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Insults Making You Angry
Or Are You Dishing Them Out?

Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.

Insults can be intentional or unintentional. They are just as damaging, either way. Most people don't realize that as human beings we are a lot more sensitive than we know. 


Communication studies show that 93% of the message received is nonverbal, which means that we are subconsciously reading each other's subtle body language all of the time.

That takes a lot of sensitivity! So, when you add insult, you get injury--but it doesn't necessarily show!

And a lot of us are thick-skinned, which makes you think it doesn't affect you--but it does.

It's not healthy to be too tough, because that disconnects you from the wisdom of your own heart. 

Is Sensitivity A Good Thing?

Every single one of us is sensitive, somewhere deep inside. The problem is not whether you're sensitive, it's whether you're reactive.

We all want to keep our cool in the face of slights and put-downs, which comes from being emotionally healthy, not from being thick-skinned or insensitive. When you're emotionally healthy, you love yourself so much that the slights and put-downs bounce right off of you.

Here's what the emotionally healthy person says to her/himself when insulting comments come along:

  • "If they really knew me, they wouldn't say that."
  • "He's talking about himself, he just doesn't know it."
  • "She must feel really bad about herself to say that about another person."

I know, this is easier said than done--but you can do it! Start right now, and learn to love yourself with the inner child audio CD

What Do You Say When You Get Insulted?

Everybody wants the cool comeback when the slights and put-downs come. Here are some ideas about what to do and say:

  • Nothing. That's right, sometimes a mean or insensitive comment doesn't deserve any response at all. Most of the time this is the best response.
  • Change the subject. Move on to another topic, simply because you didn't like what the person said, so you're not giving it the time of day.
  • Say something positive to the person who put you down. I know, it sounds weird, but it can sometimes work. It's not what they expect. If you can think of something that you mean sincerely, compliment the person who insulted you.
  • The last thing you want to do is try to "get them back." If you do that, you've lowered yourself to their level, and even if you win the "who can say the meanest thing" contest, you won't end up feeling good or getting even.

Okay, this might not be working for you--you might just want to go for the jugular. If that's what you want to do, then go for it. If you're tired of that back-and-forth, followed by feeling bad, then try some of these ideas.

Are You The One Dealing Out The Insults?

Well, if you've made it to this point on the page, I know for sure that you're a good person and you want to stop hurting others. That is excellent!

Here's some help for you:

  • Learn about verbal abuse and how to put a stop to it.
  • Understand abusive relationships and how to stop being an abuser.
  • If you're dishing out slights and put-downs, then you are angry. Learn about controlling your anger so that you can be the person you want to be.
  • Find out if you're an angry man or an angry woman.
  • Become your own best anger management resource by mastering these skills now!

Anger Management Techniques

anger management techniques

It's time to get it done! And you've got what it takes to do the job. You can manage your anger and the skills you need are right here at your fingertips.

Get to the heart of anger management here, and with practice you will master the skills to make your life and relationships work better. You can do this!

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