Not Nice: Part 1

It's known as the golden rule, treating others as you would want to be treated. However, many Americans say that rule isn't practiced like it was in the past.

In a 2002 study from Public Agenda, 79 percent of Americans said lack of respect should be looked at as a national problem.

From the checkout line, to restaurants, to driving down the road, many say rudeness is on the rise.

"People expect you to do things for them that they used to be able to do for themselves," Libby Davies said.

"I think people are in a really big hurry wherever they go, and that's why they're rude. They don't take the time to stop and say 'Hi, how are you doing?'," Melodee Gates said.

Doctor Bill Pfohl, a psychologist, said bad manners are becoming more of the norm in society.

"I think they're just becoming more adapting to it and saying that's just the way people are, and they forget maybe five to 10 years ago people were not this way,” Pfohl said.

Pfohl said children can learn these manners from their environment, whether it's at home, on the playground or at school.

"We learn from others. As one person does it we see them get away with it, actually other people say 'i can do that too,” Pfohl said.

With technology everywhere in our society, Pfohl said many are becoming more disconnected to those that they are talking to either over the phone or even on the computer.

"We're seeing more with text messaging. We're seeing more with MySpace where people feel kind of the impersonal aspects of I can tell somebody off,” Pfohl said.

With this disconnection, Pfohl said basic rudeness can sometimes lead to violent situations. "It could be road rage, or somebody actually pulling a weapon, or somebody in a way to get even or to control people,” Pfohl said.

Pfohl also said the key to controlling your feelings is to make a short fuse a little longer by stepping back from the situation, so you can see it more clearly.

"I tease parents about count to 10 and if that doesn't work count to a million and they always laugh about it, but it really says give me some space, give me a few seconds to think,” Pfohl said.

For more information on the Public Agenda Study, you can log onto www.publicagenda.org/press/press_release_detail.cfm?list=45.


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