Handling Slights & Insults
Each of us has different levels of temper. What triggers your temper can just be a laughing matter to someone else. However, what can set them on a rampage can just be a minor thing to you. Because of this, you might have felt slighted by a joke or a comment by somebody when it was not meant to be taken that seriously. It could even be a deliberate action that caused you embarrassment – like a practical joke that you didn’t find the slightest bit funny. They might say you’re too uptight, thin-skinned or over-acting but that’s you’re prerogative. For better relations with your friends or co-workers though, here are some ways to handle slights:
Tell them that you don’t like what they did. Whether it’s an off-color joke or comment, even if it was in the spirit of a funny moment. Always stand by your principles. If you’ve made it a point not to dignify green jokes or be subjected to humiliating dares, stick by it.
If you can’t voice out your comments then and there, show your displeasure. Get up or walk away. Even a serious frown or a lift of an eyebrow can ‘shout’ what you want. No one can be so oblivious as not to notice your actions! Sometimes, it’s even a better way to stop the trash talk – a visual reminder to the instigator that he or she is getting out of hand. Most people would be shamed by that into stopping altogether.
If it’s possible, avoid the other person or group. That way, you won’t have to tolerate their brand of humor. You won’t even have to stretch your people skills to the limit too. You can also start going out or be friendly with a much nicer person or group to ease up the social pressure in being with these rowdy group.
If it’s not possible for you to avoid them – let’s say for example, they’re you’re co-workers or worse, one of the managers, try to limit social time with them. Stick to work-related talk or casual “what’s the weather like?” kind of conversations. Sooner or later they’ll get the hint. As a last resort, request for a transfer and just cite some plausible reasons for it.
Slights might be minor but it still should be taken into account. If you feel slighted or insulted, don’t allow anyone to belittle it. Handle it with care and always remember that you are worthy of respect as much as the other person.