7 sensible ways to react when someone puts you down (2023)

Being demoted is not a fun experience, but it is very common.

Whether it's a colleague, family member, friend, romantic partner, or random stranger, it hurts when they tell you that you're not good enough.

How to react when someone knocks you down.

7 Sensible Ways to React When Someone Puts You Down

The first instinct when someone puts you down is to respond in anger or have a good "reaction".

There is a place to untwist (which I'll get into later), but I'd like to suggest a different approach to start.

1) Make it a joke

nothing unarmedbitterness and resentmentskillful than humor and laughter.

When someone puts you down, take this opportunity to laugh instead of wallowing in hate and negative emotions.

This will not always be possible, and sometimes belittling goes well beyond the point of casual aggression and leads to actual bullying and abuse.

But, if possible, try to deflect the meanness with humor.

For example, if a friend makes a derogatory joke about how single you always seem, turn it around with something like:

"I guess I didn't feel the need to try all the yucky flavors to find out what I didn't like the way you did."


Yes, this is a comeback. But it is important that it is also a humorous return. When you say it with a smile and in the right tone, you can also make it clear that you're not trying to be malicious and mean it as a joke.

2) Tell it like it is

What kind of person puts someone down?🇧🇷 There are basically two types of people.

The first are those who are insecure and seek to increase their power in the social hierarchy by settling on you. They are often easy to spot because they put you down in front of others to gain "street cred" in the eyes of those who see you put down.

(Video) 10 Tactics to Put a Narcissist in Their Place

The second type are those who are genuine chauvinists who simply think that deceiving others with their words and actions is fun and pleasurable.

No matter what type of belittling bully you're dealing with and whatever their motivations, sometimes the best course of action is to just tell it like it is.

"I don't appreciate what you said. There's no reason to say that," you might say.

However, do not turn this into a complaint or appeal. Let it be a simple statement of fact. Then come back to the real issue and make it clear that it wasn't acceptable to you, but also that you're in the past and don't mind their derogatory comments.

3) The importance of focus

What is acceptable and unacceptable varies from culture to culture. For example, the recent movie Hustle, starring Adam Sandler, tells the story of a poor NBA scout who finally tries to get an unknown Spaniard to the big leagues.

This talented new player, Bo Cruz, comes from a different culture than the United States and initially gets sidetracked by badmouthing his crafty and aggressive opponent, Kermit Wilks.

The insults and derogatory comments Wilks makes about Spain and Cruz's daughter infuriates Cruz with anger and confusion that disrupts his ability to play ball and shoot baskets.

Later, Sandler's character, Stanley Sugarman, trains Cruz to be bulletproof against profanity.

In Spain, it is more common to take these insults personally and protect others, especially women in the family, from slander.

But Cruz has to defend himself against that, because in America he's quickly expelled if he punches someone who insults his family in the heat of a game.

During the practice that follows, Sugarman says horrible things about Cruz's mom and her body odor and whatever else comes to mind until he sees that Cruz is 100% focused on the game and won't let any insults go by, no matter how hard. personal whatever. he or disgusting.

Other players, scouts and fans may have bad things to say about him, but Cruz has now.completely realignedin the game and diverted his energy from the comments that drained the energy of the outside world.

He doesn't care what the charlatans say: he cares about winning.

4) Know what is derogatory and what is not

As I mentioned earlier, what is acceptable, normal, or not varies a lot between cultures.

(Video) The Power of Not Reacting | Stop Overreacting | How to Control Your Emotions

In America, you can make fun of a friend's mother to make fun of him; In a more traditional culture like Uzbekistan, that prank could land you in jail, or at least never invite you back as a friend.

But when it comes to the naturalness and purpose of belittling non-joking comments, there's usually an easy way to spot them:

  • you're not very funny
  • are you kiddingYour identity, appearance, beliefsthe family background
  • Invalidate yourself as a person or as a professional
  • They actively try to make you look incompetent, stupid, malicious, or inconsiderate.
  • They try to manipulate you or accuse you of following a certain course of action.

5) Should you put her down again?

I generally advise against trying to put someone down. The reason is simple:it makes you look weak and hopeless.

If someone makes a joke at your expense or makes a cruel comment, any bystander can see that they are trying to shoot you.

Some may believe in small talk, but most sane people know instantly when someone is going to shut up without justification.

And yessomeone puts you down, it's best to use humor to deflect it, either by telling them up front that you don't like it, or by deflecting it right back at them.

An example of redirecting at them is simply using the hard side of your snub against them.

Suppose your husband tells you that you are bothering him by asking you to help him clean the kitchen. She tells you that your irritation makes you super uninteresting and exhausting, unlike other women who know when to relax.

Instead of bending down or getting angry and comparing yourself to "other women," you can use his put-down against him.

"Yeah right. I'm so annoying that I made dinner for both of us. My mistake!"

There's a bit of a sarcastic touch to this, but it gets the job done, and later on, he'll probably feel a little bad about your rudeness.

6) Point Them Out

If someone you work with, live with, or love is relentlessly putting you down, the above advice may not be strong enough.

If so, you need a more powerful tool from the old toolbox.

This tool is action.

If someone puts you down because you are weak, allow it.Actions speak louder than your words.

(Video) The Truth Why Everyone is Suddenly Getting Offended

If someone puts you down because you look ugly, show them that you have more important goals in life than getting their approval for your appearance.

The key here is that you are not actually doing this for the person who is criticizing you in the first place.

You do it because you can and because you are an action-focused winner, not a gossip-focused loser.

7) Make it count

Someone who puts you down may be acting out of habit orreflective uncertaintyas conscious malice.

But it doesn't really matter.

It is up to that person or persons to realize that what they are doing is not right. They are not here to teach you the basics of being a decent human being.

If your parents haven't taught you yet, they'd better find other ways to learn.

Remember that as long as people put you down, you are under no obligation to work, cooperate, or "forgive" them.

Go ahead and let her change her behavior and come to you.

You should never alter your board, fold it, or ask for its approval or validation.

When you do, it feeds into the narrative web as they try to ensnare you with their humiliating put-down.

Being the tallest man or the tallest woman

When someone puts you down, your choice is pretty binary. You can block horns with them and enter the ground, or you can fly above it.

When I was a child I rememberfight the bulliesand I chased after them while another senior held me.

"Be the biggest man," he said.

Those words stayed with me. I still think moral superiority is cheap compared to real world results, especially when you're being physically harassed like me.

(Video) What to Say When Someone Insults You

But I also think there's a lot to be said for being able to stay calm when verbally pushing yourself too hard.

If someone puts you down, don't give them anything to work with.

You don't want to be able to drown them out or ignore them. You want to be in a position where you really feel sorry for someone.who is so insecureeven to worry about depreciation.

You want to be on the next level, way above that kind of mistreatment and malicious criticism that slips right out of your back.

The secret to a better life?

7 sensible ways to react when someone puts you down (2)

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(Video) I Wish I Knew How to Quit You - Brokeback Mountain (7/10) Movie CLIP (2005) HD


How do you deal with people who put you down at work? ›

How to deal with a coworker who undermines you
  1. Build your relationship. ...
  2. Address the issue directly. ...
  3. Ignore the behaviour. ...
  4. Ask your colleague for clarification. ...
  5. Remain confident in your abilities. ...
  6. Identify the reason for the animosity. ...
  7. Share your concerns. ...
  8. Leave the department or company.
Dec 7, 2021

How do you respond to degrading? ›

Here are seven suggestions, based on my work as a therapist and current research on the topic.
  1. Take your time to respond. ...
  2. Don't take it personally. ...
  3. Get out of the situation. ...
  4. Understand the other person's motivation. ...
  5. Know that you are not alone. ...
  6. Be careful about retaliating. ...
  7. Find a way to move forward.
Oct 29, 2017

What kind of person puts people down? ›

The need to feel superior to others is a major cause for people who put others down. Psychology says those who feel this often think they need to bully to knock others down and bring themselves up. An online therapist can help you navigate both being a bully or being bullied.

How do you respond to someone who insults you? ›

5 Effective Ways to Respond to Backhanded Compliments
  1. Ignore it. Staying silent doesn't mean you're letting yourself get pushed around. ...
  2. Say, "Thank you." ...
  3. Acknowledge the positive portion. ...
  4. Address the insult head-on. ...
  5. Keep your sense of humor.
Jul 6, 2016

What is the best way to respond to insults? ›

In the event an insult comes out of nowhere, Pritchett said, there may be “no point fighting the fire.” Instead, just acknowledge their opinion while keeping in mind that it's not a fact, then “communicate in a clear and calm manner what are the next steps to resolve this confrontation.” Don't use explicit or ...

How do you insult someone in a smart way? ›

30 Insults That Will Make You Sound Classy And Intelligent
  1. “I can only explain it to you. ...
  2. “I envy everyone you have never met.” — ...
  3. “You're like the end pieces of a loaf of bread. ...
  4. “You're not pretty enough to be that stupid.” — ...
  5. “I would love to insult you but I'm afraid I won't do it as well as nature did.” —
Mar 19, 2018

What causes someone to belittle someone? ›

While the act is committed by another, the rationale or motivation is frequently associated with the same level of insecurities, self-doubts, anger, hostilities, and personal lack of confidence. Belittling can have a most egregious impact upon the life of a child.

How do you outsmart a toxic coworker? ›

Dealing With Toxic Colleagues
  1. Learn About Them. ...
  2. Understand What is Going on With Them. ...
  3. Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms. ...
  4. Avoid Engaging with Them Unnecessarily. ...
  5. Try Talking It Out. ...
  6. Talk to Your Superiors About It.
Dec 1, 2021

How do you respond to a disrespectful person at work? ›

How do you deal with disrespectful employees?
  1. Remain calm when facing disrespect. When someone is being disrespectful, it's tempting to react with anger in the heat of the moment. ...
  2. Listen. ...
  3. Provide clear feedback. ...
  4. Document incidents. ...
  5. Be consistent. ...
  6. Enforce rules. ...
  7. Check in on other employees.

How do you respond to someone who is always negative? ›

Here are the seven responses I use with people who always seem to have something negative to say.
  1. “I'm Sorry to Hear That. ...
  2. “Wow, That Sucks. ...
  3. “Ooh. ...
  4. “If Only [Name] Had the Experience/Wisdom/Work Ethic That You Did!” ...
  5. “Please, Correct Me if I'm Wrong, But It Sounds Like You're Upset Because...” ...
  6. “Oh Gosh.

How do you tame a negative self talk? ›

Here are seven ways to help you change negative self-talk:
  1. Become Aware of Negative Self-Talk. ...
  2. Challenge Negative Self-Talk. ...
  3. Practice Positive Self-Talk. ...
  4. Step Outside of Yourself. ...
  5. Talk It Out. ...
  6. Put It on the Shelf. ...
  7. Focus on the Present Moment.

How do you deal with someone who is always negative? ›

6 strategies to deal with negative people
  1. Be secure. ...
  2. Listen without judgment. ...
  3. Take control of your time. ...
  4. Act with intention, don't react. ...
  5. Set boundaries. ...
  6. Accept responsibility.
Nov 11, 2021

How do you handle dismissive comments? ›

5 steps to respond to dismissive comments are to stay calm, change your tone to serious, keep your message short and to the point, talk about what you want and the consequences, move on quickly and treat the aggressor respectfully afterwards.

What is the difference between demeaning and degrading? ›

The adjective demeaning comes from the verb demean, which itself is based on the construction of the word "debase." The word demean has two almost opposite meanings, to degrade and to conduct oneself in a particular manner, usually a proper one. The adjective, however, always describes something that is degrading.

What is degrade gracefully? ›

Graceful degradation is a design philosophy that centers around trying to build a modern web site/application that will work in the newest browsers, but falls back to an experience that while not as good still delivers essential content and functionality in older browsers.

Why do insecure people belittle others? ›

It's a Way to Deal With Their Insecurity

Insecure people may also belittle others to protect themselves from being vulnerable or rejected by others. This is especially common when the person belittling others has low self-esteem and frequently faces rejection or disapproval from those around them.

What are examples of belittling comments? ›

The following are examples of what belittling looks like:
  • Yelling or screaming at you to get a reaction.
  • Insulting you — calling you fat, ugly or stupid — or criticizing your parenting skills or intelligence.
  • Ignoring how you feel, disregarding your opinion or failing to recognize your contributions.
Jan 29, 2020

What is a demeaning personality? ›

Demeaning behavior is that which is intended to cause a severe loss in the dignity and respect of someone; words or actions intended to debase, lower, degrade, discredit or devalue a person.

What are some big insulting words? ›

Insulting Someone With Big Words
  • Bescumber: to spray with poo.
  • Buncombe: a ludicrously false statement that means bulls*** or nonsense.
  • Cacafuego: a swaggering braggart or boaster.
  • Coccydynia: a pain in the butt.
  • Corpulent: very fat.
  • Feist or Fice: a person of little worth or someone with a bad temper.
Jul 9, 2013

What is a backhanded insult? ›

“It's an insult that is poorly disguised as a compliment, oftentimes rooted in the insecurities of the person delivering it.” Not all backhanded compliments are mean-spirited, some rude comments are even said out of ignorance.

What is a good word to insult someone? ›

Top 10 Sophisticated Insults
  • insipid. Definition: not interesting or exciting : dull or boring. ...
  • twee. Definition: sweet or cute in a way that is silly or sentimental. ...
  • fatuous. Definition: ...
  • sanctimonious. Definition: ...
  • vacuous. Definition: ...
  • unctuous. Definition: ...
  • craven. Definition: ...
  • pusillanimous. Definition:
Sep 11, 2022

What are backhanded compliments? ›

(also back-handed compliment) us/ˌbæk.hæn.dɪd ˈkɑːm.plə.mənt/ uk/ˌbæk.hæn.dɪd ˈkɒm.plɪ.mənt/ (US also left-handed compliment) a remark that seems to say something pleasant about a person but could also be an insult: I say this unironically, and not as a backhanded compliment.

How do you respond to an offensive message? ›

11 Ways to Respond to a Mean or Toxic Text Message
  1. 1 “I'm not going to respond to this right now.”
  2. 2 “Are you trying to be mean?”
  3. 3 “Did I say or do something wrong?”
  4. 4 “Is this really about something else?”
  5. 5 “I'm really sorry you're hurting.”
  6. 6 “Why would you say that?”
  7. 7 “That's not cool.”

Is an insult to my intelligence? ›

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbe an insult to somebody's intelligencebe an insult to somebody's intelligence to offend someone by being too simple or stupid Some advertising is an insult to our intelligence.

What is a nice word for not smart? ›

synonyms for not intelligent
  • brainless.
  • deficient.
  • dense.
  • doltish.
  • dumb.
  • empty-headed.
  • foolish.
  • half-witted.

Is belittling a form of emotional abuse? ›

Emotional and psychological abuse can take many forms, including belittling, which can manifest as judging, humiliating, criticizing, trivializing or telling hurtful jokes. But belittling is no joking matter. It's a tactic often used by abusers to make their victims feel small, unimportant or disrespected.

Why do people try to belittle you? ›

Why someone might belittle another person. Here are some potential contributors to the behaviour: They are trying to make themselves feel more powerful or important by putting someone else down. They have low self-esteem and need to build themselves up by making others feel inferior.

How do you expose a manipulative coworker? ›

So it's important that your boss or manager knows about these situations when they occur.
Here are options for informing your manager about what's going on at work:
  1. Write a formal complaint letter.
  2. Make a report to human resources.
  3. Request an in-person meeting.
Apr 20, 2021

How do you outsmart a jealous coworker? ›

How to Deal With Other Peoples' Jealousy
  1. Be polite and civil. Don't stoop to their level – it could make the situation worse (and could lead to you getting into trouble at work).
  2. Offer help and support (if they'll let you). ...
  3. Try not to take it personally. ...
  4. Ignore the jealous behavior.
Aug 6, 2021

How do you deal with sneaky manipulative coworkers? ›

How to Deal with Sneaky Coworkers
  1. Keep your distance from them.
  2. Chat with them one-on-one.
  3. Set clear boundaries for yourself.
  4. Ignore their behavior.
  5. Lead by example.
  6. Keep a paper trail.
  7. Try not to gossip.
  8. Be friendly toward your other coworkers.

How do you shut down a mean person? ›

4 Ways To Shut Down Rude People With Class
  1. Take a few seconds to assess the situation. Some people are blunt, socially unintelligent, and have the tendency to say dumb things. ...
  2. Respond to the situation, not the person. ...
  3. Laugh it off. ...
  4. Ignore it.
Aug 11, 2021

How do you politely disrespect someone? ›

Localize the problem as much as possible: If it's what they're saying, say that you disrespect that and only that. If it's what they do over and over, disrespect that and only that. Still, don't assume that you can draw that clean line.

What actions are considered disrespectful? ›

  • Angry or rude outbursts.
  • Verbal threats.
  • Swearing.
  • Pushing or throwing objects.
  • Bullying.
  • Threat/infliction of physical force or conduct.
Apr 24, 2014

What does it mean when someone puts you down? ›

When someone puts you down, it's all about power. They want to make you feel (or look) inferior to them, either to boost their own sense of worth or just to gain more control over you.

Why do people say things to put you down? ›

They are insecure and feel the need to pinpoint the insecurities of others. It is their foolish way to boost their low self-esteem. It does sound strange, but these people feel better about themselves by making others feel bad. They hurt other people to get temporary relief.

What do you call someone who belittles you? ›

A criticizer. A bully. A critic, detractor, attacker, vilifier, fault-finder, nit-picker, carper, backbiter, disparager, belittler, knocker, denigrator, judge, etc……


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