Five Ways to Respond to Rude Comments
We all want to be more connected; genetically we are programmed to seek connection because in our more primitive forms we needed our tribe or group for survival.
Rejection meant being shunned, banned, or excommunicated. This type of punishment was worse than death.
Our bodies are still programmed to respond to rejection negatively, even though we don’t require our peers’ help with basic needs like food, water, or shelter and security anymore.
That explains why we feel our adrenaline spiking when we face rejection. Our hearts beat faster, and we feel our pulse quickening. In those moments, it’s easy to blurt something back that we don’t mean. Many fights begin in this biological, “fight or flight” mode. But what if there are more than just those two options?
In a TedTalk about facing rejection, Marisa Peer, an award-winning therapist, gives a variety of scenarios. From a family member telling you not to wear a particular style again, or a co-worker telling you your speech was awful, there are countless scenarios where people offer us feedback that we don’t want to hear. Whether its constructive criticism or downright rude, we can use the following responses:
Say, “Thank you for sharing that.”
This response doesn’t allow the criticism to reach you and shuts down further attacks. If the person continues to go on about whatever negative aspect they are pointing out to you, its completely okay to keep repeating the same response, Thank you for sharing that.
For example, my sister is a fashionista and tells me, “You really shouldn’t wear dresses that shape; you’d look much better in something flowier.”
I respond, “thank you for sharing that.”
“Your chest is just too big for this fitted thing you are trying to pull off.”
“Thank you for sharing that, sis.”
“It’s not that I’m insulting you, I’m just telling you what would look better.”
Thank you for sharing that.