our everyday life

How to Handle a Rude Boyfriend

by April Sanders

No one likes to be around someone who is rude, and having a rude boyfriend probably makes it difficult to enjoy the time you spend with him. People who behave rudely are usually doing so inadvertently, suggests social worker and author Signe Whitson. They might not mean to be cruel -- they might even think they are being witty or even helpful -- but their actions and comments hurt nonetheless. For this reason, it's important not to put up with your boyfriend's rude behavior.

Tell him how you feel. He might think he is being funny, but you think differently. If you are in a public place, you might choose to let it pass, and talk about it as soon as you are alone together. It's important that he know that what he did or said hurt or offended you.

Be specific. Explain to him exactly what you think is rude and why. It's important to be very clear on what you feel is acceptable behavior. Calling out a waiter's name might be OK, for example, but snapping your fingers at him like he's a dog is not.

Work out a sign for when you are in public to fend off the rudeness next time. For example, if your boyfriend has an annoying habit of smacking gum, and he starts doing it during a movie, maybe you could point at his cheek. Or, if he tends to make rude, thoughtless comments, gently take his hand and tap his palm to warn him to be thoughtful when he's talking to someone.

Call him on it. Some situations require something a little less subtle. If your boyfriend moves beyond rude and is deliberately mean -- he makes fun of a homeless person, for example -- go ahead and tell him, in front of the homeless person, that he's being rude and that he should apologize. He may or may not comply, but you don't want to let that type of behavior pass.

Suggest alternatives when your boyfriend says something rude. If he tells you that he thinks you should use a straightener on your hair, tell him that you would prefer to hear that your hair looks nice tonight. Preface that by saying you find it hurtful he would imply that your hair looks bad unless it is straightened. Sometimes, people can be honest to a fault.

Take note of whether or not the behavior changes. If it doesn't -- and especially if it gets worse -- this is a sign that something is wrong with your relationship and your boyfriend may need professional help, asserts psychologist and University of Louisville professor Michael Cunningham, in a 2014 "Wall Street Journal" interview.

About the Author

I can write in a wide variety of styles, from academic to humorous (see links to my blog above).

Photo Credits

  • innovatedcaptures/iStock/Getty Images