HOW TO BEAT AN INSULT

We have all been insulted some time or other in our life. And it is important that one learns to take insults well if we are to retain any measure of self-respect. When someone says to you, “Why don’t you go fuck yourself?” How can you most handily respond to that?

Act interested . Go, “Why don’t I go fuck myself, indeed?” Have your  fingertip at your lip, your head cocked at an upturned angle while you say this.  It is possible, though unlikely, that the big-mouth will join you in attempting to answer their own question,  Or you could choose to remind them it is none of their business. Your insult to them. But the better course is to stay on the high road and not play tit for tat.  It is possible that the person decides to up the ante with a more direct “Fuck you” or “Fuck off.”

Now you must clarify matters. Explain to the frustrated soul that you don’t wish to do either. Be firm but kind. Remind them that we live in a democracy, that they are neither your guardian nor your stockbroker (if in fact it is the case)  and that you don’t wish to take their advice. Or, contrarily, that you may just do what they have suggested. Thank them for their tough-love manner and wish them well in their day.

If this leads to a physical threat, raise your hand and take on a stance of “Brother, you know not what you do!”  in the style  of Harvey Keitel, admonishing his flock in Martin Scorcese’s old movie, The Last Temptation of Christ.  It is always useful to have a model in mind when you make a magnanimous gesture. It may even get uglier. If so, employ one of Ghandi’s tactics and sit on the ground. Do not allow yourself to be hurt, but don’t resist either.  Do the right thing, a la the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Hopefully, a crowd will encircle you that includes a burly off-duty policeman. If that doesn’t happen, play dead, or convince the person that it is time for your nap. It is always amazing what people will accept at face value. The important thing is to keep them guessing and preferably under the impression that you cannot be bullied, or that you are mentally unbalanced and capable of untold destruction if pushed to it.

The best alternative, however, may still be the flight reaction. But usually it does not come to that. What is the worst that can happen? You die. There are worse things than death,( which I won’t get into at this juncture.) Suffice it say that even if you did die, you would know (how, I have no idea!) that you did the right thing. You did not insult back.  You did not steep to their level. You acted with dignity, forbearance, a smattering of intelligence, bluff. You danced well. You went out in style (whatever that means) Could they say the same? It is more than likely that they will at some point regret what they said or did to you, or they may even become born-again and go on to years of meetings in dank basements with badly dressed overweight people .

You will have changed the person. they might never insult another person again, or at least in the same manner.  You have made a difference!

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