How to respond to an insult

We’ve all been in this situation.

The first impulse may be to return the insult.

But that escalates things. And you lose the moral high ground. Trading insult for insult is about winning, not resolving.

Calling the person out is a bit better. But that makes the other person defensive and more entrenched in their position.

One woman in a Facebook conversation I participated in offered a great solution:

Ask, “What did you mean by that?”

There’s no counter insult here. There’s no accusation. But it does require the person to explain and justify their insult.

Maybe you were at fault – though the person could have been nicer about it. But maybe you weren’t at fault. And further questioning along the lines of “Did you mean such-and-such or something different?” could result in the person’s justifications falling apart.

Of course, some people never admit when they’re wrong.

Advertisements

Author: Dave DuBay

Dave is a social worker from Phoenix, Arizona. He blogs at thepaintedporch.net. He's also at twitter.com/Dave_DuBay.

3 thoughts on “How to respond to an insult”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s