How to Deal With Rude Co-workers | DCR Workforce Blog

How to Deal With Rude Co-workers

They say the world can be a cruel place. And in my personal experience, there is no shortage of opinions and ignorant comments that are directed at us. Plus, with social media creating a culture of “mean” and a mask to hide behind, we have more places to deal with unnecessary drama. But when mean-spiritedness enters the workplace and we have to deal with people that rub us the wrong way for extended periods of time it can wear you down and even start to affect your work, not to mention your health. So how do we manage confrontational situations and work to create a more harmonious workplace?

Putting things into perspective

One-time mistake: As humans, we tend to forget how imperfect we are. We have to remember that we say mean things about others from time to time, so if by chance we get verbally attacked or disrespected it’s easy to play the victim. If someone randomly says something that does not sit well with you, try to let it slide. Mistakes happen, and anyone can have a one-time slip-up. If the person in question has been civil with you most of the time, then cut them some slack.

The right approach: It’s not fun confronting rude co-workers but sometimes you have to pull someone aside and ask the offender: “Is there a problem?” Doing this can put a nasty person on the spot. In addition, asking questions about the insult can be a way to assert yourself without looking like a jerk. Asking why they are so fixated on a particular issue forces them to explain themselves. If someone is using disrespectful language or a nasty tone, then you can inform him or her that when they figure out how to speak to you politely, then you can have a discussion with them. Also, if you don’t even feel like addressing this person you can simply walk away. Taking control of the situation in a polite and well-thought-out manner can be the perfect way to stand up to someone and avoid additional conflict at work.

The “B” word: I hate to bring this up, but I had to mention them. Yep, bullies. I know high school is over, but you might have to deal with workplace bullies. And the worse part is that you need your job for your livelihood, so that means putting up with the stress of work and offensive people. I know that there’s a secret part of you that just wants to let your office bully have it. But don’t give them the satisfaction of becoming disrespectful. If you really can’t stand this person then you may want to consider discussing the matter with your manager. Furthermore, you could also change offices, departments or your schedule to get some peace.

Being a lion: There’s a saying that I really love: “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.” As everyone knows – it’s the lions of the world who are in control. You know that you’re a valued and skilled employee. Hence, if a sheep wants comes along and start trouble, stay composed and don’t let them phase you or ruffle your feathers. Your body language and speech should not indicate any sign of being upset. It’s as if they don’t even exist – while you continue to be your usual amazing, cool self.

In the end, we all must remember that talk is cheap and ultimately your accomplishments are what stand the test of time. Hence, being smart, classy and  amazing at work is the ultimate revenge.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Neha is responsible for developing and overseeing marketing strategy and brand identity at DCR. She and her team collaborate on marketing and sales strategies and product development for new initiatives.