How to Be Assertive With Rude Co-Workers

The modern corporate world is extremely professional, with strict codes of conduct for employees. Just like our day-to-day life, we come across rude and obnoxious people at work places as well. An aggressive or rude colleague can easily become a cause of headache for you on a daily basis. You cannot pick and choose people you want to work with; however, if you are smart enough, you can take charge of the situation by being a little assertive.

By being assertive, you can send a message to rude co-workers. Anyone can have attitude problems, however, it is important to realise that negativity in the workplace benefits no one. When the working atmosphere is affected, everyone’s performance suffers.

It is important that you know your rights and draw your limits. Once your co-workers overstep the line, you will need to take appropriate steps.


  • 1

    Be patient in your response

    While dealing with an awkward situation or a rude coworker, you must not be impulsive in your reaction. Take a deep breath and think about the situation for a moment before your react. You must understand that an angry or emotional response will worsen the scenario.

  • 2

    Understand the reason behind a rude behavior

    When a co-worker behaves badly, try and understand the reason behind it. Sometimes a person is having an off day or he/she is facing a personal problem, which may lead to cranky behaviour. In such a case, you should not take that rude behavior personally and handle the situation accordingly.

  • 3

    Take advice

    Reacting strongly to a coworker’s rude behavior may hurt your overall impression at the workplace. Therefore, you must consult a close friend or trusted colleagues and know their perspective about the situation. Remember that you will be assertive in an effective manner only if you are cool and collected.

  • 4

    Be authoritative & confident

    Some people find it easier to deal with such circumstances, having practiced what they want to say. In order to be assertive, you must be very confident at the time of response and should sound authoritative. This will have a stronger impact on the coworker who has been rude to you.

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