How to React when Insulted or Teased

Three Methods:Assessing the SituationResponding to Being Teased or InsultedGetting Help

Learning how to cope with being teased or insulted can help you get a better handle on these unfortunate social situations. Assessing the situation, responding appropriately, and seeking help when necessary will all help you overcome being teased or insulted.

Method 1
Assessing the Situation

  1. 1
    Realize it’s not about you. People who tease and insult others are insecure. Their bullying is often driven by fear, narcissism, and the need to control a situation. Picking on others makes them feel powerful. Recognizing that it’s about them, not you, will help you gain confidence in the situation.[1]
  2. 2
    Understand your aggressor’s motivation. Making an effort to understand why a particular person is insulting or teasing you is key to coming up with a resolution to the situation. For example, the coworker who always insults your clothing may feel like you are getting more credit than you deserve from your boss.[2]
  3. 3
    Develop a plan to avoid the person or situation if possible. Avoiding your aggressor can help minimize the insults and/or teasing you are experiencing. While this is not always possible, come up with ways to minimize the time you must spend in the presence of the bully or avoid contact altogether.
    • If you are being teased while walking home from school, work with your parents to come up with a safe route home that will help you avoid being teased or insulted.
    • If you are being teased or insulted online, consider deleting the bully from your social media networks or limiting the time you spend on certain applications.

Method 2
Responding to Being Teased or Insulted

  1. 1
    Prepare for the situation. If you must spend time with a person who repeatedly insults or teases you, come up with a plan for how you will address the situation. Thinking through ways you can respond and role-playing can help you handle the situation.[3]
    • Practice role playing with a trusted friend or family member. Try having your best friend say, “Anna, your haircut is really awful.” You can respond with, “Thank you for your opinion, but I like it and that is what matters.”
  2. 2
    Stay calm. It’s important to stay calm when you are being teased or insulted, even if your instinct is to get angry or cry. People who tease and insult others are often looking for a reaction. Keep your cool and stay grounded.[4]
    • When someone insults you, try taking several deep breaths before responding to them.
  3. 3
    Be assertive. Be confident and clear with the aggressor about how his or her insults affect you. Use a firm, yet calm tone and explain why you are not okay with his or her teasing.[5]
    • Try saying to a classmate who teases you about your shoes, “It makes me angry when you insult me in front of our classmates. So stop it.”
  4. 4
    Ignore the insult. Sometimes the best response to an insult is to ignore it. You can pretend you didn’t hear it at all or change the subject to something completely off topic. Ignoring your aggressor’s teasing or insults instead of reacting will prevent fuel being added to the fire.[6]
    • If you are insulted or teased online, don’t respond.
  5. 5
    React with humor. Using humor to react to being teased or insulted is an effective response. Humor can diffuse a tense situation, disarm the aggressor, and even undermine the insult. Try making a joke when someone insults or teases you.[7]
    • If your coworker insults the poster you bring to a conference try saying, “You’re right. This is an awful poster. I really shouldn’t have let my daughter do my work for me.”

Method 3
Getting Help

  1. 1
    Talk to your parents. If you are a child or teenager and are being teased or insulted, it is important that you let them know what is going on. Tell them about the situation and ask for their help in resolving it.[8]
  2. 2
    Reach out to a teacher or other trusted professional. If someone at school is insulting or teasing you, touch base with your teacher, school counselor, or even the school nurse. These educational professionals can help you devise a strategy for dealing with the situation.
  3. 3
    Go through the proper channels at work. If you are being insulted or teased in your place of work, it is important that you document the abuse and go through the proper channels. Discuss the situation with your boss or go straight to human resources and report the situation.

Article Info

Categories: Dealing with Bullying