We all know the familiar pain of having our value diminished by someone’s insults. Sometimes it’s a stranger. Sometimes it’s someone very close to us, like a sister or a spouse. And a lot of times, the daggers wound us so suddenly that we don’t even know how to react. We often wish we had prior instructions on how to behave. Well, the first step to becoming a master at dealing with insults is to know the different types of insults.
1. The Baseless Insults
These are the types that a drunken stranger might throw at you from the sidewalk. They usually include common slurs like the s-word or the a-word. Basically, they are the ones used when a person is desperately trying to hurt you, but they cannot think of any original names to call you and so the resolve to the cliches. To a secure and self-aware person, these types of insults should hurt the least, because they simply have no truth in them and can be tossed to the wind. But sometimes, especially those of us on the insecure side, can take these like the second type.
2. Those that make you doubt yourself
“Why are you so lazy?”
Someone may throw that at you if you decide to take a one hour nap after a long day of work. In your heart of hearts, you know that you are not lazy. You know yourself to be hardworking. But maybe because there is a grain of insecurity in you, you begin to wonder if what the person said is true. Maybe you are a little lazy. After all, you did sleep in last weekend too…
3. Those that confirm your insecurities
You’re worried that you’re jeans are getting too tight and the lower belly is becoming a little pouchy. Then someone calls you fat.
You’ve been losing friends lately, they could be moving or getting new interests. And you’re beginning to think that maybe you’re not that interesting, maybe you’re a little anti-social. Then somebody calls you boring.
These can leave tossing and turning in bed as you slowly convince yourself of how “terrible” you’ve become. But they are not necessarily true accusations.
4. Those that have a little bit of truth in them
So you have a tendency of leaving coffee cups where they don’t belong, or tossing a candy wrapper to the floor here and there. But you are a generally neat person. You groom yourself well, you do your laundry regularly, and you try to keep your house or apartment as neat at possible.
“You are such a slob!” someone may say as they angrily pick your candy wrapper of the carpet.
Now that’s not completely true. You do try to be clean. But you have your moments…
5. The Truths
These are the sharp swords that could leave you wounded for decades.
Your family struggles financially and someone calls you a poor low-class. You are the product of your father’s infidelity and someone calls you a bastard. You were not fortunate enough to receive an education and someone calls you illiterate.
The saddest part is that you can’t even argue these ones away. They are truths. You know it and you agree with your attacker.
These are the types of insults that can make you believe you can never get far in life. That you are worthless because of your past experiences and you do not deserve happiness and success.
Sometimes these insults come in the form of words, and sometimes in the form of actions. And they all hurt in different degrees, and they all ought to be dealt with differently. In the next article, we will attempt to learn the art of dealing with insults.
Until then, cheers to life!