Rudeness is contagious

A growing body of research offers compelling evidence that experiencing rudeness, and even simply witnessing rudeness, can have surprisingly harmful effects on performance, creativity and even helpfulness.

Could rudeness be contagious, just like the common cold? To explore this question, a study was carried out at the University of Florida over a 7-week period. Participants engaged in eleven negotiations exercises with different partners, then rated how rudely their negotiation partner had behaved. The findings showed that rudeness is contagious, and that the rudeness ‘caught’ persisted between negotiation partners, carrying on from one negotiation experience to the next.

Apparently, up to 98% of workers report that they have experienced rudeness in the office, and 50% say they experience it weekly. Maybe it’s time to start being nice to your colleagues instead?

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