Life hacks: Insults
What to do:
- Ignore them: Obviously the first step is to just ignore the person. Once you open your mouth, it automatically creates a hole in your armor. If they’re persistent, tell them to go away. If they continue, tell someone in a position of authority. Remember, no response is the best response
I know this all sounds like really basic stuff, but you can’t view it that way. If when reading this you think to yourself “yeah yeah, I know this already” it will go in one ear and out the other. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re having issues with insults. You need to internalize this so it becomes second nature to you. 90% of the issues with insults are not problems with the other person, but with your perception of things. Now, if step one doesn’t work
- Say as little as possible. Respond with a simple “ok” if you can, and move on. If for some reason you really can’t, remember this.
- Engage them in conversation: Insults are a big thing. Nobody’s debating that. But they’re also big in the metaphorical sense. In fact, insults are so big that most of the time people can’t see past them. The insult is both the means and then end. If you treat it like a normal conversation, most of the time the bully won’t know where to go.
My go-to response to an insult is “and?”, because it forces the other person to think. Here’s an example based on something that actually happened:
Person: Your hair looks stupid
Person: Ummm…it’s ugly and I don’t like it
(hint: don’t say “and” again here. That just sounds silly and childish)
Me: Well then look away. No one’s making you look at me
Person: Well you should change it. It looks stupid
Me: Do you want to pay for it?
Me: Well I sure as hell don’t, so if neither of us can do anything about it, why would you waste your own time and energy complaining about it.
At this point he realized what was happening and gave up.
- Pick your battles: We argue with people because they believe something is true when really it’s not. So when someone calls you ugly but you don’t agree, you’ll argue with them. But is it really worth all that energy? Say you’re walking down the street and you happen to meet someone. You engage thm in conversation, and somhow it comes up that they think the Earth is flat. How long would you take trying to convince them that it isn’t? Someone believing something that’s not true is their problem, not yours, unless you make it your problem.
What not to do:
- Use a witty comeback: Seriously. It’s great in the movies, but not so practical in real life. Either they won’t hear you which will force you to repeat it, or they just won’t get it. If they’re bringing themselves down low enough to insult you, they’re probably not clever enough to understand your wit. You wouldn’t argue with a horse, because it has no idea what you’re saying. So why should these people be any different?
- Take it personally: I heard a great quote the other day. I don’t remember who it was from but it was “If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personally”. We only take these things seriously because they come from our peers. If a 3-year-old told you were ugly, you wouldn’t give a damn. Just because these people are as old or older than you doesn’t mean that their opinions are any more intelligent
- Get hung up on it: Insults are not a split-second thing. In many cases, it’ll stick with you for hours, days or even years. Let it go. You will probably never see the person again. Their opinion has no impact on your life unless you let it. Just let it go and move on.
- Take everything they say as an insult: Fat, weird, short. These are words that get thrown around a lot in order to hurt people, but they really don’t mean what people think they mean. They don’t have to be an insult. Someone calling you fat doesn’t have to make you feel bad. It only does because you see that as a bad thing. Just let go of the idea that these things have negative connotations and accept the fact that they just are
So uhh, there you go I guess. These are just some tips that work for me, and I hope they work for you as well