5 Ways to Deal With Rudeness at Work

male colleague yawning


There’s a lot of kindness in the world, but as you know there can also be a lot of rude and inconsiderate people out there. One place you shouldn’t have to deal with rudeness is on your job. However, the workplace is not immune from disrespectful people and unpleasantness. So, how do you deal with it and still keep your cool? 

1. Break the Cycle

The easiest thing to do if someone treats you badly is to give it back to them, but don’t be tempted. The best way to handle uncalled for behavior is to break the chain and stop the cycle. Responding to rude behavior with rudeness can only make matters worse. Of course, this doesn’t mean you let someone walk all over you. 

Remain calm and take a deep breath before you react. Try to think to yourself that this type of behavior has no place at work and you won’t be a part of it. Negative behavior, just like kindness, is catchy, so the more it spreads the harder it is to stop. Instead of reacting with more bad behavior, use empathy and emotional intelligence at work to add positive energy into the situation.

2. Focus on Your Sense of Well-Being

Anytime someone treats you unfairly it’s easy to take it personally or even get down on yourself. Don’t fall for the trap. Usually a person’s rude behavior speaks volumes about them and has nothing to do with you. Reminding yourself of this can help you to keep up your positive attitude and can stop the mistreatment from not only ruining your day, but also ruining your sense of self.

3. Consider Sitting Down with Your Rude Coworker

If the rude behavior is a one time thing, you should probably assume your colleague was having a bad day. This doesn’t make their behavior okay, but we’ve all been in a foul mood and reacted poorly, so it’s easier to forgive. If the rude treatment is repetitive or ongoing, then it might be time to speak up.

Before you do, you should ask yourself if the behavior is intentional or if they simply are being themselves. This will help you to approach the situation without hurting the person’s feelings, because they might not even realize they’re hurting yours. Either way, you don’t have to be treated with disrespect and a conversation could be in order if the treatment keeps up..

4. Get Someone Else Involved to Help the Situation

Before you have a sit-down, consider whether or not you need to include a witness or moderator such as your supervisor or someone from human relations (HR). Bringing in a third party to the situation could be very helpful, but it could also make your co-worker feel attacked, especially if they weren’t aware of how they’re making you feel. If you’ve already tried everything else, then unfortunately you might have no other choice.

5. Seek Legal Representation

If you’ve done all this and nothing seems to work, it might be time to get help from outside your workplace. Sometimes, you are met with an individual that treats others poorly on the job and no matter what you say or do they just won’t stop with the rudeness. 

Other times the behavior can escalate to bullying or abuse. Seeking help from a California quid pro quo harassment lawyer could be your only option. Documenting the adverse behavior can help you prepare your case, as well as help you to reflect and identify patterns. Take notes when things happen and look back when you’ve gotten to a calm place.