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by
Helen Smith

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August 5, 2011 - 5:33 am

I saw over at Rasmussen Reports that 76% of Americans feel that people are becoming ruder:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 76% of Adults say Americans are becoming more rude and less civilized. Just 12% say they’re becoming kinder and gentler, while just as many (12%) are not sure.

Well, Amy Alkon has been writing about rudeness for years but it does strike me that people are getting a bit nastier even lately. Mainly (and this is completely anecdotal), I have noticed drivers honking and acting out more.

Case in point. I saw a driver yesterday honking angrily at a truck for going what he thought was too slow. The other driver, angry that he was honked at, slowed down to a crawl for a mile or so, trapping the car behind him and letting him know what he thought of the angry behavior. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have seen drivers lately acting even worse.

Although the Rasmussen post suggested that it might be technology and cell phones etc. that is causing increased rudeness, I wonder how much of the free-floating hostility is a reaction to the horrific economy, even for those who voted for the current administration. Maybe, the policies that are driving this country into the ground are also causing bad and hostile driving. Or maybe it’s something else.

Anyone else notice an increase in hostile driving or other hostility in the air recently? What do you attribute the anger to?

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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