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Civility Solution Forni Book Review

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I will now summarize the book “The Civility Solution: What to Do When People are Rude” by P.M. Forni. Throughout the book, Forni clearly illustrates what causes rudeness, the multiple ways in which rudeness effects individuals, how to civilly and respectfully deal with rudeness. Forni offers an explanation into different personality types that assist in understanding why people act the way they do. These explanations also provide insight into the possible inherent rudeness of one's own actions, and how others perceive such actions. The reader is also provided with Eight rules for a civil life that provide a fresh perspective and a clear construct of how to live more civilized, with less stress, and with a bit more wisdom. The book begins by defining exactly what it is to be rude, and what causes rude behavior. People traditionally extended courtesies to one another since it was the right thing to do. Such courtesies had no legal repercussions for not following them, yet people traditionally did so because of the urge to do what is right, or “the obedience to the unenforceable”. To be polite to someone is to confer regard, to see them, or “keep in view” (Forni,6). Rudeness is defined as a disregard for others, and taking without giving, or freeloading. There are two types of rudeness, both focused and unfocused. Unfocused rudeness is a general act or course of actions, as may usually be described as inconsiderate. These types of actions can be summed up as poor character traits, and poor behavior such as talking on a cell phone without regard to bystanders, changing plans without making a courtesy call, or simply failing to hold a door open for someone. The second type of rudeness described in the book is focused rudeness, which are acts aimed at a specific individual. Focused rudeness is more direct behavior such as cutting in front of someone specific, or intentionally running to beat someone to the last cup of coffee. After identifying the types of rudeness that exist, Forni outlines the effects and causes of rudeness. Rudeness add stress and erodes self esteem, which can result in anxiety and mental distress. Rudeness damages relationships and negatively effects the workplace which both lower our overall quality of life, and impacts professional and personal well being to the tune of $300 billion dollars annually (Forni, 15). Rudeness also potentially causes violence, with the existence of road rage, and other physical altercations that stem from various rude behaviors. Forni next assists the reader in understanding the causes of rudeness. The origins of rudeness can be most simply outlined as the product of a poor state of mind. People commonly are more individualistic, and subsequently hold what others think of them in lower regard, as well as thinking less of others. Differences in feelings of self worth also contribute to rudeness. Feeling self important will allow someone to act rude without remorse just as openly as someone acting out of distress due to low self worth. Forni also attributes the cause of rudeness to stress, increasing anonymity, fear, and anger. After defining rudeness types, causes, and effects, Forni provides the reader with eight rules for a civil life that aid in identifying, understanding, and dealing with rudeness. To begin with identifying the civil lifestyle tenets, the reader is asked a few introspective questions. Through asking questions like do I boast, or am I sarcastic, over critical, or overly demanding one is able to identify potential causes for rudeness from others. After the personal assessment, Forni clearly outlines these rules of civility. Slowing down and being present in your life is the first rule of creating a civil lifestyle. Providing people with ample time to project kindness and decency is central to maintaining positive relationships, while the need for instant gratification can be the breeding ground for rudeness. Second, listening to voice of empathy allows us to be fully aware of others, and extend them similar courtesies that we ourselves want. Keeping a positive attitude is next. A positive outlook makes one a more likeable individual, and people are more inclined to assist and be assisted by a happy, likeable people. In further outlining the rules of civility, Forni states that Respect and validation through taking the opportunity to openly congratulate and engage others is a key factor in civil living. This will endear others, and result in a more receptive and respectful audience. Disagreeing graciously is the next and perhaps the most influential of the rules of civil conduct. Forni stresses the importance of gaining a full understanding of the other parties position, and make the resolution a matter of preference rather than between right and wrong to avoid unnecessary conflict. The central idea is to refrain from arguing, as the intent is solely to discuss the differences, and only when necessary. Getting to know those around you, and paying attention to the small things are next on the list of civil rules. Bridging interpersonal gaps, and making an effort to exercise small acts of respect help us establish rapport, and cement relationships (Forni, 46). The final rule is the power of asking. Asking lowers defenses and reduces the possibility of confrontation through creating an open dialogue in the discussion. These rules increase an individual's likeability, and that is noted as the primary contributor to determining quality of life. In addition to these rules, Forni also provides the reader with a guide to dealing with a the eleven most common personality types. Forni also provides the reader in preparing for rudeness with a three step sequence of cool off, don't take it personally, and decide what to do. In conclusion, Forni has provided us with an understanding of the origins, types, and effects of rudeness as well as a concise list of rules by which to successfully identify and deal with rudeness in different situations. Forni provides the reader the tools with which to live civilly.…...

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