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Dear Gramps,

I was wondering if you could give me any advice. I’m 14 and I am having such a hard time dealing with people in general. They’re so rude and often times hateful. I know that people are trying to be good and they might have good intentions, but it’s so hard to remember that when people are so horrible. How can I deal with this? I know it’s my problem, but what can I do?





Dear Madylyn,

It may be easier to put up with the rudeness of others if we understood something about why they are being so rude. As you may well know, most people entering the “terrible teens” have a great need for acceptance and a great need to be noticed. In those circumstances when social skills are just being developed, most of the emphasis appears to be placed often on being noticed. The feeling is that it’s hard to be accepted if others don’t know that you’re around. So the rudeness that you often see is generally an expression or a signal to all around, saying, “Hey, here I am! Have you noticed?”

Now, how does one deal with such inappropriate behavior. In the first place, any attempt to draw their rudeness to their attention will be met by immediate self-justification and accusation of butting in to their business.” Yours is not the role of correction. Remember the words of the Lord in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11:29,

For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

So the thing to do is ignore the rudeness and always give a pleasant, non-offensive reply. By doing so you will accomplish two things: you will win their respect and make a friend, and you will act as a powerful example to those around you. Another characteristic of young people with which you may be acquainted is the strong tendency to follow those one or two people who dare to be different and thus seem to emerge as the leaders of others. If you dare to be different in your non-offensive, caring treatment of those around you, you will be adopting a leadership role that others will be glad to follow.






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