Life Skills: How to deal with being insulted

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Someone all up in your grill? Here's how to handle a put-down with class...

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Getting insulted is part of life. A sucky part we grant you, but a part nevertheless.

If a friend or work colleague is getting you down with their constant digs, handle it like a pro and walk away with your head held high. Easier said than done.

Author Natalie Reilly has compiled a book of advice to help with any situation where your mum would definitely know what to do. This is what she had to say on the matter...

What to do if someone insults you


Unless it's a no-holds barred argument or an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, it's rare for anyone over the legal drinking age to openly insult another person. Instead, insults usually come in the form of digs or small put-downs or 'jokes' from which it's sometimes difficult to discern what exactly is being said. ("Did he just call me stupid?"), let alone how to react.

Any insult comes from a place of fear; the other person is threatened by you on some level. If they weren't, they would be able to explain their opinion without resorting to snide remarks. This doesn't necessarily mean you're completely innocent (perhaps you insulted them first?), but it does mean you don't have to take it so personally.


When someone drops a clanger, try to resist a quick jab back. I advise this not just because you don't want to sink to their level, but also because any comeback will distract them from how rude they're being. See, if you're just as rude, it justifies their original comment.

So, take a breath and say something like 'Wow.' This can be followed quickly with an identifier, such as "That was mean!" or, if you're feeling feisty, "What was that?" Questions are useful because they force the insulter to hear how rude they sound.


Just remember that most people don't wake up planning to insult you, so if you find yourself offended by lots of people, it might be time to either re-evaluate your relationships or look in the mirror. No offence.


What Your Mother Should've Told You… and Nobody Else Will. The Essential Guide to Modern Life by Natalie Reilly. Published by The Robson Press. Priced £8.99

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