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Jobs expert shares easy method to deal with rude co-workers

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A career guru has dished out her top tips for dealing with “overt rudeness” in the office, revealing a straightforward tactic is the best approach to counter workplace bullying.

Erin McGoff, the voice behind the ‘No One Knows What They’re Doing’ podcast, took to Instagram to share her wisdom on how best to handle hostility from co-workers.

In a video that she posted for her 1.8 million followers, Erin acts out an office scenario where a new employee is belittled by another staff member.

The clip shows a woman introducing herself as “the new executive assistant” only to receive a snide remark: “Oh, you can just say that you get your boss coffee.”

Instead of responding with anger or calling out the unpleasant behaviour, however, Erin advises taking a measured stance. “Rude people at work have fragile egos,” she notes.

Erin continues: “They overcompensate by putting you down to make themselves feel superior. The best thing you can do is try to ignore them. Stay dignified – don’t give them the satisfaction they’re seeking.”

Furthermore, Erin suggests other potential comebacks to the unsavoury ‘coffee’ remark, such as feigning a misunderstanding with, “I didn’t quite get that, what did you say?”, or deflecting with humour: “Oh, I’m supposed to be getting him coffee? Oops!”

However, she goes on to explain that in some situations, the greatest way to say something is by saying nothing at all. “I find that silence is extremely effective,” Erin says. “Most of the time, rude people at work are looking to put you down to make them feel better about themselves.

“So by making them feel awkward, they will be trained to no longer behave that way. They will take the backtracking as a choice they made to save face, not something you made them do.”

She closes: “If you respond verbally, you give them something to latch on to and tell everyone else “that new girl/guy is such a [negative word]! But if you simply can endure 3-4 seconds of awkward silence, you challenge them on a deeper level.”

Erin, who is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker, director and editor, saw her advice met with praise from dozens of her fans. “Hey Erin – I really appreciate your posts!” one Instagram user gushed. “I lead a team of 7 and have encouraged them to follow you.”

Another fan begged: “More of this please! How to deal with difficult people at work. It’s a talent!” Whilst a third penned: “Thank you for sharing this I used to do that just stay quiet or kept it brief and later on would always feel bad wondering if I should’ve said more to defend myself. I would feel better when I would get recognise for my work and they wouldn’t.”

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