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Communication Skills/Effective communication at work


I have recently started a new job and I have found one of my co-workers communicates to me in a
very condescending manner, and in a tone that I donít approve. I understand that I am still new and
learning how to perform my job properly, but I havenít spoken up to anyone about it.
It bothers me because quite often this person will accuse me of doing something wrong; that I
never did in the first place.

In all honesty I feel that it will take some time for me to fit into my group. I am really not a bad
person: I am very reliable, sincere, punctual, flexible. And I do whatever I can to do my job to the best of my abilities. I truly believe that I have a good rapport with all my co-workers.

Sometimes it is difficult to take it on the chin, because this person just blames me without any proof,
and then has no remorse when they find out it wasnít me. Please advise me further.

Hi David - it sounds like your problem is if and how to preserve your self-respect by asserting boundaries with your co-worker. Start by defining your rights as a dignified, worthy person. You have the right to do this whether you're new at the job or not!

Then learn to assert boundaries and consequences respectfully and firmly:

Read and practice some appropriate assertion examples from these:

In your case, an assertive "I message" might sound like this (calmly, w1ith steady eye contact):

"(Name), when you accuse me of doing things I haven't done, I feel really irritated, frustrated, and disrespected." Be prepared for a denial or bluster, and then calmly repeat your assertion.

You don't have to be a victim! - Pete  

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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about how to significantly improve your thinking and communication effectiveness, and your relations with adults and kids. I cannot answer legal, medical, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or spiritual questions.


I have studied and taught communication and relationship skills for 40 years, and have been a professional family-systems therapist (MSW) since 1981.


I am a past Board member of (a) a large suburban community mental-health center and (b) the Stepfamily Association of America, and I am a current member of the National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council

I have published 6 books, including one on communication skills: Satisfactions ( 2nd ed., 2010); and over 150 articles in the nonprofit educational Website Break the Cycle! -

I have also published articles for and over 150 educational YouTube videos.

BSME, Stanford University, 1959 MSW, George Williams College 1981 Clinical internship U. of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Reasearch (IJR) 1981 Over 100 post-grad courses on a wide range of human-relationship topics

Past/Present Clients
over 1,000 self-referred Midwestern-U.S. adults, kids, couples, and families

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