6 tips to deal with rude people without losing your mind

Kindness is a powerful weapon in these cases

deal with rude people

Everyone has a work colleague or knows someone who is an adept of rudeness. Some people seem to not even realize they are being rude, to others is just their normal state and then there are the ones who like to make sure you know and notice their rudeness. The problem is how to deal with rude people without being rude yourself and entering into a conflict.

6 tips to deal with rude people

To deal with rude people the key is having patience. Loads and loads of patience. Take deep breaths to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and use one of the following tricks to deal with the situation.


deal with rude people empathy

One of the best ways to deal with rude people and the anger or stress they cause you is by trying to empathize. Instead of taking it personally, assess the other individual to understand the underlying reasons for their rudeness.

Maybe they are just having a bad they and they don’t realize they are taking it on you. They could be facing problems of their own at home or at work, they need to vent it out and you were caught in the middle.

Empathizing doesn’t mean to excuse their behavior, but it will make it easier to cope with their rudeness and avoid letting it get under your skin.

Remember you are rude too

Maybe not today or tomorrow, but at some point, you are bound to be rude too. You may have a bad day, a project deadline coming up fast and stressing you out, your children are sick and you’re worried, for instance, and you end up speaking harsher than necessary to people.

It happens. Try to keep that in mind when you have to deal with rude people and remember that, because they are being rude, it doesn’t mean they are bad people.

Be the example

deal with rude people example


If you’re having to deal with a rude person, try to not take the bait and lead by example. Always treat others and you would like to be treated. If they are rude, be polite. If they have an angry face, smile.

Never respond in kind. If you are hostile to the rude waiter serving you, he will continue to be rude. But if you are polite, he may change his stand.

Laugh it off

Try to come out with a witty joke to soothe the tension between you and the rude person. If you can’t come up with anything, try to take it lightly, shrug your shoulders, smile, walk away and forget about it.

Avoid the person

If you can, try to simply avoid the rude person getting on your nerves. Keep your conversations as short and straight to the point as possible and pretend your rude counterpart doesn’t exist beyond the context that has you interacting with each other.

When you don’t give rude people an audience, they might feel isolated and change their behavior. This is especially effective if more people do it too.

And don’t go around complaining about their rudeness. If your coworkers come to talk to you about it, just dismiss the subject. Talking about it can blow the situation out of proportions and make matters worse.

Don’t try to fix rudeness

deal with rude people fix rudeness

It is not your job to fix other people and trying it can worsen the situation. Maybe their rudeness is caused by low self-esteem, maybe they are facing problems of their own, whatever the situation is up to them to solve it.

Just answer with kindness, try to be helpful if you feel that’s what they are looking for and move on.

What causes rudeness

Rudeness can stem from many sources. It can be a power-play instrument or a simple consequence of having faced a stressful situation before. People with low self-esteem can also use rudeness as a strategy to make themselves feel and act superior to others.

The most common causes of rudeness are:

  • Personal problems
  • Overstress
  • Emotional immaturity
  • Learned behavior
  • Cultural differences
  • Low self-esteem
  • Personality disorders

None of these excuses the rude behavior, but knowing them can make it easier for you to empathize and not taking their bad behavior personally.

Rudeness vs bullying/harassment

The line separating these can be hard to tell sometimes. While the best way to deal with rude people is to play it down and don’t let it under your skin, when it comes to bullying or harassment you need to take a stand or the issue will escalate from there.

Don’t enter into a conflict, but speak your mind and put your foot down to let the other person know you won’t tolerate that sort of behavior. Do it politely, though, as it is the best way to disarm the other. They are looking for a reaction and an excuse for conflict but if you keep your cool and answer in a polite manner they won’t know how to react.

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Written by Catarina Alves

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