3 ways to deal with a condescending colleague

Do you have a colleague from hell? Yep, the people we work with can be the bane of our lives. You have to see them far more than you’d like to and they can be very, very annoying. A lot of the time. But when someone is condescending or patronising to you, you can be left reeling.

Here are 3 tips to stomping on this sort of behaviour ASAP!

1. Try and stay calm

You might want to shout at this colleague, or bitch about them like mad to anyone that will listen, but stop. They are totally trying to provoke you (probably) so don’t let them think they’ve gotten to you. Keep your body language very neutral and don’t roll your eyes or cross your arms. Instead try and appear as relaxed and natural as possible, as if their efforts to rile you up are just going unnoticed. Try sitting back in your chair and appearing completely at ease.

2. It’s their problem, not yours

Just because they are projecting their issues on you doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong. Just pity them, quietly, instead. In The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, Don Miguel Ruiz says: “What others say and do is a projection of their own reality…When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” Yep, they have the problem, not you! Don’t ever take it personally.

3. Bite the bullet and tell them

If you let your emotions boil up on this issue, whatever you do, DO NOT let rip and tell them exactly how you feel. Instead put together a considered response next time they are condescending. The best option is to make a bit of a light-hearted joke about it: “Wow that was a bit condescending LOL” – hmm well something like that! Experts advise you to ask for what you want and how you’d like to be treated at work. Be confident and tbh they may not even realise how they are treating you.