Dealing with Rude people

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Freerunner, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Freerunner

    Freerunner Barefooters
    1. Texas - Dallas

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    I was on one of my normal runs at this park, which I run barefoot at. Haven't had any issues with people other than weird looks. But as I was finishing up my run. I ran past these two walkers and as I passed them one of them shouted out at me, "Get some Shoes!". Don't think she meant it in a nice way. I didn't respond as I was running at a good pace and was kind of stunned at her comment. Has anyone else had similiar things happen to them on their run?
     
  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I had the very same exact

    I had the very same exact thing happen when I was running barefoot about half a year ago. This mother and her teenage son drove past me in the opposite direction on their golf cart on the cart paths, and she yelled out, "Get some shoes!" I stopped dead in my tracks, and yelled, "Excuse me?" Since she wasn't going very fast in the first place, she heard me, turned her head around, and added, "That just looks so painful," acting like she gave a hoot.

    Don't worry about it, and don't worry about these types of people and their comments. You're gonna get a whole lot more of it, but I'll bet most of it will be positive. Most of these people have never seen someone running without shoes. It is a bit odd to see for the first time, so odd that people are unsure how to react, what to say. They end up spouting the first thing that comes to their minds.

    You are making a difference out there. You/we are changing the running world one odd look at a time, and it shows everytime someone chooses to purchase minimalist shoes. (For without the barefoot running movement, there would never have been a minimalist running movement.) What you and I and others are doing is good, and it is changing the way people will run...forever.

    Next time you get a negative comment or vibe, just throw them a huge smile...over-exaggerate it too; it'll mess with their minds. ;-)
     
  3. stomper

    stomper Guest

    I have mixed feelings about

    I have mixed feelings about such people. I get perhaps one of these nasty comments per month.

    On one hand, it hurts to be on the end of a mean-spirited comment, especially when you've done nothing to deserve it. I mean come on, running in the park, how the heck are you hurting them? Sometimes I try to head such comments off by making sure I am smiling as I approach strangers.

    On the other hand, when somebody treats you like that, you know that you have really rocked their world. You've shown them something they can hardly believe is real. You've shown them that not everything in the universe is part of whatever little rut they perpetually travel in. Even if they never understand the attraction of BF running, you've woken them up just a little.

    In retrospect, I am affectionate for these people. Sort of.
     
  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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     You've shown them that not

    You've shown them that not everything in the universe is part of whatever little rut they perpetually travel in.

    Ha!
     
  5. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
    1. Colorado

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    Funny enough alost that exact

    Funny enough alost that exact thing happened to me yesterday? Except they weren't walking.

    I blew her a kiss.

    Mostly though I just ignore it. You could always flip the bird, or make a snide comment back, but what's the point.
     
  6. Elvisbloom

    Elvisbloom Chapter Presidents
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    Maybe its the New Jersey in

    Maybe its the New Jersey in me, but I just send it right back at them. I have gotten many a snide comment and I just reply with the same level of vitrol. I just don't like being told I am doing something "wrong". Most of the time, the cowards are in a car. I would love someone to say something right to my face. I would never get physical, but I can cut someone down to size pretty quickly. This is going to sound extremely rude, but its mostly overweight people who give me guff and its pretty easy to cut them down to size. "When's the last time you ran, tons of fun?"
     
  7. ajb422

    ajb422 Barefooters
    1. California...

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    I think my response would of

    I think my response would of been something along the lines of "I have some in my closet but this is way more fun". I think people think there is some masochistic intent in bf running (how many times have we heard "doesn't that hurt?"). They don't realize that it actually is a good time.

    Luckily I don't get many of these comments, "bf running" aka using VFFs is the triendy thing to do here, so I'm more likely to get people asking me about it and them (even though I don't wear VFFs) more than anything else.

    Don't get rude back though, if someone only sees one bf runner ever do you really want to represent them all as crabby?
     
  8. Barfuß Chelsea

    Barfuß Chelsea Barefooters
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    I've been getting a lot of

    I've been getting a lot of bewildered/pitying looks accompanied by "Isn't that COLD?"s lately. So irritating. I usually just smile, say no, and keep running. A few weeks ago, though, I passed two old ladies who were out for a walk, got the funny looks and the question, responded quickly but with a smile, and kept going. I hit my turn-around point for the run a few minutes later, though, so that meant that I passed them again pretty soon thereafter. The second time, they started smiling as soon as they saw me and then took the time to ask why I was barefoot. I didn't stop for long, but I did slow down for long enough to at least get out a few quick sentences--bf running is healthier...the rest of me is dressed warmly so yes, I CAN still feel my toes...it's fun...you know, the basic run-down. Then they laughed, told me to have fun and sent me on my way.

    I agree with TJ that a lot of the comments just come from people who are caught so off guard that they feel they must spout the first thing that pops into their head. I'm sure (or at least really want to believe) that most of the rude or snippy comments aren't meant to come off that way. And sure, there are still a few jerks out there, but we're not going to change them by being jerks ourselves. We might just change them by showing them a better way, though.
     
  9. twinkletoes

    twinkletoes Barefooters
    1. Nevada - Reno

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    I'm with you AJB, as an

    I'm with you AJB, as an ambassador of Barefeet, Sarcasm-With-a-Smile is my tactic. Besides, because I run in my own neighborhood regularly I can just see one of those snarky people spitting on the path/street on purpose because I was rude back to them.

    In response to a recent "eew, your feet are dirty" I laughed, saying, "yeah, but in an hour they'll be waay cleaner than your shoes!"
     
  10. Nyal

    Nyal Chapter Presidents
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    I live in a country where no

    I live in a country where no one would ever say a word about anything you do. I can count a year's worth of comments on one hand, all positive, one curious. I have been offered a ride once here and shoes another time in downtown SLC.
     
  11. pbarker

    pbarker Barefooters
    1. Canada

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    Today I was running at an

    Today I was running at an indoor track, the temp outside was - 4.
    As I ran by a guy who was not on the track I heard "put some shoes on!"
    I went around the track than walked over to guy "you do not like my feet"

    "no, it is not hygiene, you are turning the track into a locker room".

    I explained what I was doing. And that I would put my shoes on if the gym staff asked me to. Later I saw him talking the one of the staffers. As I came of the track I was told by the staffer that barefoot running was not allowed, that they may by liable if someone stepped on my foot.

    I explained that when I joined I signed a waver. Then I put my water shoes on and showed him that there is virtually no difference between the protection my shoes provide and going barefoot. I pointed out all the people lifting free weights and that if they drop a weight on their foot they to have signed a waver and could not sue.

    I found a manager and he was surprised because he thought the no barefoot rule had been changed six months ago when people started wearing VFF on the track.

    He took my business card and said he would get back to me.

    I am going to the gym for a run tomorrow.

    I was polite and reasonable but I am prepared to be told " barefoot running it is too dangerous"
     
  12. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    If anyone says that your feet

    If anyone says that your feet are unhygienic, you remind them that the shoes they are traipsing across the country in are no more hygienic than your feet. Then ask them how hygienic their shoes are and why it's okay to run with their nasty shoes at the gym.
     
  13. pbarker

    pbarker Barefooters
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    Yes I agree Tj. Most bfr are

    Yes I agree Tj. Most bfr are more aware of
    hygiene. I should have said don,t worry I will wash my feet when I am done.

    Tomorrow should be interesting.
     
  14. Joseph

    Joseph Barefooters
    1. New Mexico

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    I've had a few

    I've had a few comments..."Doesn't that hurt?" "Aren't your feet cold?" "You're not wearing shoes!" I always smile, and say something like "It's fun!" or "You should try it!" Or sometimes I just smile and shrug....BUT....

    A couple days ago I was running and I heard a car with bumpin' music roll up from behind... It slowed down and I saw out of the corner of my eye it was a "low-rider"... So I put on my best, hard, homie 'G' face and turned for a "What up" nod, not really knowing what to expect. I am sure, that in itself was amusing...BF runner in workout clothes trying to look "hard"...anyway, the driver was just looking at my feet, shaking his head, and laughing... I immediately smiled at him and shrugged my shoulders like "I know, I know. It's weird." He just smiled and drove away... In all of Albuquerque and all the hundreds of runners I have seen, I have only seen one other BF runner... In our current societal norms, IT'S WEIRD! I say give people some slack... Answer questions from the sincere and laugh off the rest. Stand up for the right to run naturally, but with compassion and understanding that not all are ready to hear and most have difficulty with change...
     
  15. pbarker

    pbarker Barefooters
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    The manager of the gym called

    The manager of the gym called me back to tell me I had to have something covering my feet.

    So I ran in socks, then was told that it had to be shoes, so I ran in flipflops.



    Next week it will be moccasins if it is still cold.
     
  16. Paleo

    Paleo Barefooters
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    I receive jokes, well just

    I receive jokes, well just one joke, over and over: "hey, you forgot your shoes." Once I heard it 3 times on one 10 km run. On the third time, I told the guy that I had never heard the joke before. His friend started howling in laughter at the speaker.

    I get quite a few of astonished comments, but the negative comments usually are communicated in the form of a scowl, without words.

    I am asked lot of questions, usually as part of the astonishment, "Aren't you cold?" "Is that really healthy?" Since the questions are just honest, I answer them politely. Recently, I got it from a dog walker. I responded, "Just like for your dog." She responded, "I guess you're right."

    But, I also get plenty of "thumbs up" either through smiles, hands or words.



    Just remember that people's words--particularly when hostile--are all about them and none about you.

    So, try your best to ignore them. I wouldn't even dignify it with a response or even a look.

    And, if the incident is still bothering you in the evening, sit down and write to this forum about it. It's a great place to let off some steam and get some solidarity!

    Cheers

    Paleo
     
  17. pbarker

    pbarker Barefooters
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    Good one paleo. I will the

    Good one paleo.

    I will the remember that when I am about to blow.

    Pb
     
  18. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    PB, how about wearing some

    PB, how about wearing some huaraches to the gym next time? That will blow their minds.
     
  19. pbarker

    pbarker Barefooters
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    Yes I was thinking of hacking

    Yes I was thinking of hacking my flop flops by thinning out the soles and adding some rubber bands to reduce the flopping. A real custom job. But I will stay off the radar for now.

    Pb
     
  20. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Well, don't forget about the

    Well, don't forget about the BRS Smoosh. You can order them from our Stray Tats store and wear them on your feet, as a little silent protest. ;-) Hee.
     

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