I know a thing or two about rudeness because a) I grew up with a Danish parent and b) I lived among Danes in the fatherland. You might be thinking, how could I defame my own kind? Of all the people in the world, how could I pick on one of the smallest, most innocuous groups of people on the planet?
Well, I lived in Denmark, and although some of the very best human beings I’ve ever met and some of the best friends I’ve ever had are Danish, I make no apologies for calling Danes as a whole some of the rudest people on Earth. (This is a pretty broad assertion given that I’ve only ever lived in Canada and Denmark, but I really like hyperbole.)
People are always astonished when I say this, because they’ve likely traveled to Denmark or met Danes and had only fantastic experiences because, after all, Danish people are so cosmopolitan, sophisticated, good-looking, slim etc. And yes, they are all those things. But I always describe Danes thusly: they are the sort of people who will tell you full-on that the colour you’re wearing does nothing for you. And they’ll say it in such a way that you won’t respond with indignation, you’ll just look down at your clothing and feel foolish. It’s because they don’t say things in spite; rather, they are matter-of-fact, as if what they’re telling you is best done in frankness and will only serve to help you out. Yes, they are doing you a favour, and it’s not up to them to bubble wrap the message because you’re not a freakin’ baby, are you?
I found I was quite sensitive to this when I first moved to Denmark at eighteen. I should have been used to it what with my Dad being one in the same, but my siblings had the same experience so I know it’s not just that I can’t hack it. And I can forgive them this national personality trait because the intention is not unkind.
That’s the crux. When people are rude in order to bring you down it’s a whole other ball of wax. I have no patience for such people. Yes, we all say stuff that gets taken the wrong way, or maybe gets taken the right way but it’s only because we’re having an off day and are unable for a moment to choose our words responsibly. But people who are consistently rude have no excuses. And I find that the older I get, the less patience I have for the likes of them.
As for the Danes, they are still welcome.