There is a term in psychology called transference. It is when you are feeling really shitty about something, and you push it off onto something or someone else. Many people in this world walk the earth very unhappy, some with cause, some without, but at some point you may be the target of their misery. That’s why you need to know how to deal with rude people.
The key is not to take it personally – easier said than done. And if you are in a customer service or service sector job, the level of rudeness that you can be subjected to may be overwhelming. Instead of handing in your badge, there are some tricks to get past the nonsense and deal with rude people effectively.
Some of the tactics you use can embarrass them; others will catch them off guard. But the only thing that is crucial, no matter which method you use, is that you protect yourself. There are also those managers or office people that you see every day and wish you could avoid, but you can’t. So just remember, no matter who you are or what you do for a living, no one has the right to step on you, or to perpetually ruin your day.
How to deal with rude people: 8 things you must know
If you are tired of being someone’s punching bag, here are 8 ways for how to deal with rude people, get them off of your back, or even get them to shine their projection light on someone else.
#1 Call out the bully
Rude people are guided mostly by two things: unhappiness and jealousy. If someone is rude to you, then the chances are that they either sense you are nice enough to take it, or they are jealous of something that you possess. Although not easy to deal with, when they are rude to you, stand tall and give it right back.
Nothing takes a bully down more than showing them that you have muscles too. You may have to work with them, or even alongside them, but you are worthy of respect, so you need to call them out when they are rude. [Read: The mean girl – 25 traits to recognize a mean person’s traits and stay away]
#2 Make them aware of their ill nature
Another piece of advice for how to deal with rude people is to keep in mind that some people have no idea that they are even rude. It is not that unreasonable to think that their parents never taught them the phrase “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” If they are being rude by making comments without any filter, it is okay for you to ask them whether they know that what they saying is offensive.
You don’t have to be aggressive towards them – just a simple, “did you know that was really hurtful and rude?,” may be enough to stop them in their tracks and think twice when they are talking to you. Don’t make the assumption that rude people have any idea they are being rude; perhaps they are just socially unaware. [Read: How to deal with difficult people]
#3 Be overly nice to the point of sarcasm
When someone is really rude to you, sometimes the best thing you can do is to respond with kindness. This will not work for someone who isn’t even aware that they are a miserable creature. But if nothing else, it will be funny to see their response.
When someone is rude to you in the workplace, be so overly kind and accommodating that it catches them off guard and takes them back a little. Often, rude people justify their rudeness by going through life making excuses for themselves and thinking that everyone in the world is rude, too.
Show them that is not the case by not feeding into the cancer that they can be. Smile no matter how obnoxious they can be, give in to what they want, and be overly happy. That may just be the catalyst to put their horrible self over the edge. [Read: 14 effortless ways to be really nice and loved by all instantly]
#4 Don’t acknowledge it
A really great way for how to deal with rude people is to simply ignore it. If someone is being rude to you, simply tell them that they can’t speak to you in the manner that they do. Imagine how things would have been if the tow truck worker behind the desk had called out Britt McHenry. If you haven’t seen her tyrant, Google it – you will be astonished.
It may be your job to deal with customers, but the notion that the customer is always right does not extend to them being allowed to abuse you or make you feel less than. If someone is being rude, you have the right to walk away, or say that you simply refuse to be treated with such disdain.
You aren’t getting paid to be abused. And rude people, no matter how hard you try, don’t want to be satisfied or satiated – they want to transfer their unhappiness onto you, so don’t let them. [Read: How to recognize mean people and avoid their energy]
#5 Talk to a superior
The office place is not an arena to tell on someone, but there are times when a co-worker or manager may be making it nearly impossible to do your job. If you are having issues with someone who is constantly berating you, making you feel bad, or not treating you with respect, then you have the right to go and tell a superior about your personality conflict.
Make sure that when you go to your boss, you don’t resort to calling names or sound childish by rehashing all that was said. Simply tell them that you believe there is a personality conflict that is negating your ability to work effectively alongside the person who is causing you so much grief.
You know in your heart that you can’t continue to work the way things are, and if you don’t say something, the chances are that you won’t be able to advance your career or focus on the things that you need to. [Read: How to stop selfish people from hurting you]
#6 Stop to ask them if you have done something to offend them
There are occasions when they are being rude for a reason. Sometimes we are unaware of how we affect people. For example, perhaps in the past you did something to hurt their feelings or rub them the wrong way. If that’s true, then it is likely that they have a negative impression of you and want to hurt you back.
If you notice that they are being rude to ONLY you, take them aside and ask them if you have done something to cause their dislike of you. Not only will it catch them off guard, but it will also make them aware that you aren’t going to put up with it anymore. [Read: 10 perfect ways to set boundaries with difficult people]
The best case scenario is that they will let you know what you may be doing – or have done – to bring about such poor relations between the two of you. Once you get it out into the open, not only will the animosity stop, you may actually create a meeting of the minds. This is a really important aspect for learning how to deal with rude people.
#7 Ask them to dinner
I know right now you are thinking, “OMG is she serious?” Yes, I am very serious. If you have a co-worker, who is being nothing but rude, maybe getting them out of their surroundings and getting to know them can turn it around. When people in an office space feel insecure, devalued, or have a chip on their shoulder for some reason, sometimes it helps to get them away from the negative environment.
Then, maybe you can discover why they are behaving the way that they are. You may find that they feel as if everyone is mistreating them and being rude as well. Sometimes, people react according to some preconceived notions about what is going on around them. Or maybe they are being treated poorly. If you take them to lunch or dinner, you may just find out what it is. [Read: Care less! How to stop giving a damn about what people think]
#8 Stay away from them
If all else fails, then the only way to deal with a rude person who is destined to stay that way, is to stay away from them. If you know that the woman who comes in for a latte every morning is going to say something to upset you, and she comes in between 9:00 and 9:15 in the morning, take your break during that time.
Sure, running away is rarely the answer. But in this case, it may just be. There is no shame in running and hiding from people who can’t be reasoned with and who are in the business of ruining your day. If they work in the next cubicle, ask to be moved. If they hang out at the bar after work, try a different bar.
It’s not always easy to learn how to deal with rude people. But keep in mind, some people are so miserable that they can actually make you miserable. No one has the right to make you feel less than. And you simply can’t allow someone to project their feelings onto you. [Read: Creepy guys you need to stop talking to]
You don’t have to take rudeness from someone; that is not a part of your job or your personal responsibility to be someone’s punching bag. If you handle it with maturity, grace, and confidence, then any bully or rude person can be taken down – or at the very least, avoided forever. In the end, rude people are very unhappy people. If they were happy with their environment and themselves, they wouldn’t feel the need to make others feel so damn shitty.
[Read: 12 powerful ways to stop people from sapping your positive energy]
The best thing you can do is to stop dealing with it, and when it is over, pity them. That’s the best lesson you can learn about how to deal with rude people.
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A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...
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