Updated: Jan 29
I froze, face reddening. Everyone waiting to see how I would take the ‘joke.’
Barely breathing, a smile pasted on my face, I felt resentful, hurt and angry. I finally dropped my eyes, shook my head. And remained silent.
Sadly, I have known people who enjoyed sarcasm and put-down humor: my father; 2 friends at school; even a romantic relationship.
And I rarely spoke up! I told myself I did not want to damage the relationship, but the truth was I hated confrontations. And deep down? Well, I thought I deserved it.
There were a few times I did speak up and told them I didn't like it. And they said lighten up, or I was only joking, or What’s wrong, can’t take a joke?
When I persisted, tried to explain why I didn't like it, that it hurt, and if somebody had said it to them, they wouldn't like it either.
The reply: You’re too sensitive.
I finally realized that no explanation would ever work with these people. They just will not/cannot admit that their words are hurtful.
*** Much later, I also realized that whatever I'm feeling is the truth, my truth. And if somebody thinks I am too sensitive, well, that is their problem. My problem is learning to stand up for me.
How to Stop It
There are two ways to shut down the meanest of ‘jokers,’ quickly, quietly and with your chin up.
In a group
Look at the person and ask, Where did that come from? This can put them on the defensive and scrambling for a response.
With an individual
Some time ago, I wrote this from the viewpoint of an abused woman: Last night, I forgot a bag of groceries in the car, and he said, “What, Alzheimer’s already?”
Then, this morning, I broke a coffee mug, and from the living room he yelled, “I signed you up for a class in coordination. You start tomorrow.”
And later, he discovered a mistake in our checkbook and ‘joked’, “If only you were smart too.”
To stop abuse from an individual, try the same question, Where did that come from? If you do not think it will work, or it does not work, use these two steps:
1.) Choose a short sentence like: That hurt; or I didn’t like that; or That felt awful.
2.) Then, in response to their sarcasm or put-down humor, say those words, and only those words, no matter what the joker says: do not argue, debate or defend. Do not try to make them feel wrong or badly.
Simply repeat and keep repeating.
There will likely come a moment when they finally hear you, and if you repeat those simple words every time, there is a good chance they will stop.
If not, consider letting them go, along with any other negative Neds and Nellies that are dragging you down.
If you still have trouble speaking up, try this: Have a friend play the role of abuser, and you practice asking, Where did that come from? or using your chosen words.
Use a quiet but strong voice, and be sure to have some fun with it.
Or, imagine your abuser and practice in front of a mirror.
Out in the world, your first efforts might not work, because your voice/manner are not yet strong enough. But you deserve to feel the power and joy of standing up for yourself; so, if you stumble, or cannot do it at all, go back to practicing (no matter how much you might not want to).
And know that every time you practice, every attempt you make to speak up, increases your inner-strength (regardless of how you feel at the time).
All he ever wanted...
His business was deep in the red, and he was now desperate.
I asked him, “If there was one person on the planet who is holding you back, who would it be?”
He immediately said, “My Mother.”
She was giving him money to keep his business afloat. She had also given him the down payment for his house and had recently taken over the payments.
His insight: "I'm 30 years old and still (like a child) dependent on my mother!"
The power of a deep insight is that it cannot be unseen; it tends to stay with us, prodding, pushing and motivating us into a permanent change.
That one insight put him on a path to becoming the man, and success, he had always wanted to be.
Discover Your Own Life-Changing Insight: Free
So many people spend their lives trying to change but stay stuck: being overweight; or trapped in money problems, or an unfulfilling relationship, or a stalled career.
But one, deep insight, one eye-widening moment, can begin leaving that pain behind.
And you can discover your own deep insight with either of these 2 simple techniques:
Both work on a variety of issues
Both are complete (nothing held back), and
Both sent directly to your inbox:
All She ever wanted...
She was saying, “If only I could find the right guy, I would give myself to him, and—"
I stopped her and asked, “Give your SELF?” Her eyes widened as she realized what she had said and what she had been doing.
A deep insight can, indeed, bring permanent change, and yes, you don’t need me. Who is This Guy?
Why am I encouraging you to find your own answers? Every time we even try for personal understanding, our inner strength increases—a bit more—and that strength translates into other areas of our lives.
Either of these 2 simple techniques can bring you the answers you need, as well as increase your strength. And it's all free. Get started now:
Your email address is 100% secure
And here is more information on standing up for yourself:
Self-Confidence comes from being genuine, and a good way to practice is to say Yes to offers (instead of automatically rejecting them:
The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love.At this link: https://www.danielsperaw.com/blog/the-essence-of-personal-improvement