How to deal with insults
We have all been insulted at one time or another, how we handle this is our choice. Next time somebody insults you, try some of these strategies.
- See the human side of the situation
We never know the exact circumstances that led the person to insult. The idea is not to justify a reprehensible behavior, it is rather about seeing the human aspect of it. Ask yourself: « the person who insulted you was perhaps in pain. In the same situation, maybe I would have acted the same way. » Most often, people do not realize that they are being overly critical. If you are dealing with a close friend or a family member, an open and honest discussion may be all that is needed to understand where they are coming from.
- Determine if the insult is for you
Sometimes the insult is not about us at all. The person who insults may simply be struggling with a personal issue. People may use insults to show that they are hurting.
- Just ignore minor insults
If the insult is minor, consider simply ignoring it. However, if the person continues to abuse you verbally, then apply one of the following solutions:
- Walk away
If the situation is intense, consider walking away. It is not easy when this person is your superior but, for that moment, excuse yourself and leave. You do not have to stay and endure insults. You can always discuss with this person when things are calmer.
- Pretend to listen
If the previous approach is not applicable and if the insult is not very severe, then you can simply run away emotionally by withdrawing your attention. In other words, simply pretend to listen to the insult.
- Respond with diplomacy
When you are insulted, the situation may impose that you respond (e.g. a question in business meetings). In this case, try to be respectful and polite. If you lack the courage to demonstrate such respect, or if the insulter “does not deserve it“, then do it for yourself. Such a display of self-discipline will set above the person who insulted you. Showing respect does not mean that you are lowering yourself, it simply means that you are being a better person.
- Confront when necessary
In rare circumstances, it is necessary to confront the person who insulted us. As much as possible, choose a convenient time and a quiet place to have a frank discussion with this person. But you must be in control. In other words, ensure that you do not lose your temper.
If you have been ruminating over the insult for a long time, you need to forgive in order to let go. It may be difficult, but you need it to move on.
- Learn from the insult
You can benefit from an insult by looking for the nugget of truth embedded in it. Instead of overreacting, try asking yourself: does this insult carry a message for me, what can I learn from it.
It is painful to be insulted. However, you can use your thoughts as a protection. Tell yourself: « some have offended me, but many others like me and believe that I am a good person. » By thinking about the people who love you and appreciate you, you will forget a little about the few who insulted you.
« Faced with the insult, the wise man demonstrated greatness of spirit
and protects himself with well-chosen thoughts. »