I had a challenging week. In addition to a few unexpected occurrences, I was personally attacked on a social media site. Someone chose to call me a dumb (donkey) and other colorful insults.
This started with a comment I made on a friend’s post. Someone whom I’ve never heard of, never met in my life, and doesn’t know me at all felt they could strike a nerve by insulting me. It didn’t work.
Afterward, several people asked me (privately) “how do you remain so calm when someone is clearly attacking you and insulting you?” And while I did indeed maintain the ability to remain calm throughout the exchange, I’ll admit that at one point I was very tempted to say SHUT UP ALREADY! : )=
But then I remembered one of my favorite quotes . . .
He who angers you conquers you.
Granted it bothered me when I was called “four eyes” or “skinny” in elementary school, but I understand why other kids did that. It was to try make themselves feel better, or to gain attention. Don’t tell anyone this, but I’m an adult, so I find name calling both juvenile and ineffective at this point in my life.
That aside, the main reason I was able to remain calm is this; I am not dumb. And if I’m not dumb then why should I be insulted?
Why would I allow this name calling to bother me, especially when the mudslinger doesn’t even know me? Do they have test scores? Did he or she consult with my former teachers? Was he or she really assessing my level of intellect? Of course not.
It’s also not likely that this person was offering constructive criticism out of love either. No matter how you slice it, this person didn’t have good intentions. In any and all cases like this, it doesn’t matter what someone says to me, what matters the most is what I say to myself after they shut up.
You say I’m dumb? Well, I respectfully disagree.
A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation.
Rubber and glue
Let’s say this person was right and I was dumb. Obviously being called dumb might make me feel bad about my dumbness, correct? Still, the question I would have to ask myself is why exactly is this person calling me dumb? What is their motive? Is it meant to be encouraging? No, their word choice tells me that there cannot be any positive spin on this at all.
What they choose to say is actually screaming out something about themselves. It can mean they feel inferior, ignorant, discontent, angry or something along those lines. No matter who or what “started it”, does it do any good to respond to anyone expressing themselves in this negative manner? Does being hurtful help the situation or worsen it? Would you respect someone who spoke to you like this?
One thing that I always try to keep in mind is that I am responsible for myself. Therefore other people’s words and actions reflect them BUT most importantly, their words and actions do not have to affect me. I control me.
This is why we need to be mindful of our responses and our emotions. Don’t get insulted. Don’t feel inferior. And don’t give anyone that kind of power over you. If someone yells at you or insults you, try to understand their feelings and keep in mind that they are unhappy. If you cannot respond calmly and with compassion, excuse yourself from the situation.
And if you feel that you must get even, you can always kill them with kindness.
Instead, If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. ~Romans 12:20
Rock Star Life Coach & Sales Trainer