When someone insults you, most people do one of three things: Insult the person back . . . try to argue their point . . . or say nothing and just take it.
--The silent treatment's actually not a bad idea . . . but not if you're going to stew over it. And sometimes getting defensive IS the best thing to do, because you can't just let people tread all over you.
--But if it's someone like your boss or your spouse, that's not the best idea. So here's a list of the five best ways to handle an insult, and how to make sure you come out looking like the bigger person.
#1.) Agree with What They Said, but Not How They Handled It. For example, if your wife calls you lazy for something dumb like not taking out the trash, first agree that it WAS your responsibility.
--Then ask why they felt the need to INSULT you over it. Of course, if you NEVER take the trash out, that's different.
#2.) Offer Them a Different Way to Phrase It. You could say something like, "I don't mind if you call me 'sensitive,' but it feels like an insult when you say I'm 'OVERLY sensitive.'"
--Something along those lines usually makes people back off and feel guilty, because they know you're right.
#3.) Agree That You Did Something Wrong and Apologize. If you have a terrible boss, you're probably familiar with this one.
--It's tough on your ego, but sometimes it's the best way to handle it. ESPECIALLY if it's your boss, and especially if you DID mess up. If that's the case, your best bet is usually to move on and not make it a bigger deal than it needs to be.
#4.) Ignore Their Anger and Dig Deeper. If they're angry and you're fairly sure the insult is just a SYMPTOM, say something like, "Sorry, I know you're upset about it. Help me understand WHY it's so upsetting."
--There's a chance they'll just keep yelling for another 30 seconds. But after they get whatever they need to off their chest, they'll probably calm down and end up apologizing to YOU.
#5.) Be Direct. Sometimes the best thing to do is be blunt and call them out for it. So it's totally fair to say something like, "The name you just called me is unacceptable, and I don't deserve to be treated that way."
--The most important thing is to just not lose your temper and insult them back. Even if they keep it up.