit headlines when she called a 68-year-old man "an old fool" and stormed out of the bank where the two had an altercation. Kapoor gathered some bad press after the gentleman's daughter tweeted about the misbehaviour. On her part, she sent him a legal notice, but didn't deny that the incident took place.
The scene is not very different in the US, if a recent study by ratedpeople.com is to be believed. It concluded that people aged 18 to 34 were displaying insensitive behaviour, and didn't think it was a big deal if they didn't greet their neighbours or offered a seat in a bus or train to a pregnant woman.
While rudeness may be the subtle expression of suppressed anger or overcompensation for a deep-rooted insecurity, researchers have pointed fingers at excessive use of technology and ignorant parenting.
Indian parents, say counsellors, are often faced with the dilemma of dealing with ill-mannered children. A telling example of how parents end up dealing with the situation is Sridevi's character in the recent film English Vinglish. She went ahead and learnt English as a retort to her teenaged daughter's barbs, but didn't make it clear that her behaviour wouldn't be tolerated.
"This generation has not been taught to be polite. You are not born rude. You adopt it as a way of life by watching what parents do. Say, a parent has no qualms pushing through a queue or talking down to the house help. The child will pick up the traits automatically," says Mumbai-based clinical psychologist Varkha Chulani.
Parity begins at home
With a challenging job, long hours at work and unpredictable schedules, couples from double income homes have little time or patience to get their kids to 'do as I say and as I do'. "There is no preaching and very poor practising, so, what do you get? Privileged kids who have no clue of what sensitivity entails. Crude, crass, obnoxious behaviour becomes a way of life," says Chulani. And it's often justified as warranted in today's times of cut-throat competition. Environment can also play a role in moulding behaviour patterns.
A peaceful, encouraging, positive atmosphere at home and school, helps thwart erratic behaviour. Bullying and teasing often instigates rudeness in kids, believes psychiatrist Dr Anjali Chhabria. "When left uncorrected in kids, rudeness can manifest itself in various aspects of life, often leading to despicable behaviour at the workplace." This of course, needn't be true of all cases since it's a long journey from childhood to adulthood.
Experiences over the years also help design the behaviour an adult exhibits. There's a good chance that not all kids who are aggressive will turn into obnoxious adults. "With positive reinforcement, encouraging and supportive parenting, negative behaviour can be easily modified," says Dr Chhabria.
While you'd imagine brusqueness is a behaviour trait, counsellors say man-made inventions are contributing towards its spread. Most parents today complain about their children being so preoccupied with their phones, iPads and laptops, that they have no time or inclination to what someone may be saying. "Texting leads to behaviour that impacts social skill building; it hinders a person's ability to communicate effectively in person, leaving them unable to hold meaningful conversations," explains Chulani. Parents can lead by example by staying off gadgets and cell phones during family time and at meals, encouraging conversation and courtesy among family members.
Mind your Ps and Qs
What we call 'manners' among kids and adolescents, become 'social skills' when they turn into adults; hence it's importance. "Manners determine the sense of right and wrong at an early age. Manners also determine your interpersonal and communication skills which, in turn, influence how you will behave socially," says Dr Chhabria.
The true character of a person is revealed in interactions with people less powerful than themselves. Chulani explains, "Most children realise that they won't go too far if they continue with their high-handed ways so they 'mend' themselves at work or in surroundings where they cannot get away with abruptness. But the true test arrives when they meet people in positions of lesser power, for example the driver, steward or watchman."
Chulani has noticed that most often, people with poor social skills were raised with inappropriate etiquette. "You aren't born with class; you are reared into it."
By Aruna Rathod Panvel, Mumbai Mirror
Source: Times of India - http://goo.gl/qjlMd