Featured in a larger UpJourney Article: How to Deal with a Condescending Coworker
by Risa Williams, LMFT
Sometimes when people have to interact with a coworker who comes across as condescending, the natural reaction would be to get defensive or feel insecure.
It’s good to remember that you have a choice not to feel these feelings however challenging the encounter can feel to navigate. It takes practice to learn how to navigate these situations without letting it affect your self-esteem afterward.
Mentally prepare yourself for future encounters
One tool that can help is to mentally prep yourself for future encounters with the coworker and mentally rehearse different ways you can navigate these situations in the future.
Practice ahead of time what you need to communicate to them by writing it down in a clear and succinct way – this will help bring your stress and anxiety levels down. Mentally rehearse being assertive without being aggressive or defensive, and clearly state what you would like or need to communicate in a calm voice, and talk to yourself internally in a kind and soothing way.
Reward yourself with self-praise
After the encounter, be sure to give yourself a lot of praise for handling a difficult situation well. The more you can give yourself self-praise and positive self-talk, the less your coworker will be able to affect your overall mood and confidence.