Ever find yourself brewing over a conversation that you had with an acquaintance because you felt that one of the comments was a bit snide and inappropriate? What’s the best way to handle an offensive comment? Do you let it slide, call someone out on it right away or think about it and approach the person at a later time with your cooled-down “I’ve had time to think this over” response?
While Mom may have taught you to never speak out of anger, we believe this is the one time to exercise the exception to the rule. There’s no need to be insulting or hostile in any way but delaying a response when you feel offended will most often times lead to not saying anything at all and treating the other person with a cold shoulder during future interactions. It causes division and permanent division at that. You’ll start to look for little annoyances in that person that you’ve never seen before and they’ll simply bug you just by being anywhere in your proximity.
The fact is that guys don’t like to get insulted (who does?) but we also don’t like to go back later and have an emotional outpouring of why we felt injured, and especially if the offender is another dude. The more we think about doing this, the less attractive option it is to us. We’ll typically just brew about it silently and then unconsciously decide to write the other person off when we next see him or her.
So what’s the best response? How can we take back control of the situation, let the other person know we didn’t appreciate a particular comment and remain calm and cool as James Dean through the whole ordeal? Repeat after us..
“That was kind of a shitty thing to say.”
Seriously.. that’s it. Feel free to make a slight modification to the phrase and make it your own but learning to reply with this simple phrase will have you feeling about as good as it gets when you feel like you’ve just been slighted.
The simple utterance of this retort will bring the relief of instantly dealing with the offensive issue, letting the other person know you felt insulted and give them a chance to offer up an apology. If that doesn’t happen right away, it’s probably time to create that permanent division anyway.
Most often though, people will have a “foot in mouth” look in their eyes and instantly start offering up an apology, buying you beer and feeling pretty dumb for spewing forth such word sewage. They’ll realize the error of their ways and you’ll even help them become better as they go forward in life. Look at it as yet another of your many positive contributions to life.
One of the best things about saying, “that was kind of a shitty thing to say”, is that you can offer it up with a smile and it just makes you feel good instantly. While life isn’t about seizing control of every opportunity, feeling insulted is most definitely about quickly seizing control. Anything less and you’ll just be mad at yourself over inaction as you think about the situation more later.
Respect is something some people have a hard time giving all the time. You might simply be better at it but that doesn’t give them a free pass to cut others down. If they’re going to be a part of your world, they need to learn where the lines are drawn and this one phrase encourages learning in a most effective and efficient manner.
It’s good practice to immediately let others know when they’ve said something offensive, deal with it and get on with life.