How to react when someone insults you? Dealing with Rude People – Personality Development Tips
How to Be Confident when Someone Insults You
Insults can be hurtful, especially when you do not know how to deal with them. Building and showing your confidence after someone insults you is not always easy, but when you can manage to do so it shows that you are in control of your thoughts and feelings. Practice building confidence in the face of an insult by showing composure immediately thereafter, bolstering your overall confidence in the long-term, and dismissing recurring bullies in your life.
Take a deep breath.Designate a moment for yourself to refocus by inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly. Turn your thoughts away from external criticism and back toward yourself. Close your eyes, and focus on breathing slowly and steadily until you feel less overwhelmed.
- To keep your mind on your breathing, try inhaling for a count of three, holding your breath for a count of two, and exhaling for a count of three. Repeat as necessary.
- You may also want to find a place to sit down or rest your body for a minute while you refocus.
Evaluate the insult.Take a moment to think critically about what the person said. Is there any truth to it? Is there a reason, such as previous conflict, why this person might want to try to intentionally hurt your feelings?
- For those parts of the insult you find to be true, acknowledge that it is ok to be imperfect. Know that all people have flaws, and it is acceptable to evaluate and work on them.
- For those parts of the insult that you don’t find true, remind yourself that they are not factual and do not reflect you.
- Tell yourself a personal truth to counteract the insult. If, for example, someone says, “You’re stupid,” remind yourself of work or academic accomplishments such as graduating at the top of your class or getting a coveted promotion.
Avoid returning insults.It can be tempting to match insult for insult. Ultimately, though, whatever your goal is, be it to get through a presentation or simply to keep enjoying time with friends or family, it is best served by refusing to engage whomever insulted you.
- Remind yourself that it ultimately does no good for you to insult someone in return.
- Tell yourself, “The best way to upset this person is not to insult them in return, but to let them know their words have no impact on me.” Try to beat them with kindness. Returning kindness for insults would make them realise their mistakes sometimes.
Regain composure.Do not be afraid to excuse yourself momentarily, or otherwise pause and calm yourself to regain composure. It is normal to have a negative reaction to an insult, and those around you will understand if you need a moment to collect yourself.
- Take a moment to practice deep breathing, or repeat a positive quote or mantra to yourself.
- Allow yourself as much time as you need to healthfully work through tears or feelings of anger. Avoid exploding emotionally, and instead give yourself time enough to calm your immediate feelings.
Laugh it off.Laughter causes the release of endorphins, a group of hormones that can stimulate happy or euphoric sensations. Take a moment to laugh at yourself, and allow the endorphins to replace that sense of panic with better feelings.
- Remind yourself that no one is immune from insults or criticism. Even if you are not laughing at the insult, find some personal imperfection and allow yourself to laugh about it.
- Try a “fake it ‘til you make it” approach. Even if it doesn’t seem funny, laugh at yourself in difficult moments. With time, it will get more sincere.
Building Long-Term Confidence
Learn to accept insults.You do not have to agree with what a person says, but learning to accept an insult takes more confidence than near any other response. It shows that if the insult comes from someone you care about, you are willing to consider their point. If it comes from someone you don’t care about, it shows that they don’t impact you.
- Practice accepting insults by going over past criticisms you have received. Say to yourself something like, “You’re not that great.” Then, practice accepting by saying, “You are right, I am not that great.”
- Repeat this exercise until you feel the sting of the insult wear off. It may or may not go away completely, but taking away the initial shock will give you the presence of mind to be able to respond when someone does insult you.
- Remember that this exercise is not about conceding their point. Instead, you are building up the confidence to acknowledge their opinion yet be strong enough so as to not let it dominate you.
Plan for self-improvement.Take some time to reflect on yourself and look for what you consider your personal weaknesses. Don’t let the insult dictate what you see in yourself, but identify some areas that you want to improve.
- Make a list of goals and actions to help you address those weaknesses. For example, if you think you aren’t a great public speaker, your practices might include engaging in more casual conversations, practicing in front of a mirror, or even taking a public speaking class.
- When someone does insult you, remind yourself that you are taking steps to improve yourself, and that there is no shame in being a work in progress.
Choose to move on.This is easier said than done, but one of the best ways to build confidence long-term when you are faced with insults is to remind yourself that an insult is only effective if you let it hurt you. If you choose to move past the insult quickly and focus self-improvement or already positive aspects about your personality, the insult loses its power.
- Practice filling in statements such as, “That doesn’t matter because I’m ______.” Give yourself a reason, based in your positive traits, to dismiss the insult.
- For example, if someone insults you by saying, “That was a really bad presentation,” let yourself know, “That doesn’t matter, because I turned in a great report for this project.”
- Understand that moving on may take time. View being able to quickly dismiss insults in favor of your own positive traits as a goal rather than an immediate solution.
Surround yourself with good people.One way to not only build confidence but also minimize unnecessary criticism is to surround yourself with positive influences. Put time friendships, family relationships, and school or work connections that you find fulfilling and let go of those that you see as a hindrance.
- Positive relationships will help you build your confidence by celebrating you when you do well in life and pushing you to reach for positive things. Take inventory of who in your life does this for you.
- Look at who is insulting you. If it is a family member or someone who calls themself your friend, consider loosening or leaving your relationship with that person. Let them know, “You constantly criticize me and I do not want that kind of negative force in my life.”
Dealing With Repeated Bullies
Ignore them.Most bullies are looking for attention. When they insult you and you get upset, you are doing exactly what they hope for. Strip your bully of their power and come of confident and secure by simply ignoring what the bully says.
- If a bully interrupts you to insult you while you are speaking, simply continue on without acknowledging what they said at all.
- Be consistent. A bully may try to force a reaction out of you by speaking louder, repeating the insult, or being more verbally aggressive. Keep consistent and they may eventually leave the situation.
Put distance between you and the bully.Look at your bully whenever they insult you and simply walk away. Do this confidently, smiling and with your head held high, to show them that their insult has does not impact you in the slightest.
- If they follow you, keep walking until they leave or you get where you need to go.
- Do not go out of your way to avoid your bully. You are allowed to go where you need to for school, work, or your personal life. Walk past your bully confidently to let the know that they do not dominate your actions.
Let someone know.If your bully moves from insults to threats of aggression or physical aggression, do not be afraid to let an authority figure know. Involve someone that can help you moderate, or else help protect you from those threats. Know that it is not a sign of weakness to seek help dealing with aggression.
- Consider talking to your teacher, your boss, or a counselor the moment a bully moves from insults to threats or physical aggression.
- If a bully physically attacks you, report it to your office or campus security, or otherwise alert the police immediately. Call as soon as you are able and say, “I need immediate help. I am being physically attacked.”
- You don’t have to feel confident on the inside to act confident. When someone insults you, acting confident is often enough to fool them, and if you do it enough you may be able to fool yourself into new confidence, as well.
- Understand that there is a difference between constructive criticism and insults. Criticism may help you address deficiencies in an area where you are otherwise strong, while an insult is meant primarily to hurt you.
Video: How To Respond To Insults Effectively Without Loosing Your Temper
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