How to Expertly Deal with Rude People (& What to Say!) - Deepstash
How to Expertly Deal with Rude People (& What to Say!)

How to Expertly Deal with Rude People (& What to Say!)


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How to Expertly Deal with Rude People (& What to Say!)

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Rude People

Rudeness is everywhere-maybe a stranger cut you off in traffic, a coworker shut the door in your face, or a loved one snapped at you for "not cleaning up after yourself" when you had left the knife on the edge of the sink on purpose in case you wanted to make another sandwich later


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Rude Is Contagious! Here Is What Makes People Rude

Researchers have found that just like the common cold, common negative behaviours can spread easily and have significant consequences.

It can be helpful to remember that when someone is being rude to you, it says more about them than you.


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Rudeness At The Workplace

  • When rudeness in the workplace goes unaddressed, research finds that employees feel less motivated and less productive.
  • Not only can rudeness impact a person's excitement about work and ability to do well at work, but it can negatively affect one's creativity as well.
  • Rude people are less likely to progress professionally.


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If someone is rude to you, immediately pause. Don’t be offensive or rude back. Use ASSA-Alert, State, Sell, and Agree.

Ask if they realize how hurtful or offensive their behaviour is, and help them understand why it was inappropriate. This helps people see that you are being reasonable while also clearly showing them the consequences of their rude behaviour will be.


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Lean Towards Warmness

  • The quickest way to thaw out a "cold shoulder" is with warmth.
  • When people are physically warm, they are more likely to show friendly character traits.
  • Action Step: When you're in the midst of a situation dealing with someone who is being rude, try using warm non-verbal cues to show warmth.


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Display Your Competence

If you feel like someone is underestimating you, be kind and direct.

Address the person and ask for the opportunity to show your capability.

Example: "I'm so excited to be entrusted with this responsibility and put my expertise into spearheading this project."

Cite studies, research, or industry thought leaders to show you are doing your homework.


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Have a One-On-One

If the person being rude to you is a loved one or a colleague, you may want to wait to address their behaviour in private.

When you talk with them, instead of telling them that they were being rude, try to help them understand how their actions made you feel.


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Give people the benefit of the doubt

The person acting rudely may not understand the culture or "The way we do things around here" and not realize they are being rude.

Give people the benefit of the doubt. Instead of getting upset with someone for cutting you off in line or communicating poorly at work, try saying:

“Excuse me, you may not have realized, but I’m already in line here.”

“I would be happy to help show you the ropes on this project. It seems like it’s making you a bit stressed out.”


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  • Negative comments impact us much more than positive ones-at a 5-to-1 ratio.
  • If someone says something rude to you, take a second to affirm yourself with five positive things.
  • Remember, their harsh comments and negativity don't define you.


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Ways to Avoid Someone without Being Too Obvious About It

  • At a big family function, wait until the person who is being rude to you has a chance to sit down before you find your seat. This way, you can choose a seat in a different part of the room. 
  • If you work with a rude coworker, adjust your lunch break to take it at a different time than they are. This way, you won’t need to get mean jabs from them while taking a break. 


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The Bottom Line

Rudeness is something you encounter often, and if you’re not careful, you’ll “catch” the rudeness and start being rude to others around you. Dealing with rude people can be stressful, but it’s important for maintaining your well-being. 

Everyone has an off day from time to time. Be quick to apologize for your rudeness when you realize that you’ve snapped at your partner, made a joke that didn’t land well in a work meeting, or stood up a friend for a coffee date. 


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