Bigthink has an article discussing sleep problems stemming from personality conflicts at work. The article runs down physiological effects of chronic stressful encounters at work and offers up a few basic ways to mediate the stress: Meditation, exercise, listening to music, taking a walk and volunteering.
Couple thoughts. Anyone who is rude or condescending is afraid of losing power or doesn’t believe they have enough to feel safe. In short they are cowards who are afraid to ask for help. This leaves them with only one option, take power from others. These people have already failed at making others happy. They probably had to deal with some other terrified person that taught them this behavior. Someone who could never be made happy.
So the bully cannot find their power in helping, because they themselves feel helpless. How can they support others when they feel like they are about to fall apart? So instead they gain power, in their minds, by seeing other people in pain. They can achieve at least that and to them that is the false evidence of their power or control. Their behavior reflects the internal aggression they feel toward themselves for not being able to make others happy. But I’m sure this is obvious.
Thought number 2, its not your job to solve their psychological issues. But it is your job to come to terms with the fact that these people rarely change their behavior. And even if you go somewhere else to escape them, there will always be another asshole.
You will have to be the one that changes in some way. Because fighting these people head on does nothing but escalate the stress and feed into their power myths.
First you have to know that they can’t actually take anything away from you. Their fear doesn’t need to be your fear. That’s them getting to set the terms of conflict. Resilience in these moments requires a strong knowledge of what you value. This gets tricky, because when I say value, people think of worth, as in materials or currencies. What I mean by value, is what do you give your attention to the most.
What gets most of your attention is the thing you give the most value. Its what gets the most power from you. If your attention is occupied by something that makes you anxious, then you will fall prey to the power myth.
If you value this person liking you, changing, or providing some kind of positive feedback from your relationship you are fighting their fight, which is a delusion. You are investing in the idea that power can be taken or earned. The trick is understanding that real power can only be given.
Last thought, the fight is not fighting. If there was a real fight it is training your attention. If you understand how much power you have and where it comes from, then you know you it can’t run out and so have plenty to give. Ultimately, this persons bully behavior is coming from a child who can not find enough love to feel safe enough to grow emotionally and play nice with others. That doesn’t mean you should be their parent. Just don’t waste your attention trying to defeat or please them.