Stop Letting Jerks at Work Undermine or Control You—Strategies to Deal with Rude, Difficult Coworkers that Transform Intended Negativity Into Ethical Empowerment For Being Unapologetically Yourself

How to Silence and Overcome Rude Co-workers

There will always be friends and foes. Not everyone will like you, and that shouldn’t bother you. Out of those who don’t like you, however, there are some who would go to great lengths to show their disapproval. These we call work jerks. These people might be annoying to deal with, especially if you both are working in the same office or on the same job. While you cannot determine who your co-workers are, you can determine how you respond to or handle disrespectful and unbearable ones.

To deal with rude co-workers is not an easy task. You must choose to either remain the good guy while trying to assert yourself or get your hands dirty to put them in their place. 

If there’s a co-worker who’s getting on your nerves, here are a few tips on how to handle them:


Silence they say, is the best answer for a fool. It has also been said to be the best revenge. When you’ve got a ride co-worker to deal with, you can simply ignore them and their attitude towards you. Reacting to them would give them the courage to keep taunting you. So, drain their morale by ignoring them completely – act as though they do not exist. If you have to interact with them at your workplace, keep things strictly businesslike and ignore whatever snide remarks they might have to offer.

Talk Straight

Some people are not deterred by you just ignoring them. What’s more is that this might turn to a game of who can ignore the other the most, and that is counterproductive for your workplace. In order not to get into a futile game that might have you both fired, you can approach the rude co-worker and express your dissatisfaction. Be courteous when talking to them. Chances are that you’d leave a good impression that might give them a change of heart. 

Enlist a Mutual Friend

If you don’t feel like speaking directly to your rude co-worker, you can speak to someone neutral to approach them on your behalf. This is also a good approach where the co-worker in question has failed to listen to you. Involving someone you both know and trust can bridge the gap and lay some foundation for common ground. 

Involve a Superior

Ultimately, there is someone you both are accountable to. If your co-worker is getting truly driving you to the brink of insanity, one of the fastest ways to force them to behave is to report to your boss. While some other co-workers might feel that reporting is to your boss is extreme, don’t be moved. Chances are that the rude co-worker you just reported is responsible for spreading rumors and feeding other people’s minds with negatively about you. But that shouldn’t be your business, rather explain yourself to co-workers who ask for your side of the story. Also, ensure that your report is professional and give reasons why the rude behavior is affecting your productivity. As it is a common practice to demand for evidence, make sure you document moments of disrespect – it could be a voice recording or even jotting down such occurrences.


Similar to ignoring rude behavior is for you to focus on your work. When you don’t necessarily have to interact with them, simply avoid them or maintain a businesslike outlook around them. Your workplace is strictly for work and not for social interaction, so pay more attention to your work. Besides, there are more people you can interact with at your workplace. Instead of paying attention to a rude co-worker, divert the energy to interacting with other reasonable co-workers.

Give the Benefit of the Doubt

It just might be that the rude co-worker is just bad at interacting with others. It might be a character flaw that’s affecting every other person in the office. Or it might be that you’ve unconsciously done something that may have earned you their disapproval. In giving such a co-worker the benefit of doubt, talk to him/her directly, and ask for clarity concerning anything you’re doing or have done wrong in his/her eyes.

Be Courteous

While it might seem like a great idea to be rude to those who are rude to you, but it’s just not smart. Chances are that you’ll be caught in an unending game or rudeness, which may not speak well about you to other co-workers. Maintain your work ethics and leave the erring co-worker to his/her devices.

Request for a Change

To help you avoid the rude co-worker, you can ask your boss to change your department or the place you seat. Opt for a more peaceful and productive area that is far from the troublemaker.

Use the Negative Energy to Your Advantage

A common trait with unbearable persons is that they wish to see you fail. So, when you thrive despite their efforts at pulling you down, it frustrates them. You have repurposed their negativity into empowering progress. Rather than allowing a ride co-worker to drive you crazy and ruin your productivity at work, you either tune their comments out or channel such comments into your work. Let the disrespect serve as fuel for you to be even more productive. In the end, when you’re being rewarded for productivity, they would have no choice but to reckon with you.

Quit Your Job

If all your efforts fail to deter your co-worker, you just might end up getting drained of productivity. To avoid getting disgraced or fired, you can honorably resign. This way, you’d permanently not have to deal with the rude co-worker, and your honorable resignation will give him/her less things to talk about. Sometimes the daily dose of drama just isn’t worth it, and you’d be much happier and more appreciated somewhere else. 

Last Words

Annoying people will always exist. You won’t always find awesome co-workers, but you can definitely choose your battles. Rather than flaring up and acting out of anger, be patient, calm, and calculated. You win this way far more than if you reciprocated the immature behavior. Don’t give attention to someone who isn’t worth it; focus on your work and ignore irrelevant comments. Keep in mind that you can’t and should not please everyone – do what you can and move on when necessary. Prioritize your productivity and happiness over the tantrums of an unruly co-worker.

Want to be a part of a new community dedicated to all things surrounding relationships? Here, we will exchange challenges, opportunities, and personal stories about our endeavors to not only strengthen the relationships that matter most to us but to also improve our own abilities to communicate. This group will be a space for all (explorers, learners, teachers, and experts) to come together to hear, share, and mature. Join us here:

Would you like more? I’d like to share a revolutionary new guide I’ve written. It’s called 8 Shockingly Bizarre Alter Egos You Must Embrace in Order to Transform Every Relationship in Your Life—it’s time to welcome the multiple personality disorder you didn’t know you had or know you needed. This will be the first of many helpful guides I intend to freely share with you. Click here.