London: Gossiping, bullying and backstabbing are not only limited to high schools, they're also common in workplaces. According to a recent article published in the Harvard Business Review, half of workers have revealed that they're treated rudely at their job at least once a week, up from just a quarter in 1998, media reported.

Researchers, who polled 800 managers and employees in 17 industries, found that being the victim of office rudeness led to decreased effort, quality of work, and time spent on the job. More shockingly 12 per cent of people said that they left their jobs because of it, the study reported.

But people don't tend to report it, mainly out of a sense of hopelessness or fear of potential repercussions, said study co-author Christine Porath, associate professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. Not only your work, these stressful situations can affect your mental and physical health, too. Therefore experts have suggested some tips to help you in such situations.

Whenever your colleague talk to you in a rudely manner, respond in a way that ends the conversation and shows her that you're totally unfazed. But keep your response polite and abrupt, suggested Marie McIntyre, author of Secrets to Winning at Office Politics. "They want a reaction, but you don't want to give it to them," said McIntyre.

If your colleague suddenly acts like you don't exist, then ask twice if they're upset with you, then move on. "It's a passive-aggressive response. They want to let you know they're mad, but they're not comfortable talking about it," McIntyre said. As a solution to this she suggested: Give them two chances to tell you what's up, then pretend to believe that they're "fine." You can even say without a hint of sarcasm.

Like a child throwing a tantrum, they'll eventually quit when they don't get what they want, she said. When a coworker is badmouthing you behind your back. To fix this, McIntyre said, confront her, but don't start an interrogation. It's tempting to immediately storm into someone's office demanding an apology, but you run the risk of causing even more drama.

So, wait until you catch them alone and tell them what you heard, without being accusatory, she suggested. "Don't make assumptions, state the facts, and use 'I' statements, like ''I heard you may have said that...,'' McIntyre advises. Even if they deny it, you're letting them know that the gossip is getting back to you and that you're not having it.

In another situation your coworker may think office life is The Hunger Games, and she'll do anything to get an edge. In that case create some distance between the two of you, McIntyre suggests. If someone has set her sights on your job, you don't want to give her an advantage. That might mean not telling her about a new project you're working on, or not swapping stories at happy hour.

"If someone has an agenda, you can still be a pleasant colleague while not letting them gain an advantage over you," McIntyre said. If your boss is upto making your life miserable, don't think of quitting the job. Instead focus on your work, but pull back in other areas, Porath recommends.

"Hold off on attending optional social functions and limit your work to normal office hours," she said. And most importantly, don't let the rudeness follow you home. Leave your laptop at the office, and don't be plugged in 24/7, she added. This will help reduce stress from a toxic boss and at the same time show them that you're there for one reason: to work. If that doesn't impress them, at least you've bulked up your resume, the expert stated.


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