What is to be done, a reader has asked us, after finding himself at an occasion “with ‘important’ people who peer around you to see if there is someone more important that they should be talking with.”
But our dear reader is wise enough to point out that he didn’t want to stoop to their level. We recommend this response.
1. Join the rude person in looking about the room, and make a comment on the gathering, such as: “Looks like an interesting crowd, doesn’t it? Do you enjoy networking events?” In this way, you politely draw attention to their behaviour and invite them to remedy it.
2. Should they fail to respond, and continue being rude, it is clearly time to politely end the acquaintance. A handshake, accompanied by the words, “I have just seen a colleague who I want to catch up with. So nice to meet you”, and you are on your way.
3. Walk boldly up to the nearest available person, and extend your hand in a warm greeting.
An optional extra is to ask your new acquaintance if they know the rude person and, if they are not their best buddy, you can have a friendly laugh about rude behaviour at networking events.