WORKPLACE / JAN. 09, 2015
version 4, draft 4

How to Communicate with a Rude Boss

The workplace does not guarantee that you will work under a polite and kind boss. More often than not, senior employees treat their juniors rudely and disrespect them repeatedly. Unfortunately, you cannot change the situation, but you can learn to live with it and handle your boss without causing conflict. To avoid problems, understand how to communicate with a rude boss and do not take any comments he makes to heart.

Observe Professionalism

Address your boss respectfully and do not let emotions take over the conversation. Do not argue or respond to rude comments, rather keep quiet and try to get the message your boss is trying to communicate. If your boss raises her voice or insults you, remain professional. Walk away from the conversation in the first chance you get by politely excusing yourself. If you feel angry, take a break for a few minutes and calm down before you get back to work. Do not discuss such scenarios with your colleagues and only address your boss once she is calm.

Discuss, Don’t Confront

Each time your boss addresses you rudely, do not react emotionally or confront his behavior. Focus on the issue at hand calmly and try to understand his point of view. Confronting your boss may lead to more conflict, and give him a reason to accuse you of insubordination. Focus your discussions on work and accept any criticism from your boss. Take the criticism positively and seek his guidance on the proper way to execute the task to ensure you meet his expectations and avoid future conflict.

Understand the Situation

Often, the boss will result to rudeness when she is unhappy with your work. Evaluate the situation at hand and accept responsibility where it is due. If you are in the wrong, admit your mistake and promise to correct it immediately. However, in some situations a rude boss will always be rude even when you meet all her expectations. Accept the person as she is and understand that you have little control of the situation. Limit your interactions to work to avoid frequent confrontations.

Find a Mediator

Sometimes your boss’s behavior may get out of hand, affecting your morale at work. Make a list of situations your boss treats you rudely, and speak to his boss to help you address the situation. Your boss’s boss will provide objective insight and is more likely to influence your boss to change his behavior. Alternatively, you can speak to a colleague who is close and friendly to your boss and ask him or her to accompany you as you discuss the problem. A third party provides an outsider’s opinion to the conversation and acts as your witness if your boss insults you during the discussion or transfers the rude behavior to the conversation.


Dealing with a rude boss is a difficult experience, especially when you try to communicate your feelings or address the issues. Remain respectful when communicating with your boss and do not result to insults or snobbish comments. Remember that you cannot change people and in the end, you are responsible solely for your actions.

Image Source: The Workher

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