Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Why are old people so rude?

We're bombarded with information about the 'youth' of today being rude, ungrateful and selfish. But what about our ageing population? I live in a popular town where coach loads of (mainly older) people come to visit daily. The population of the town is predominantly white pensioners. So you get the picture, there are a lot of old people around (especially on market day). 
Why are old people so rude?

And, they're so rude. Not in a spitting chewing gum out, gobbing on the floor, shouting obscenities kind of way, but in a not saying thank you, walking slowly four abreast kind of way. I held open a door of a charity shop for five old people to walk in yesterday and not one of them said thank you. Yes, I was a bit of an arse and said 'thank you' sarcastically as each one passed me. 

But when did it become the norm to lose your manners as you get older? Maybe they never had manners in the first place? On Sunday, my son got hit in the head by an old man with a shopping basket who walked backwards into my him. When I pointed it out, the man just said 'Oh'. Not 'oh, sorry' or even 'I'll be more careful'.

Maybe I'm being overly harsh. Aren't we allowed to be fed up with the life by the time we're cashing our non-existent pensions in? Do we cut them some slack because they've lived longer than us?

I was a fairly horrible 'youth' and spat out my gum, hung around parks and shouted obscenities. I thought I was cool. I really wasn't and by the age of 15 I knew this. But surely when you get past a certain age you stop trying to impress people (I was about 23 when I stopped caring), so I hope the pensioners aren't trying to gain kudos by being rude.

I'd like to hope that I will still be able to say thank you to a kind person when I pass 65.


  1. I do agree. We had a visitor last week who was an 83 year old woman and she was so rude when I told her about some friends of ours who live in Essex. When I said whereabouts they lived in Essex, she screwed up her face and said "who'd want to live there? It's an awful place." I was quite offended. These people are our best friends and they live in a beautiful village. All I could think afterwards was how very disrespectful. Yet my parents brought me up to respect my elders. At 41 now, I am of the understanding that respect should be earned. And after that woman said that, I knew I could never respect her, old or not.

    It's the same in the shops here. They never say sorry when Amy bumps into them, and glare at her when it was quite obviously their fault for standing in the way. I'm bringing Amy up to have good manners but I do think a lot of old people weren't brought up to have manners but were brought up to expect manners from others.

    Great post.
    CJ xx

  2. I absolutely believe that respect should be earned. I hope my children are brought up to feel the same.

    There is no excuse for rudeness, whether old or young. I don't know what I would have said to someone who'd told me I 'should have kept taking that pill'. I probably would have just stood there open mouthed!

  3. I so agree with you on this. I noticed it more when i was pregnant or out with a pram.... Some of the looks and comments was unbelievable. Its almost they think since they are old they don't need to have manners or be polite anymore...

  4. In addition to this - I was in a charity shop today and a man was in my way, I said excuse me please, and went past with the pram. He said very loudly 'it's like a bloody nursery in here' and I responded with 'but you're the one acting like a child'.

  5. I live in a village near a couple in their early seventies, i have had constant sarcasm and nastiness from them for 7 years!! they dont accept me because i was not born here and they genuinely hate my guts for absolutely no reason! when i see them and say hello they look at me like i am dirt. Myself and my two children cant go into the back garden because of the atmosphere(communal garden). whenever i do go out they give me so much grief and mutter under their breath.They spread rumers about me, and its a little village so things spread quickly.I need some advice..i cant afford to move :(. They have put me off old people for life!!! they are the meanest people i have ever known!!

    1. That's awful. I am constantly surprised that people can be so small-minded. We have one neighbour who doesn't talk to us but I don't let it bother me. Having said that, we don't have to share a garden with him. I know it's easier said than done, but try to ignore it. They're the ones with the problem, not you.

  6. My experience is quite different. I have known and come across some wonderful old people in my life. There have been a couple of exceptions, of course. Maybe as people get older, though, they just focus on living and the manners somehow get left behind. I guess some are in pain, or deaf or depressed. Maybe bitterness sets in along with loneliness. Who knows? All each of us can do is continue to be a pleasant as we can.


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