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You know what it's like to be insulted in middle school. The work of a schoolyard bully isn't the only work of insult. Either you deserve the insult or you don't. You have a number of options on how to reply. You can fight, but you shouldn't. You don't have to say anything, but you do have to stew about it. You could remain calm, respond succinctly or with humor, and take any lessons from it. There is a way to respond to an insult.

Assess the insult

Do you remember what was said to you? It is possible that it is true. Are you being rude, disrespectful, or inappropriate? If there is any truth to the dig, try to take a constructive lesson from it. It doesn't mean you have to accept being spoken to in a disrespectful way. It's possible to retain some insight from the encounter if you stand up for yourself.

It is1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556 may not be1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556 The other person could be having a bad day or carrying a gun. Relax and take a few deep breaths. You don't need to reply immediately.

The advice came from Dr. Burton, who wrote a guide on how to deal with insults. It is possible to take a beat before flying off the handle. Check out our guide on how to stay calm during an argument.

How to respond to an insult if it’s true

AmyPritchett gave us some ideas about how to respond to an insult effectively.

It can seem natural to fire back and give as much as you can after being insulted. This can lead to a tense situation that can escalate and become more aggressive. Is there an aspect of this situation you need to be held accountable for? If that's the case, you could say something like, "I am sorry I made you feel this way, but..."

Don't be vague with your response. Don't hurl an insult at someone. If there is anything to defend, own up to any mistakes, and make it clear that you don't want to be spoken to with derision, make it a point. I apologize for the work I produced. I will use your feedback for my next edits. I want you to be more respectful when we work on these things so we can both do our best work here.

How to respond if the insult is totally unprovoked

There may be no point fighting the fire if an insult comes out of the blue. Keep in mind that it is not a fact and communicate in a calm manner what are the next steps to resolve this confrontation. She warned that you should deliver your response in a calm tone.

If the insult comes out of left field, and you like the person who said it, try to understand why they lashed out. Ask them if they have a deeper issue they would like to work through or if they are going through something that needs to be talked about.

You can leave if it comes from a stranger. Their opinion isn't important.

Try humor, if you can

You can try to lighten the situation up. The situation is likely to be tense if someone has stooped to dogging you. Go for a joke if you feel safe to do so. Burton suggests what to do.

Gentle humour can be an effective response to an insult, and this for three main reasons: it undercuts the insulter and his or her insult, it brings any third parties on side, and it diffuses the tension of the situation. A similar strategy is to run with the insult and even add to it, in the genre, “Ah, if you knew me better, you would find greater fault still!”