“Ah I just love being condescended to, especially at work or other social settings where it’s in front of bystanders,” said No One Ever.
Never have I ever heard someone say they like being humiliated or called out for something they did wrong. Sometimes it’s necessary, but still, no one likes it. There are also right and wrong ways to correct someone, especially if it’s in a professional setting.
There is a very fine line between constructive criticism and just plain criticism, and between correcting someone and being patronizing. Once these lines are crossed, things can get ugly. Friends are supposed to be chill, helpful, and not snobby! Let’s face it; work is already stressful enough without someone acting better then you.
The next time you find someone is acting that type of way towards you, I would suggest taking these steps. Naturally the situation will change depending on if it’s a friend vs. co-worker, but these steps are pretty similar across the board.
- Assert yourself and ask to speak to them privately. As I said before, no one likes being publicly humiliated, it’s much better to find a private place to talk. Sometimes this gesture alone shows that you mean business. If you can start by dictating where the conversation is going to take place, phase 1 is complete.
- Once you are someplace more comfortable lay it on them and ask them what their problem is. Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s just them. Either way getting it out in the open is better than walking around with it bottled up. If it’s something you can change, let them know you will do your best to correct things. If it’s something beyond your control, let them know that too.
- Take a breath and reflect on your behavior. Have you been annoying, rude, condescending yourself? Sometimes people are acting that way towards us because we gave off that vibe too. It doesn’t always happen that way, but it’s good to atone for your mistakes and be self-critical. It isn’t fair to snap at someone who is being condescending if you yourself dished it out in the past. If you can honestly not think of anything, maybe ask straight up, “Did I do something to offend you?” See what their answer is first before you enter the last step.
- Finally, if neither of you can come up with anything that would warrant these actions, make sure they are aware that you don’t appreciate their tone. If they say you did something that frustrated them, apologize and let them know it won’t happen again. Once you have made your peace offering, be sure to receive one in return. Don’t walk away until you get confirmation that they too will change.
Always remember to stand up for yourself, even when it seems difficult. It’s a weird situation to be in—don’t get me wrong, but life is full of those. All we can do is try and make the best of them.
Let us know if you dealt with a condescending friend or coworker in the comments below!
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