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Be the Bigger Person: How to Respond to Insults

How do you respond to insults?

It irks me whenever I hear insults whether directed toward me or others. I can’t stand hearing people belittle others just because of differences in economic status, physical appearance, educational background, or anything that makes one feel superior to others. While I acknowledge that there will always be a gap to close between people, I also believe that we are not entitled to make others feel so little nor do we have any reasons to do so. 

But insults will always be around. That’s a sad reality we have to live by. We are living with harsh-tongued people who do not filter their words and do not even consider what others may feel about their statements. And perhaps at times, we are just like these people! I admit, there are times when I blurt out words I regret saying. And no matter how I try to revert the words, the damage has been done. 

So what I can do now is to watch out for my words. I can no longer take back the insults I have said before, but I can always filter the words that will come out of my mouth next time. 

Suppose we are being insulted, and no matter the intention of the other party, we find ourselves at the end of the stick receiving verbal lashes. How shall we respond to insults? Here are some of the things I can think of. 

Do not take rudeness personally

One thing I do whenever I witness rudeness directed towards me is to not take it personally. I believe that the mean words we say reflect our insecurities and who we are on the inside. When we belittle others, make fun of them, or make a fuzz of something about them – it’s because we want to hide something from others. We don’t want them to see that we lack something or we are incapable of doing something. When people’s attention gravitates towards another person, at least there’s a little chance of them looking at us. 

Think of it this way: you are in no way less of a person just because someone insults you. People tend to throw rocks at a prolific tree. Don’t give them the benefit of getting entertained by insulting you and getting the best of you. Just brush off their snide remarks. 

Stay calm, even if it’s the hardest thing to do

It is easier said than done. As they say, patience is a virtue – because it really is! It is developed over time, and the best way to develop it is to be exposed to situations that will test our patience. 

When a person tries to get on our nerves and squeezes our remaining patience from us, try to increase your threshold a little more. As much as you can, do not play fire with fire. If a person is being rude, try to be gentle. This is not to promote one becoming an emotional doormat, but because you wanted to be the bigger person. And the bigger person is someone who tries to understand the situation that is being thrown at him.

If you can’t stand the heat, leave

If you don’t want to get scorched, leave. There’s no shame in leaving the situation that doesn’t bring out the best in you. If the situation drains you out, it’s wise to stay away from toxic people. 

Rudeness thrives on attention. If there is no one who will absorb the insult, the rude behavior, and the destructive criticisms, then insults will never take root and grow into full-grown emotional destruction.

It’s self-care to stay away from situations that do not contribute to your growth. 

How about you, how do you respond to insults?

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