The Civility Solution What to Do When People Are Rude

P. M. Forni

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

192 Pages


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Though confronted with rudeness every day, many people don’t know how to respond.  From the intrusive cell-phone user who holds loud conversations in public to the hostile highway driver who cuts one off with a quick swerve of his car, politeness seems to be on a continuous decline. P. M. Forni, the author ofChoosing Civility, knows that rudeness begets rudeness.  In The Civility Solution, he shows how to respond to others' negative behavior by being assertive as well as civil. In doing so, he suggests that the cycle of rudeness can be broken. He has assembled possible solutions to more than one hundred different situations, including:

—An insensitive family member who says hurtful things
—A salesperson who ignores your requests
—Impolite or offensive internet behavior
—A fellow driver who gives you the infamous “finger”
—Another person’s child misbehaves or bullies a child in your care
—A superior publicly reprimands you at work

In a simple and practical handbook, P. M. Forni takes a closer look at the challenges of human interaction and presents logical solutions that reinforce good behavior and make our world a more civil place.


Praise for The Civility Solution

"Though his new book deals with many kinds of incivility, Dr. Forni has devoted a sizeable chunk of it to workplace and high-tech rudeness . . . his approach to incivility is rooted in his academic career researching and teaching Italian literature. Some fundamentals of good behavior, he says, go back hundreds of years."—The Wall Street Journal

"Forni will be remembered as one of the greatest generals in our nation's struggle for civility."—Smithsonian magazine

"P.M. Forni's thoughtful discussion of the importance of civility in today's hectic world will surely help readers find viable solutions for dealing with a variety of rude situations."—Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute and author of Emily Post Etiquette, 17th edition

"In Part one of his latest book, [Forni] describes some of the causes of rudeness (anger, fear, inflated self-worth) and the negative consequences of rude behavior in daily life. He suggests eight rules for a civil life, which include respecting others and paying attention to small things. In Part two, Forni provides over 70 examples of situations in which rudeness arises and solutions for dealing with them. Readers who have been criticized in public or annoyed by a loud cell phone conversation get realistic help."—Deborah Bigelow, Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

DR. P.M. FORNI is an award-winning professor of Italian Literature at Johns Hopkins University, where in 2000 he founded The Civility Initiative. He has lectured at NASA, and universities and medical institutions around the country.  He is the author of Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct. His work has been featured in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the London Times, and he has appeared on NPR and Oprah.

Read the full excerpt


  • P. M. Forni

  • Dr. P.M. Forni is an award-winning professor of Italian Literature at Johns Hopkins University and the author of Choosing Civility. In 2000 he founded The Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins and over the years has continued to teach courses on the theory and history of manners. Reports on his work have appeared on The New York Times, The Times of London, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times. He has been on a number of radio and television shows, including ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Sunday Morning and BBC's Outlook. For years he was a regular on-the-air contributor to the Baltimore NPR affiliate station and the nationally syndicated radio show 'The Satellite Sisters.'
  • P. M. Forni


    P. M. Forni

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