Rudeness: Whatever Happened to the Age of Aquarius?

Kimmel & Associates e-Letter

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates

Volume 8, Number 11

In November, several significant holidays are celebrated. But their importance is often lost in the overwhelming amount of advertising regarding discounts and sales this month. It seems like holidays can’t be celebrated without an accompanying sale from online or brick-and-mortar stores. We focus not on the gratitude and freedom we have been privileged to have. Rather, we are inundated with how much money we can save by spending money.

On Veterans Day, we remember the many tens of thousands of people, just like us, who gave up their lives so that their children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity. Just imagine what it must have been like to be twenty years old and be shot at on a landing craft at Omaha Beach in a foreign country. It was because of the sacrifice of these soldiers and many others that we can sit here at our computers, shop the November sales, and feel relatively secure in our communities.

We also celebrate Thanksgiving, another important holiday where we express gratitude for the abundance we have. Yet the importance of this holiday also gets lost in the Black Friday sales (which often start on Thanksgiving) and the tremendous amount of food we eat during the day.

This year, the non-religious Jewish holiday of Hanukkah also falls on Thanksgiving. As many of you may or may not know, Hanukkah is the festival of rededication celebrated by lighting candles for a period of 8 days. It is celebrated as the holiday of miracles and freedom from oppression. But alas, the significance of this holiday is often lost in the importance of gift giving.

We encourage you to remember and appreciate the importance of these holidays while enjoying your other activities. In this month’s E-letter, we provide information about Rudeness and how it seems to have become a way of life, our Ask the Doc question is about feeling trapped in your job, and our email of the month is about Good Thoughts About Life. We hope you find the enclosed information helpful. As always, we appreciate your questions and comments are welcomed.

Practice News

We are pleased to announce that Denise Champagne, M.S. is now fully licensed to practice as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida. Denise completed her Master’s Degree in 2011, and since that time has been working to complete the required clinical hours for post-graduate work. As a member of our practice, Denise will work with children, adolescents and adults. She has experience in helping clients with anxiety disorders, school performance issues, depression, and life adjustments such as divorce, loss of a loved one, work stress, and relationship management.

Denise is very passionate about the effects of parenting on both the lives of children and their parents and enjoys working with families to improve all of their relationships. She specializes in helping divorced parents manage the raising of their children by learning to effectively co-parent in separate households. Denise also continues to work as our Training Facilitator, teaching classes related to parenting, anger management and domestic violence.

While awaiting credentialing with insurance companies, Denise will also continue to provide counseling at reasonable rates for self-pay patients. Please contact our Administrative Assistant, Jillian Baer, at 954 755-2885 to schedule an appointment with Denise.

Research Study. We are continuing to participate in a four month research study with Life Extension Institute assessing the effects of cognitive therapy, nutritional supplements, and medications on weight management in overweight individuals. Dr. Kimmel and Denise Champagne have been conducting cognitive therapy groups for a sample of 40 subjects who will be followed by three physicians. Informal results continue to show success for those subjects who are in the study. For more information about the study, contact Jillian, at the above number.

Testings. If you are concerned about your child’s school placement for the next school year, this would be a good time to have them evaluated. Recent questions from parents have ranged from should their child be retained to whether they are gifted to whether they have a disability that can qualify for accommodations at school. Our practice does different types of evaluations to help answer those questions and information about these evaluations can be found on our website. If you have more specific questions, please contact Dr. Kimmel who would be happy to answer them.

Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. Our practice is one of the few offices certified to provide the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. Sometimes referred to as the Divorce Class, it is required by the State of Florida for all parents divorcing or separating even if not legally married. We have provided this course many times and have designed it as a 4-hour, one-session presentation that focuses on ensuring that parents protect their children from the effects of divorce or separation by setting aside their differences and focusing on the children’s need for both parents in their lives. The course also provides information about divorce as loss, gives an overview of the Florida laws and statutes related to divorce and custody issues, and offers information on how children react to divorce based on their ages.  The course is offered live on a flexible schedule, based on the availability of those attending the course.  Please contact our Administrative Assistant, Jillian, at 954 755-2885 for additional information.

Qualified Supervisor. Dr. Joel Kimmel has been certified by the State of Florida to supervise mental health counselors seeking supervision to meet the licensing requirements. If you or anyone you know needs a qualified supervisor to meet these requirements, contact Dr. Kimmel for further information.

Handouts from previous e-Letters can be found on our website. We invite you to read and download them if desired.


Our E-Letter this month focuses on rudeness and how it seems to have become the norm in today’s society. In 1967, James Rado, Galt McDermot, and Gerome Ragni wrote and composed the following lyrics for the show Hair:

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the minds true liberation
Aquarius, Aquarius!

These lyrics were based on the astrological belief that the world would be entering the Age of Aquarius, an age of love, light, and harmony. And for many, the 60’s were an age of peace, love, and rock and roll. People were considerate to others, helped each other, and trusted that what people told them was the truth. This was a time when people seemed more interested in others than themselves. Communities were established for the benefit of all the members. The Golden Rule of treating others like you would want to be treated was the norm not the exception. But, whatever happened to those times?

How often have you walked in a store behind someone who doesn’t hold the door and lets it slam in your face? How often have you done something for someone without so much as getting a thank you? How often have you been with people who cough or sneeze in your presence without covering their mouth? And what about those who cut you off while driving or steal the spot you were going to park in?

Today, many people seem to be self centered without regard for others feelings, beliefs, or even their space. It is common to see people making fun of others, lying to a person’s face, and speaking publicly or gossiping about others. Technology certainly makes it easier for people to badmouth others, spread malicious rumors, or give bad “reviews.” The anonymity of technology allows for spreading misinformation or disinformation quickly and easily without regard for consequences. It is common to expect politicians to lie, deceive, and spread falsehoods about their opponents or even the other party. Blaming someone else seems to be acceptable as a reason for doing what one does. There seems to be no accountability for one’s behavior. And certainly the golden rule is hardly ever mentioned by anyone.

Yes  people seem to be more selfish and concerned about themselves without regard for others. Many surveys, including a recent one by the Emily Post Institute, report that 82% of Americans are ruder today than they were 20 or 30 years ago. But what is rudeness as sometimes the boundaries of rude behavior are fuzzy? Rudeness has been defined as any display of disrespect to a person, group, or culture. It includes bullying, being offensive, being profane, being inconsiderate, being insensitive, and any other behavior that violates social boundaries and acceptable customs. Typical rude behavior includes speaking loudly on a cell phone in front of others or blasting loud music from a car radio. It can be cutting in line or aggressively interrupting a conversation. Often people are rude to call attention to themselves, gain control over a group, express negative feelings, or to intimidate others. But what makes this right?

Our role models, whoever they may be, are rude and seem to set the pace. Our leaders openly demonstrate rude behaviors to others and take no accountability. The media seems to go out of their way to show profanity, drunkenness, lying, hurting/bullying others, using others for one’s advantage. Seeing these behaviors on TV, in sports, in movies, or on video games seems to desensitize us to what is acceptable behavior and to set the norms for society. Yes I’m afraid that the Age of Aquarius was short lived and doesn’t look like its coming back soon.

So what do you do when confronted by rudeness? You need to make a choice whether to respond or not. Often, it is best to ignore the rude person and stick to your own values. If you feel the need to respond, remain calm but politely and firmly call them out on their rude behavior. It may be best to limit contact with the rude person as much as possible. Try not to take these situations personally and don’t overthink the situation. Do not change for the rude person and do not accept rudeness as a way of life. Do not allow them to have any power over you. In fact in rude situations, it may be better to overreact with kindness rather than anger. Be the opposite of rude to them. Be the bigger person and try to treat others as you would like to be treated.

We offer the following information on Rudeness:

“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength”— Eric Hoffer

What to Know!

  • Rudeness, sometimes called impudence or effrontery, is defined as a display of disrespect to an individual, a group, or a culture and is confrontational to others
  • Rude behavior includes offensiveness, insensitivity, inconsiderateness, bullying, incivility, impoliteness, being profane, and violating social boundaries and customs
  • Examples of rude behavior include: cutting in line, cursing, dressing inappropriately, bullying, name calling, snobbery, yawning or sneezing without covering one’s mouth, disturbing others with loud music, using a cell phone in front of others, etc.
  • Some individuals use rudeness and intimidation to vent negative feelings or to get power and control over others
  • Politicians display terrible rudeness through attacks, blame, defamation, and creating false or misleading information towards each other
  • 82% of Americans answered an Emily Post Institute survey saying that Americans are ruder today than they were 20 or 30 years ago
  • A University of Michigan researcher found that 71% of American workers have been insulted, demeaned, ignored, or treated discourteously by other workers or superiors
  • Americans through a toxic media are bombarded with rudeness via high levels of profanity, violence, hostility, taking advantage of others, and blaming others
  • Some believe that impersonal communications through texting and “work creep” (where work tends to overflow and creep into personal lives) have added to rudeness
  • Online, people can be ruder as they can be anonymous; people who rile others up can do so quickly, easily, and at a distance without having to face the consequences
  • Social media has desensitized us to what is polite behavior and allows for frequent negative and vicious reviews of people and organizations without consequences
  • Some people are rude because: they never learned manners from their parents, they don’t teach manners at school, they learned about manners from sitcoms, they are only concerned about themselves, they want to be “cool”, and they are just mean
  • Some people who are jealous or insecure are rude to others because putting others down allows them to feel superior and it is often reinforced with attention
  • Some believe in the stress-rudeness cycle where stress leads to rudeness which leads back to more stress in a cycle that is difficult to break
  • Polite and courteous behavior reduce stress and lead to bonding with others but rudeness now leads to depression, anger, violence, and substance abuse

What to Do!

  • Limit contact with rude people as much as possible
  • Do not fight or argue but remain calm and collected and do not give up social power
  • Politely but firmly call out the person on their rude behavior
  • Model politeness and courtesy in response to rude behavior
  • Do not take to heart anything they may say or do even if it is personal
  • Do not allow them to have a sense of power by changing or agreeing with them
  • Don’t overthink what they have done or said to you
  • Seek professional help if you are hurt, angry, or depressed by the rudeness of others

We Can Help!

Call us at (954) 755-2885 or email us at

Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. and Associates
5571 N. University Drive, Suite 101
Coral Springs, Florida 33067

As always, we would like to welcome new readers to our e-Letter. We hope that you find it informational and enjoyable. We invite you to share this e-Letter with others. If you have received this from a fellow reader, please send us your email address to include you on our list.

Ask the Doc

PM writes: I own a small printing company with 3 employees but I am miserable. We make enough money just to get by and I am not really doing what I want to do. I would like to shut it down or sell it so that I can really do what I want to do. But I can’t do that as I need my salary. I dislike having to answer all the unnecessary customer questions which stop me from doing more. I feel trapped. Any suggestions?

Dr. Joel Kimmel replies: I have seen this situation come up from time to time with some of my patients so understand that you are not alone. It sounds like you have gotten stuck in a situation that first might have been exciting to you but are now caught up in the mundane tasks of satisfying your clients. It sounds like you are not stimulated and are not finding any challenges in your job. Ironically, the challenges are probably what motivated you to start your business.

I think you need to ask yourself several questions. What kind of work will give you enjoyment and satisfaction? Are you looking at a “grass is greener” type of situation by thinking that there are better things out there? Are you burned out on your job and looking for something else to escape? Are you afraid of taking risks to grow your business? Do you have a fear of success which keeps you at your current level of business? Do you have a fear of failure which keeps you at your current level of business?

I would suggest that you take a self inventory of what you consider your business strengths to be and what you enjoy doing. Consider whether you have created a too comfortable comfort zone which prevents you from taking action but allows you to be unhappy. Once you have these answers, develop a plan to change your business so that you can find what satisfies you.

Email of the Month

We would like to thank J.P.for sending us the following email:

Good Thoughts About Life!

The most destructive habit……….……. Worry
The greatest joy………………………… .Giving
The most endangered species……………Dedicated leaders
Our greatest natural resource………..… Our youth
The greatest “shot in the arm”……….…  Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome…….  Fear
The most effective sleeping pill…………  Peace of mind
The most crippling disease…………….. .Excuses
The most powerful force in life………….  Love
The most destructive pariah…………….. Gossip
The most incredible computer………….. The human brain
The worst thing to be without…….…….   Hope
The deadliest weapon……………………. The tongue
The two most powerful words.…………   Can do
The greatest asset…………………….…  Faith
The most worthless emotion……………. Self-pity
The worst thing you can lose………..…. Self-respect
The most satisfying work……………. … Helping others
The ugliest personality trait…………….. Selfishness
The most beautiful attire………………..  A smile!
The most prized possession…………… Integrity
The most contagious spirit……………… Enthusiasm
The most powerful communication…….  Prayer

Please continue to send us your comments, questions, and favorite emails for our e-Letter.

Till Dcember…

The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

If you no longer wish to receive future e-Letter reminders, please send an email to requesting to be removed from this list.

If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this e-Letter to your contacts and friends.

Copyright © 2014 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. and Associates.