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How To Stop Rude Comments In Their Tracks

Written by: Masha Shapiro, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Masha Shapiro

Are you a person who feels confused when it comes to responding to a comment that you deem to be “off “and/or consider to be possibly offensive or insensitive? If so, you are not alone. As a psychotherapist in private group practice, my clinicians and I hear this from our clients frequently.

Image photo of Masha

Perhaps someone made an uncomfortable remark at your expense or said something that felt downright unacceptable to hear. When we are faced with danger and/or perceived threat, our nervous systems often go into flight-or-fight mode. When we feel shocked, surprised, or confused by an unwelcomed comment, our bodies can often freeze up as a protective response.

If you find yourself in this situation, here are 5 ways to respond:

1. Respond with a question, like:

  • “Do you often say things like that”?

  • “Are you having a bad day?”

  • “Is everything okay?”

  • “Are you okay?”

Asking questions like these gets the other person to reflect on their responses and also draws attention to the fact that something was wrong with the statement they shared.

2. Ask for the statement to be repeated:

  • Could you repeat that?”

Doing so may get the other person to reflect on what is actually being said and hopefully encourage them to clarify their question and/or ask it in a more appropriate way.

3. Respond with a statement, like:

  • “I am feeling overwhelmed right now, and need some time to process my thoughts before I respond.”

If you are feeling overwhelmed and cannot think of a response, being honest and asking for some processing time will allow you to gather your thoughts prior to responding, while also letting the other person know how you feel.

4. Be brutally honest:

  • “Your opinions on my life are both unwarranted and unexpected.”

  • “If and when I seek advice, I will let you know.”

Being honest can be difficult, but it can also be a direct and no nonsense approach to let the other person know that you will not tolerate being spoken to in such a way.

5. Take the high road:

  • “ Thank you—I appreciate your opinion.”

  • “Your feedback in appreciated and I will take it into consideration.”

This response shows emotional strength and maturity, and shows that you are not willing to stoop down to the other person’s level.

Familiarizing yourself with these statements can come in handy when you need to respond on the spot. Regardless of which of these approaches you choose, you can help yourself become unstuck and stand up for yourself in the process.

Follow me on Instagram, and visit my website for more info!

Masha Shapiro Brainz Magazine

Masha Shapiro, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Masha Shapiro is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York and is the owner of We Rise Mental Health Counseling Services, PLLC. Masha is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Masha has been recognized as an expert in her field and has been on numerous podcasts discussing mental health. Masha is a triple-certified trauma therapist, holding certifications as an Individual Certified Trauma Specialist, a Complex Certified Trauma Professional, and an EMDRIA-certified EMDR therapist. Masha also specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, self-esteem issues, perinatal mood disorders, couples counseling, and narcissistic abuse recovery services. Masha works with the body through a somatic lens.



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