Why people who live in big cities are rude ?


I lived in the United Kingdom for almost a decade starting the beginning of the 21st century. In the first few years of the century, I worked and lived in a small town called Bristol.

I would rate Bristol as one of the best cities I lived in. People were warm and friendly not only at a social level, but also at work. I always believed people being kind to you at work is the most important aspect of your life, for your mental well being because you spend at least 9-10 hours with them.

I had planned a trip to Paris on my wife’s birthday and this was just 6 months after my marriage.

My manager was a regular tourist to Paris. So, I asked him what it was like to be in Paris. He replied that he absolutely loved the city.

And the people ?

I was surprised when my manager responded that ‘You might find the people little rude, just like in London because it is a big city.’.  This may well have been a very subtle observation which most people don’t notice, especially if you are visiting the city as a tourist.

Also, since I lived in a fast paced city, Mumbai, for over 3 decades, where being rude is the norm, I did not notice much difference in the way people behaved in either London or Paris.

However, at work though, I noticed a huge difference between Bristol and London. My employer both in London and Bristol were in similar industry – telecoms.  The difference was in the work culture and a significant one.

The company in Bristol was more relaxed, laid-back and a more friendly atmosphere to all employees, where the company in London was fast paced but very toxic and a blame culture. This could well just be a co-incidence, but I strongly believe that work culture has got a lot to do with, whether the location of work is city based or in small towns. I am not sure if there was any research ever carried out on these lines.

The difference in people’s behavior may not be work related at all. People who live in big cities have to travel through heavy traffic, or experience delays in public transport systems – delays in London tube is very common. Whereas, in small towns, you can get from point A to B without much problem.

Also, cities develop as cities because people are very ambitious, work long hours and hence the stress is bound to show.

It is no surprise then that people want to get away from cities over the weekend.

So I guess, people are not rude, they may be indifferent. Busy, fast paced life leaves no time for a social or a polite conversation.

Another reason could be that human brain does not like clutter. Just like at home, we tend to get irritated when things are not in place or sometimes even too many furniture at home can make you irritable, city life has too many clutter too.

Traffic, people, billboards – they all make a difference to human brain and how we behave as there is lot of information to digest.

I guess the price you pay for a better life in cities is that you live a stressed life.

It is no wonder that people who live far away from cities and enjoy the beauty of nature are the most peaceful souls on earth.


18 thoughts on “Why people who live in big cities are rude ?

  1. Yes sir. Welcome to Mumbai.

    When u sit in traffic for 30 minutes sweating in your formals, there is nothing more irritating to a common man than that. You need to have utter calm state of mind to tackle that. When u go through so much crowd everywhere you go, you are bound to find people of all kinds and it definitely increases the temperature!

    If only we all channelize as ants, it might help a bit.

    But that’s just part of metros I believe, 20 million+ population in such small area, variety is not going to limit itself

    Good post 🙂
    I like this projection !

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I know. There is peace everywhere else.

        It is the price people are willing to pay in living the life in metros. It is after all individuals choice.

        I hope you and your family comes to a common understanding.

        Have a peaceful times 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sudhir,
    Great post. It is not just big cities- it is certain cultures as well. When we live in a place where we are not in the majority or work in a place where we are different from others, or in a country, where we are not the blessed citizen, then there is apt to be some negativity.
    Success in life depends on how much of a niche we can carve out for ourselves, in each place we are put in and be comfortable in our own zone. How others are or behave should not literally cause a difference in our lives. Something like the Helicobacter bacteria- it is a bacteria that can thrive in the highly acid environs of the stomach, when almost every other living being is killed ruthlessly there. The secret to the success strategy of the Helicobacter is its ability to create a space for itself amidst the chaos that is the stomach.
    The analogy can be applied to our lives too.


      1. But if you analyze it , each of us is an alien wherever we are. Because there is really no one like us in the world, or so, they say. That is the magnificence of what we are or how unique we are. So being aliens to one another- we try to find commonness with others to fit in. If we are lucky, we can find a peer group, with similar outlooks on things but more often than not, we try to take on a peer groups characters to conform to the norm.
        My own take is we can all be different but we need to make our individual mark on this world and if we do, at least we can call ourselves successful.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great thoughts Susie….I am planning to write about relationships…How being compassionate to others, we can make a difference…Nobody cares about your job title..People only remember how you make them feel.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Sudhir …and true …No one has eye contact with each other on the London Underground ….what’s THAT all about? ….is it indifference or just everyone is stressed out and knackered? ….I always try to play a little game …make eye contact and YOUR IN …just to say something like ‘This is crazy isn’t it?’ ….as you are breathing into someone’s armpit:D:D:D …..sometimes folk don’t respond and think your crazy …but sometimes it lightens the mood, others join in …and BINGO your suddenly at your destination:)

    Liked by 1 person

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