Work in itself is hard but it gets way worse when you have to deal with difficult officemates. If you are having problems with people at work you have to handle the situation properly and swiftly lest it eventually interfere with your job. Here is how to deal with rude co-workers:
- Do not lose your cool. Whenever a co-worker tries to provoke you or distract you from your work, let it go and move on. If you have a short temper, losing your cool will not solve anything in most cases. That is exactly what he wants you to do. He is trying to unhinge you. Be calm and do not let your emotions get the best of you because you might end up doing something you will regret later on.
- Ignorance is bliss. If your co-worker persists, you have to be able to ignore his constant attempts to rattle you. Sometimes if you ignore the problem, it simply goes away. When he tries to taunt you just tell him that you are busy and have no time for distractions.
- Resist retaliation. Never try to get back at him by stooping to his level. Fighting fire with fire, in this situation, will just burn everything you’ve built at your job. Find some other way of venting your frustrations. The important thing here is that you remain as polite as can be. Take the moral high ground and don’t look back.
- Peaceful confrontation. If he continues to pester you and the situation escalates, this is when you can tackle the problem head on. No, not by engaging in a fist fight or a verbal smackdown. Be as respectful as possible and ask him if he has a problem with you or if you have wronged him in any way. Civilized people can talk and handle their differences without resorting to violence. Again, do not stoop to his level and deal with it at your level. Talking it out can solve most disagreements in the work place.
- Ask around the office. It is good to ask your other officemates what is up with your pest of a co-worker. Maybe they can shed some light on his rude behavior. If they have had encounters with him in the past, ask them how they handled it and ask for advice. Of course, try not to gossip about him and talk only to the people you trust.
- Take it to your boss. Once the problem starts interfering with your work and you’ve exhausted every peaceful means of dealing with the situation, then you can take it to your boss or supervisor. If there is one person who can get a rude co-worker off your back, it is your boss. Use this only as a last resort because you never want to involve the management with “petty office squabbles.”
- If it is your boss is rude. You have a major problem if the rude co-worker is your boss. You’ll just have to live with it if you really like your job. Seek support from your officemates and continue being polite and respectful no matter what. If you cannot take the harassment anymore, only then should you try going to the office above your boss.
In the end, dealing with rude co-workers requires a little skill and the right attitude. Handle the situation incorrectly and you might have a bigger problem on your hands. What was once a distraction could turn into all-out war if you deal with it in the wrong way.