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How to Deal With Rude and Condescending Co-Workers

by Naomi Millburn

Working closely alongside co-workers every day can sometimes be difficult no matter how professional you are. The situation becomes significantly harder when you have to deal with people who have patronizing and negative attitudes. If you work with a condescending and rude person, you don't have to sit back and take it. Assert control over your own working environment and stand up to someone who makes you feel uncomfortable.

Analyze your situation. Step back and make sure you are in no way overreacting or causing the problem. Be as fair as possible and try to look at things from your co-worker's perspective. Ask yourself if there are any things you do that could be taken as rude, whether it's sarcastic remarks or loud telephone conversations. Observe your behaviors and actions critically to ensure you really are the one in the right.

Stay mentally prepared. If you always are ready for the possibility of your co-worker saying something rude, you will never be caught off-guard or taken aback. The less surprised you are by something, the less likely you will be to respond in an angry way.

Respond quickly and briefly to a rude or condescending remark with something simple like "I'm busy working" to signify the conversation is over. Showing emotion will do nothing to better your situation. Often, rude people thrive on reactions from others.

Play nice. If you're dealing with a rude and patronizing person, acting kindly could also help you. When someone is courteous and friendly, it can be hard for the other person to maintain a rude and unpleasant tone, even if he's the biggest bully in the office.

Ask yourself if the situation is worth your distress. Ask yourself if her annoying comments really do get to you and if they really are that important. If you learn to let trivial things slide off your back, it may reduce a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration for you.

Communicate with your co-worker. Sometimes rude co-workers aren't even aware other people find them rude. speak to your co-worker alone. Explain that his attitude and comments are making you uncomfortable and making it hard for you to deal with him at work.

Start an open dialogue. If you open up to your co-worker, it may encourage him to view you more as a person instead of simply as a co-worker. You never know -- your co-worker may just apologize and tell you he thought you enjoyed his "jokes" all along.

Try to get to know your co-worker better. Your co-worker's behavior could be a cry for help. She may be lonely and unhappy with herself, whether because of a troubled home life or health woes. Reaching out to your co-worker probably will be hard at first, but you may just discover a decent person deep down there.

Tip

  • Notify your boss or your company's human resources department regarding your rude co-worker's behavior. Cite specific incidents.

Photo Credits

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