How to tell someone they suck - the British way

How to tell someone they suck - the British way
British Union flags fly in front of the Big Ben clocktower of The Houses of Parliament in central London
PHOTO: Reuters

It's a lot easier than you think to tell someone what you really think

Your jumped-up colleague is always the first to let everyone know what they think - but rarely is anyone waiting with bated breath to hear it.

So how do you handle this insufferable motormouth at work? Can you cut them down to size?

We went to question and answer site Quora to ask, how do you get away with telling someone you work with that they suck?

Take a tip from the Brits: It's all about language and what you artfully neglect to mention.

Tactical omission

"Sadly so many people confuse egotism with self-esteem," wrote Deborah Hancock. "They ain't the same zip code. " Hancock pointed out that it's what you don't say that makes your response clever. She added: "They don't call it 'English understatement' for nothing."

She's a fan of the swift conversation-ender "which I've seen many an English person use to brilliant effect: 'Ah, but don't let me keep you.' (even when the annoying person clearly still wanted to continue the discussion)."

Hancock added that if the person is, perhaps, trying to make themselves useful to you at work, then damn them with faint praise. "You can always say brightly - 'Oh I so appreciate that you are willing to help me. I will be sure to get in touch when that's necessary.'"

Cut them down to size

Damian McSorley used to use a one-liner that was rarely understood by the recipient: "I see you have arrived with your ego intact". His favourite subtle put-down? A simple "thank you for your opinion".

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