Have you ever been the target of rude behavior at work? Beware! When a co-worker is rude to you, you are far more likely to lose your self-control and be rude to others in return, according to researchers from the University of Arkansas. Put more simply: Incivility begets incivility. Rude behavior in the office is different from bullying. While bullying is openly hostile behavior that can include harassment and threats, rude or uncivil behavior includes put-downs, sarcasm and condescension. This is less serious but can have a profound psychological effect on employees. Companies need to pay attention to this, if for no other reason than it can cost them a lot of money. “Estimates are that workplace incivility has doubled over the past two decades and on average costs companies about $14,000 per employee annually because of loss of production and work time,” explains lead study author Chris Rosen, a professor of management at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. The study found that experiencing rude behavior increased mental fatigue, which reduced employees’ self-control and led them to act in a similar rude manner later in the day.