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How to Deal with a Rude Co-Worker

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Having an “office jerk” can really turn company morale upside down. The negative energy this person may bring in the workplace is disruptive of everyone’s own time, especially for the people this person usually targets. Unfortunately, even with struggling employees in this new setting, office jerks are, apparently, still a thing. In the event that you do encounter a co-worker who disrespects you or anyone else, with no reasonable explanation except the fact that they’re just plain rude, feel free to do any of the following:

Call them out.

In times wherein you get disrespected, you feel a certain way. It may be of discomfort, frustration, anger, pity, or disappointment. Whatever it is that you feel, don’t ignore it. This feeling is a sign for you to get up and stand up. Deal with it in a way that you think is best moving forward.

Try to stay calm.

Of  course, people won’t expect you to be fully poised and polite when people attempt to provoke you. However, you’re still accountable for how you react to these situations. In your calmness, veer away from the idea of simply storming out of the room, lashing out in front of your co-workers, making faces, or changing your tone of voice. It may be difficult, but acting maturely in this situation may be for the best.

Consider private confrontation.

It may be an option for you to set a time wherein you and your colleague can sit down and talk about the disrespectful encounter. This would be an avenue for you to express what you felt, and maybe ask for an apology from your colleague. However, it’s important to still follow tip #2 in this circumstance; some colleagues may be stubborn and blind to what kind of disrespect they have caused you. They may not apologize, but again, you have to be mature and carry on. After all, you already did the best you could in attempting to communicate with them. 

Don’t hesitate to ask.

Sometimes, innocent actions and behaviors for others may be offensive and disrespectful for you. This gap is something to consider when you’re thinking and reflecting about your recent encounter. If you’re uncertain about whether the person really meant to offend you, feel free to clarify what just happened. This would be good for your own peace of mind and for the person as well. The latter is especially true if your questions are left unasked and you start acting differently around this person. 

Don’t take it personally.

There comes a point wherein those rude actions coming from a certain person will seem recurrent in your workplace. At this point, consider not taking it personally already; their behavior should not impede you from continuing your work and staying motivated by your own will. Choosing to take it personally might lead to the opposite, which will result in a loss for you.

Dealing with a rude co-worker is not easy. However, these are some simple steps that you can apply the next time a situation arises. Above all else, keep in mind that disrespect should not be fought against through another form of rudeness; at times, you really just need to be the bigger person in the situation and gracefully handle it with all your strength.