Join

Enter Details

Comment on stories, receive email newsletters & alerts.

@
This is your permanent identity for Business Insider Australia
Your email must be valid for account activation
Minimum of 8 standard keyboard characters

Subscribe

Email newsletters but will contain a brief summary of our top stories and news alerts.

Forgotten Password

Enter Details


Back to log in

The simplest way to neutralise your most obnoxious boss or coworkers is also the hardest

Boss meeting coworkersracorn/shutterstockThe power is in your hands.

Robert Sutton is a Stanford psychologist and author of “The No Arsehole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace” and “The Arsehole Survival Guide: How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt.”

In an interview with Vox’s Sean Illing, Sutton defines an arsehole as someone who “leaves us feeling demeaned, de-energised, disrespected, and/or oppressed. In other words, someone who makes you feel like dirt.”

If you aren’t lucky, you might recognise a coworker or boss in that description.

Assuming booby-trapping their office is out of the question, what are you supposed to do about it?

“One of the simplest — but admittedly hardest — things you can do is simply learn not to give a sh–,” Sutton told Illing at Vox. He continued:

“Not giving a sh– takes the wind out of an arsehole’s sails. When an arsehole’s being nasty to you, ignore him. Think about when you’ll get home later that night and the fact that that arsehole won’t be there and won’t matter. Think about how a year from now that arsehole won’t be in your life, but he’ll still be the arsehole he always was.”

Now, Sutton says there’s a distinction between your boss or coworker acting terribly and you feeling terrible when they aren’t actually being so bad. “Most of us human beings have pretty limited self-awareness,” he told Business Insider’s Aine Cain in a previous post. “To the extent you can slow down and do a sanity check, and ask, ‘Am I just crazy or are they treating me like dirt?’ you’ll be in better shape.”

He continued: “We’re quick to label other people as jerks and slow to label ourselves as a jerk or at least part of the problem. Human beings are just terrible at seeing our own problems.”

If the person in the next cubicle truly is being terrible, and you can’t seem to help but care, Sutton also gave Business Insider some tips for dealing with rude coworkers and nasty bosses.

NOW WATCH: Ideas videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.