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How To React When Someone is Dissing You?

Belinda wrote:

Two things I know about myself: I'm very sensitive, but I think also very perceptive. I observe people putting their/my friends/co-workers down all the time and 9 times out of 10 the person who's on the receiving end appears to be oblivious to it, but also, often they are just able to laugh the obvious digs off.

I know not everyone can be that slow to understand what's going on, so it leads me to believe a lot more people are able to take the high road better than I am. I guess one could also say that I'm also good at being a little defensive.

My question to you - do you think when a person can tell that someone is putting them down, or giving them a little too much flack or trying to make them feel bad, etc., do you think the person on the receiving end should call them on it (which often can make a situation uncomfortable for both parties and also for people around them) or should the person be the bigger person and consistenly take the high road?

I'm pretty good at quietly saying (with a smile on my face) "that wasn't a very nice thing to say," but I find it amazing how many people say nothing, but even more so, don't appear to have a clue that the person who is doing it is being rude to them. What do you do/say when someone close to you does this to you (if they do)?

Dear Belinda

It's a fascinating question, and I'm not sure that my views will help (they're certainly no better than your own!)

I think a useful way to consider the dissing - and your response - is to look at the motivation.

  • Why is that person dissing?
  • Who is hurt?
  • Why are you tempted to respond in kind?
  • Will it help the person dissed?
  • Will it help the person dissing?
  • Or just make you feel better!

Most of the time, I suspect, people don't ignore the insult, they simply deny the person the satisfaction of seeing them hurt. Sometimes that can instill guilt; if it's a bully, at least they don't get positive encouragement.

Think about it, if you respond, you make it a battle. And they started with a planned attack, you respond instantly. They have the advantage, as often you'll end up even more hurt, thinking, "Oh I wish I'd said ..."

If you consistently respond with "That wasn't very nice" - without the smile - they will either try harder, improve, or simply pick on someone else!!

So I reckon there's no easy answer. And no 'one' answer.

If the disser is someone who has had a bad day, and is (maybe unconsciously?) sharing the pain, then ignoring it allows them to move on and recover without feeling rejected. Hopefully, they may even apologise later!

If the disser is 'senior' to me, perhaps at work, I rarely let it pass - and I have a zero tolerance policy on bullies, whether it's me, or anyone else being bullied. I've always found it hard to bear grudges, and have been hurt in the past through accepting too much ... most people have, I guess.

But where bullying is concerned, I've learned never to forgive, and rarely to forget, whoever the bully is - or thinks they are.

So, to sum up, I suggest the response should probably depend on the 'intention' as much as the actual event.

But this is a personal view!

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