Why are so many people rude on the Internet?


People are rude on the Internet because human beings are predators, like lions and tigers. Animals are more honest; they simply bite each other, either in play, or for keeps. People are trickier; they frequently mask or hide their natural aggression in wordplay or irrational speech, in the form of linguistic puzzles. All you have to do is solve all the puzzles!


This is exactly what I've been working on over at taxi1010.com, which includes linguistic puzzles (which before they're solved, or fully understood, evoke hurt feelings, bewilderment, frustration, almost imperceptible fear, cover-up of impulses to kill (by being good!), anger, real fear, open hostility, physical violence, and war), along with research in how to respond in mutually face-saving ways, that are neither namby-pamby nor critical, and which get updated every day, in the Daily Splash!


The preverbal parts of a person can be contacted and nourished. On an individual level, whether someone was sexually, emotionally, or physically abused as a child or not, words replace vague unspoken fears; on a more powerful, though no less specific level, whether in the ritualized aggression of law, in the amused du mot jouer of rich people, or in the parleys of international diplomacy, words replace violence.


The way out is through understanding, in one stealthy way or another, so you can get below linguistic cloaks and really listen to people. It helps to have a sense of humor and to realize, people need to express themselves honestly (except at their place of work!) so they can grow through things.


Richard Ames Hart, October 18, 2007


External Links


Non-escalating Verbal Self-Defense

Verbal Abuse :: unabridged