Emotions - Reacting to insults

In most cases insults are communicated in way that hurts us or at very least pushes our emotional buttons. Experts would say not to take insults personally, which is easy to say but some can be very difficult to dismiss, given that on most occasions the insult is designed to hurt and does so through weaponising something personal to the recipient. That said, when it comes to the question of what to do when insulted, the experts agree: don’t automatically react unless you are unsafe or placed in danger by not reacting.
Here’s a better way to go when you feel that you or someone dear to you has been gratuitously insulted.
First, take time to breathe and process what has been said. Be curious about how you are feeling and why. Think about the other person and why they might have said what they said and how they may be feeling. After doing this, assess whether you want to respond or not; sometimes not responding to an insult can be as or even more powerful than responding. It indicates to the other person that you are above their insults, treating the comment with the contempt it deserves.
However, if you do decide to respond, you may want to positively challenge the person. You can do this, for example, by stating that you were hurt, upset and / or angered by their words but want to understand why. Why they said what they did or why they believe what they said was true. The person who has insulted you may not expect this response, who may react defensively and say something inappropriate; if this happens, repeat your response.
Individuals who are positively challenged have to reflect on their actions and even if they find it difficult to take responsibility and be accountable at that time, they will have to accept that their actions though hurtful, were ineffective and challenged. They may think twice about doing it again.
For you, if able to do this in a moment when emotions may be running high, you will have shown that you are able to manage your emotions and your actions thoughtfully. Achieving this can make you more confident (even if you did not feel it at the time) as well as more resilient to those who seek to disrespect you.

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