How do you deal with rude people at work ?

We all hope to live a positive life with people around us being kind and gentle to us. Sadly, we often meet people who are unkind, rude who sometimes ruin not only our day but sometimes our life.

It is human nature to avoid such rude people. But does that solve the problem ?

The thing about life is we can continue to react and respond to situations the way we have been doing all our life and at the same time mourn about it or  adopt a different approach. Maybe there is a possibility that we can hope to expect a different result.

My approach to life is something I learnt from a supervisor at work in the United Kingdom and what he said to me stayed with me for life.

His approach was ‘When there is a problem – fix the problem, not the person‘. This is not a quick fix. It requires a lot of patience from the person who has deal with such situations.

I discovered the value of personal mentoring from this gentleman and that is what I aim to be in the future. I applied his approach to life not only at work, but also at a personal level.

Most of the times, it is someone else who must have mistreated either at work or home that makes people turn rude. This is a fact of life. Sadly, modern society has not learnt to be kind to others, especially people who are not known to us.

With most conversations now happening on smart phones, distance is not an issue – we can communicate to anyone anywhere in the world. However, souls aren’t being connected – it is only message that get transmitted instantly.  Advanced communication devices do not guide people to use the right words that sounds polite to people at the other end.

At work, I would avoid e-mail communication as much as possible. Because the most politest of mail sometimes can be open for misinterpretation and misunderstood by the recipient.

There were times when I would get inflammatory e-mails from clients. I always choose to either return the e-mail with a phone call or reply after a coffee break, think about how I am going to respond to that mail and then write a response answering the client’s question. As much as possible, I would avoid the e-mail tennis.

Many don’t even realize that they are being rude to others. They believe that is how they have always been. That is their personality. Nobody every objected to their style of communication. Perhaps, people were afraid to give them feedback because of the position they hold.

Some people let power get to their head and they start treating their sub-ordinates like waiters. Ironically, these same people will treat waiters with more respect than their own subordinates at work because they know that if they are rude to waiters, they might get kicked out from the restaurant by the owner.  The subordinate does not have that power.

So how do you deal with rude people………

Words have the power to heal.

If you have known someone who has been kind person all the while but is having an off day and is unusually very rude then sometimes just few kind words like ‘Is everything okay with you ?’ , ‘Is anything bothering you?’ , ‘Did anyone say something’ , ‘Do you want to have a quick chat ?’ will do a world of good. Your intervention might just stop this person being rude with others s/he is going to interact with that day.

For the official jerks (who are rude just for the fun of it ) – your response could be something like  ‘I am not sure about you, but I am a professional. Can we have this conversation in a professional manner please ?’

Depression can transform the most compassionate souls to one of the most rude person on earth…and the affected individual does not even know about it.

These are people who have digested all those who have been rude to them all their life and they are now just venting out their anger as they can’t take it anymore. When negative thoughts rule their mind and soul, they tend to think the whole world is against them. They even tend to insult people for no fault of others. People with depression deserve your compassion the most. They want to be heard. They want to vent it out to any kind soul who is willing to hear them out and they have gratitude towards these kind people for life.

We have two choices. Either shut these rude people from our lives or make an effort to hear them out or get them back to their normal behavior.

My mentor’s approach ‘When there is a problem – fix the problem, not the person‘ works for me.

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10 thoughts on “How do you deal with rude people at work ?

  1. I needed to read this today, very well written and food advice. I have been working in a company for five plus years, where the environment at times has been very negative and hostile. I have an important position for our processes but after several years of colleagues not taking in what I’m saying and have spent numerous times fixing errors and on top of it a manager that can be very rude. I simply had enough and decided to depart, because it was so draining. I only have a few more days left there thank God.
    Have a great day and thank you for sharing this useful advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A long post on toxic workplaces coming up soon. Sorry to hear your story which is becoming so common. You are quitting your job. I quit a well paying career because my family life suffered and there was a time I wanted to give up my life.

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      1. I find it hard sometimes, to deal with negative and rude people. I am moving to a me position, with less pay but I value my health more than money, was not worth it staying on and feeling ill at times

        Liked by 1 person

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