We’ve all had it a friend, a co-worker whatever just someone who consistently digs you out. For me at first it would fill me with anger I would either blow up at that person or just stew on it and moan to my partner about it. Then I got upset and started asking ‘why me?’. Its just such a vicious cycle of rage and it can do some damage, you can waste hours thinking it over, how should I respond? should I respond? do I respond in kind? do I try and talk it out with them? It can chip away at your self-esteem and overtime leave it very low.

Don’t surround yourself with negative people….easier said than done right? you can’t choose your family or your co-workers (to a certain extent) and yes you can choose your friends but sometimes those can be the people firing in put-downs maybe calling it banter? banters just becoming an excuse for bullying. Negative, hateful, hurtful comments they are sometimes unavoidable but its how you react to them that is key.

How to handle insults and put-downs

See the other person – it’s hard but try to take your own ego out of the equation. Don’t question yourself.. “whats wrong with me?” look at that person. Now you might not know the answer but think on this; what’s making them so unhappy they want to project that onto someone else. You don’t need to understand but the mere question.. for me it takes the edge off the anger I might feel about their comments.

Don’t engage – in the past my first go-to was offensive every time, on the front foot defending myself. The truth is the less you engage in that negativity the less impact its going to have on your self-esteem. What I mean by this is if you don’t dwell on it. Don’t let it sit in your consciousness. If its not useful its not needed get rid of it.

Calling someone out – in my experience this is simply not worth it. Its likely when you question someone on their comments they will claim to be joking or they will become overly defensive. If you must, ask them to explain what they meant by the comments. After all it could be a misunderstanding.

Final thoughts

There is a great phrase “Make your enemy your energy” by Ant Middleton in his book First Man In. I love this saying and I constantly remind myself of it when I come across these challenges in life. Shift your focus – use that energy to push on with something else become a better person see past the enemy its really not worth your time.

When people highlight weakness in someone else its a reflection on their own insecurities. Using that thought, that knowledge you can move through these negative experiences. Don’t waste energy worrying about hate or negativity if you’re working hard enough on your life on improving yourself that hate gets burnt up and allows you to boost your self-esteem.


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