Is it Rude to Shush Someone?

We’ve all been in a position where we wanted to shush someone… which someone of us did, and some of us didn’t do, when it came right down to it.

But, what if we did shush them? Is it rude to shush someone? Read on below and find out the answer!

Is it Rude to Shush Someone?

Shushing someone is more often than not considered extremely rude, though there are exceptions. That said, cutting someone off and shushing them is counterproductive to any conversation.

If someone genuinely needs shushing, however, such as when someone is about to say something inappropriate in front of children, shushing is not rude (and indeed is the proper thing to do).

How Rude Is it?

Telling someone to shush rates 8 out of 10 on the rude meter. There is usually no good reason for shushing people because cutting someone off mid-sentence is without question an inconsiderate thing to do.

But, sometimes, as a parent, or otherwise, there are times that arise that warrant shushing someone who is about to say something harmful to others.

Why is it Rude?

Shushing someone is the same as cutting them off and telling them what they are saying is wrong, not worth hearing, or that you don’t care about what they have to say for other reasons. At any rate, being shushed leaves people feeling shunned, ashamed, embarrassed, and everything but good.

Other Options to Do Instead

If someone is saying something you don’t like, consider ignoring it before taking further action (verbally or otherwise). 

When you feel about to open your mouth and shush someone, consider whether or not you have the option to simply walk away (or give them a love tap on the shoulder).

If you are really disturbed by what someone is saying, the best option is always to leave immediately, or otherwise stop listening to them (so that you can calm down, instead of the opposite).

Common Questions

What does it mean to shush someone?

When someone tells you to shush, they are in essence telling you to be quiet or to stop talking. Depending on their tone, and facial expressions, “shush” can be said in a joker or playful manner, as well as in a very serious or even unfriendly way.

How disrespectful is shushing someone?

Depending on the tone of the conversation, and with whom it is taking place with, the level of disrespect displayed by shushing someone ranges greatly. 

For example, shushing someone at a board meeting is unheard of and extremely rude when it happens, while shushing your child or spouse over dinner conversation isn’t rude, and is most often said in a respectful or authoritative manner.

Is shut up and shush the same thing?

Shut up and shush can be the same thing, but they don’t have to be. For example, when a parent says shush to a child while they are watching a movie at the theatre, it does mean the same thing (but with the parental authority attached to it).