In our society, insults are a way to reduce the value of one person while elevating the value of another. They are based in anger that someone has about their social status and their effort to unleash that on others. However, just because they’re angry doesn’t mean that you have to show rage toward them as well. However, you don’t have to stay silent either, as they will feed off of it and continue with their insults.
1. You can say, “Thank you.”
Instead of getting angry and starting a fight with the other person, just end your interaction by saying “thank you” This will probably catch them off guard, and they won’t have anything else to say if their goal was to fight with you. It shows them that you accept their comment and want to move on, as if nothing happened. That is, of course, in cases where the insult is very mild.
2. You can stay calm and be snarky.
It’s easy to advise someone to take the high road, but sometimes you feel like you need to answer back after hearing an insult. You can do that successfully by finding an answer that is insulting to the other person, but still quite funny and snarky. You don’t need to use equally hurtful words, but a witty clap-back will do the job and make the other person realize that you are no punching bag.
3. You can acknowledge some of their criticism.
The other person might not be all that negative toward you and want to let you know of a weakness of yours. Their intentions might be good, but they simply don’t know the right way to express their feelings. In this case, you can accept part of their criticism, but let them know that their words should have been thought out better.
4. You can have a sense of humor about it.
Some people just want to hurt others, while others just don’t know how to express themselves properly. Whatever the case, you can let the insult slide and react in a funny and humorous way. You don’t have to show how insulted you feel, but you can stay calm and respond. Your demeanor might make them realize that these types of comments don’t slide with you.
5. You can put the pressure back on them.
When someone puts you under the spotlight, you feel pressured to answer quickly. However, it would be a great lesson for them to be put under the same pressure and see how they feel. Not only that, but by putting them in that spot, you have more time to think about your answer. During that time, the other person will be forced to explain their behavior to you and talk about themselves.
6. You can change the subject.
If someone says something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you can simply find something else to talk about. This is usually a good option when a comment isn’t necessarily hurtful or insulting, but rather, more intrusive and too personal for you to talk about. The other person will probably follow your lead and start a new conversation about something else. That’s how you keep your peace of mind and avoid starting a disagreement.
7. You can insult them too.
It’s okay for others to tell us their opinion without us asking, but when their tone is judgmental, their opinion is unwanted. Your best choice is to stay calm and, with a confident tone, tell them how their opinion is worthless to you. You can add a very small smile at the end of the sentence to show how unmoved you are by their rudeness.
8. You can address the insult.
People who insult others either don’t realize that they’re being rude, or they don’t expect to be confronted about it. By telling them flat out that they are rude and judgmental, you force them to either explain their behavior or apologize to you. It’s a way to command your respect and be clear that you won’t let anyone treat you with anything less than that.
What’s your way of responding to insults? Do you get angry and start a fight, or do you pretend like you didn’t hear anything?