Rude People: How To Work Things Out

by Dec 4, 2013

Rude People

It’s easy to say that when you encounter a rude person, you are able to shed them away. This, unfortunately, isn’t always an available option.

If you have rude a rude co-worker, boss, or even a customer, you may not have the luxury of making a choice. You may have the option to simply not worth with that person, but the decision might jeopardize your credentials and your job.

Learning To Deal With Rude People

You are a good person and you deserve better. With that said, what is fair and what is not? I’m sure everyone would like the ideal office environment where everyone treats each other with respect, but that’s just not how things are. You cannot expect everyone to be like you. For every rude person you meet, there will probably be thousands of other rude people just like that person.

People sometimes quit their jobs when they are faced with a rude manage or rude co-workers. What happens when they run into the same situation at their next job? It will turn them into serial job hoppers continuously trying to find their ideal work environment.

Rude people are very real and the situation doesn’t seem like it will be fixed anytime soon. With that, here are our best tips on dealing with rude people.

Don’t Lose Your Temper

Don’t lose your cool when dealing with a person because it might even dent your own image. You will also be more likely to say something you might regret later on. Emotional outrage will result in saying the wrong things.

Even if you are really angry, get a hold of the anger. Even if you can vent it out later with your friends after work, don’t vent out in front of the person. Continue to hold up a professional image and it will show that you can handle stress well.

Don’t Expect The Behavior To Change

Some people just act like this. Perhaps they don’t even realize that they are being rude. Other times, they might be aware, but they enjoy bossing people around.

One thing to learn is that you cannot change others. You may change your own actions, which may alter the rude person’s behavior, but don’t change your actions expecting such results.

Try To Understand Why The Person Is Rude

Sometimes a person is specifically rude to you. If this is the case, there must be a reason driving this behavior whether it is conscious or subconscious. Why is the person only treating you like this? If you understand the reasoning behind the behavior, it could very well help you in future encounters with similar people.

 Keep Your Dignity

Regardless of what a rude person might say to you, you should never let the person make you feel any lesser about yourself. You should not lower your worth or self-depreciate in the office environment. Stick up to your beliefs and values.

If the person attempts to cross on your boundaries, go ahead and confront them. No matter how important the job or customer, there is nothing more valuable than your integrity. You need to honor that for yourself.

Talk With People That Can Help

Even if you are going through a tough time at work, it doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone. Look for people that can help you.  Talking with others can give you additional perspectives that you might not have seen. Some people that could help you out are:

  • Family and Friends
  • Managers
  • Senior Managers
  • Team Members
  • Co-Workers

Reflection Is Important

Sometimes, life echoes how we treated others. Instead of feeling bothered that rude people aren’t treating you well, think about times when you’ve been rude in your life. It’s good to reflect upon our own behaviors rather than pointing fingers at others.

As the Golden Rule states, treat others the way you want to be treated.


Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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