Here Is The Best Way To Respond To Insults!

As a woman we are often on the receiving end of nasty words. Is it true that sticks and stones may break our bones but words can never hurt us?

As a woman we are often on the receiving end of nasty words. Is it true that sticks and stones may break our bones but words can never hurt us?

Even though humiliation and insults are such a big part of our larger society, women seem to tolerate a greater share of them. These emerge from human emotions, and are to be dealt with care and caution.

Women bear the larger brunt in such a scenario, due to the social fabric and the vulnerability that often comes with.

I bring out my observations on the causes of such situations, the nature of insults, as well as the ways and means to deal with such insults and humiliations that we encounter in our day-to-day life. Here is a woman’s perspective!

Is there a right way to respond to insults?

I always have had a longing to be recognised, for whatever little I am.

When I placed my centum score marks-sheet in my dad’s hand, I had an expectation of applause. It’s not always that we receive the applause we expect.

Yet, it does impact us. Most of the times this can get adverse, especially when our expectations are not met. Not being recognised or getting enough credit for what we have acheived is still acceptable. Sometimes people ridicule or make a mockery of our achievements which further deepens our wound.

As ordinary human beings who often have to bundle up and navigate our emotions, it becomes very difficult for us to take all these in. We essentially need to be loved and cared for. If that cannot happen, the least that is required is not facing insult or humiliation.

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The hesitation to help hurts

Very often, we find a person who is in a position to help by sharing experience or knowledge. Yet, we may fail to do so for reasons best known to them. As a person who is struggling, and knowing that the person, who possibly could aid, never did it, hurts. Again, this is an indirect hurt. There are strange hurts that can happen within the four walls of our homes.

A person in an authoritative position often finds fault and humiliates those who are considered submissive or under their control. And there need not be any reason for such humiliation.

Refusal to acknowledge and appreciate achievements

An individual with a positive attitude strives to achieve things on their own even though no help was received from people who had the required knowledge and experience. The people in power refuse to even acknowledge their achievements, leave alone appreciate them.

Why is human behaviour often so inhuman and so strange?

How insults and humiliation may originate

The intolerant attitude of people is one of the main reasons for their intolerant behavior to others. And why does the intolerance arise?

It is because of jealousy, prejudice and apprehensive towards authority. Even though a person’s accomplishment, success and growth is a milestone at times, the same could probably turn out to be the stepping stones of despair for another person.

The reasons for such despondency could also be due to the fact that they would have either not been able to reach that position, or they are far ahead. They may not be able to accept that this person has progressed to the next stage or just simply feels that they are in a superior position and may therefore, be entitled to behave in an insulting manner.

The intolerance begins once that person surpasses the pre-set standards set by them. When their defined boundaries are crossed and they see the person achieve or win, the intolerance to acknowledge this threatens further restlessness. They are not in a position to acknowledge that the person is capable of said achievement, leave alone accept it.

In the modern era, as everything in life is a competition, the achievements of any person becomes relative. Due to this relativity, people are not able to cherish the small joys in their lives. They brood over everything worth enjoying. They also satisfy their own egos by hurting, insulting, humiliating or bullying people around them.

Handing insults the right way

It is essential that we have find ways and means to prevent this. It is understood that there is no way that we can change a person’s perspective and mindset on a given situation, and the way they react. We have no control over it.

If their reactions keep hurting me, then it is obvious that I am going to remain hurt most of my life.  And it is very costly for me to be remain hurt and lose my sense of self.  I have tried to analyse, how can I absolve myself from this even if it is no fault of mine.

There must not have been anything that I contributed to the subject matter which resulted in their behaviour, which has hurt me. I am not able to handle reactions that come externally.

So, I become vulnerable to more hurt time and again. The setback, therefore, lies in me and not the outside world. There is no point in expecting much from the person who continues to inflict pain and ruin my life and mental health.

Introspect the results

Even though it is normal to replay upsetting events in our mind to get a handle on them, it is also very important to introspect.

Introspection is a valuable device for personal growth and empowerment. Thoughts and images from a hurtful episode will pop up time and again. Instead of suppressing them, allow them to surface.

Observe them—but without obsessing and getting stuck in a mental loop. Each time the memories of the event surface, ask yourself if you are ready to let go of the shame that accompanies them. Think of this process in the way you would use an eraser; every time you rub away, the pain will start to fade and soon only a faint mark will remain.

Handing the emotions that come with insults

Is there a solution? I could have reacted in few different ways to their behaviour. Not be hurt, not feel sad and not feel pained? Yet, as I said, we humans are a bundle of emotions and they play a major role in our life.

Emotions have to be nurtured. How is that possible? Not getting entangled into the pain is one way, but a very difficult one.

A better way to begin with is to create a counter emotion that will over-rule the pain.  We need to create pleasure to reduce the pain. Again, say a medicine taken for headache doesn’t treat diahhroea. Will a different medicine help, perhaps?

We may need to create a solution in the same area. This pushed me to the root of the pain where it originated. I tried to find a medicinal solution for the origin and I worked on doing wonders in that area. Any amount of insult or humiliation from others does not affect me, as the achievement of the works I have done there and the joy thus derived, overpowered the insult.

Change the insult as a tool to ensure further achievement. I just had to take my first steps to securing empowerment.

How do we react to insults?

Many a time, I had questions for myself.

How could they be so insensitive? Do they realise how hurt I feel? Should I say something back?  But, only to realise each time that, it has no worth.

I walked away that day vowing never to feel so weakened by someone’s statements again. I went over this episode in my mind, looking for answers. The journey within was, from deep pain to personal empowerment.

I no longer felt hurt. Instead, I had developed a new perspective—I needed this experience to resolve something within myself. I have had similar incidents since then, and my reaction is now completely different.

I’m freer and stronger.

Turning insults into achievements

I stopped getting wounded and focused on my work. I just ignored people who made me feel my existence was negligible.  It certainly took a while, but determination and conscious effort brought the gift of a new perspective.

I set a goal for myself. I tried to achieve a great deal in areas I was passionate about and wanted to further engage in. That alone remained my focus.

Once the focus point is clear, it becomes not only important but also much easier that we learn to react very little, both internally and externally.

Internally – to cherish your strengths and keep doing your work without brooding.  Externally -to maintain a sense of calm and not spoil your own environment.

There is no need to always prove your worth

Do not try to prove your worth to anyone. The fragrance of a flower can never be withheld in closed hands. The magic then starts happening. I tried to channel my sorrow into strength.

If we believe we can lose the ability to stand our ground in the face of insults, it’s never too late to get it back.

So never let someone’s words throw you off track. Take it in stride. Insults don’t always hurt and have a that specific intention. They also have immense power to change your life for the better.

Shift the focus from pain to progress

I often derive my own sense of peace with progress. The work I take up has now become my life and it is my joy.  It has become so huge a purpose that there is now no time and space for insults and to mull over pain.

I now sport a half smile when I think about all that I have gone through. It just indicates that I have no time or energy to devote to these things. I have a lot more to do than to get stuck in this vicious cycle.

Maybe words hurt me a lot less now.

Image Source: Pexels


About the Author

vadapalli poorna kameswari

Am a enthusiastic writer who writes in english, hindi and telugu. My interests are social issues and issues of women. I try to bring out the subtle issues in society, that go unnoticed. There are read more...

2 Posts | 6,620 Views

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